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8

I decide what should be written next only when I am writing that. This called being a "pants writer" or a "pantser," meaning that you write by the seat of your pants. It's completely valid as a workflow, IF you are then willing to go back to the beginning when you're finished and edit with a firm, even harsh hand. Just because it spews out of you ...


5

It sounds to me like you have been building a world, not developing a story. A story, in the bestselling sense of the word, is about characters who overcome obstactles and grow in the process. I miss that aspect in your description of your project. Without reading anything, it is hard to nail down the problems your aquaintance saw, or recommend what to do ...


4

First I will be discouraging, then I will be encouraging, then I will be fatherly. OK? 1) Judging by the text of your question, your writing skills are not (currently) up to the task of writing an epic 4-volume novel (which is what you are proposing). Your writing is rife with grammatical errors (not just typos) and other problems. Sorry to be blunt, but ...


4

I firmly believe that you should try both approaches and experience yourself what works best for you. Would you marry someone that you have never seen? Would you sign up for a job, or employ a new worker, without some practical probation? Would you buy a car without testdriving it? Would you decide on a lifelong diet without trying at least one meal? Do you ...


3

Why does the message have to be in English? Messages that are meant to be understood across languages are usually encoded visually. Think of the pictograms used to direct people on airports, or the comic-book-like saftey instructions in the nets at the backs of airplane seats. Or think of making drinking gestures. If I wanted to communicate a message to ...


3

The original Tarzan book deals with this situation. His parents had several years' worth of picture and children's books, which they intended to use to educate him while they did whatever they were doing in Africa (which I forget) before they were marooned by pirates. [edit: Then they both died while Tarzan was still a baby.] So, yeah, they had a ...


3

I use lots of words for different parts of the work: planning plotting researching brainstorming practicing warming up sketching outlining procrastinating ;-) I don't know of a single word that covers all of that.


3

This XKCD strip shows a visualization approach for tracking character interactions -- who's with whom when. It works pretty well even with a complex plot with many characters (one of the examples is Lord of the Rings). While I haven't tried this myself, in your shoes I would try a similar approach, adding lines for the artifacts and themes you want to ...


3

This fits firmly into the category of "do what works for you." I find that the more I plan ahead, the less likely I'm going to reach my destination. I work best when I have an open story ahead, and my world and its characters are allowed to grow in their own ways. This has the added benefit of allowing me to be surprised a bit by my own writing. However, ...


3

I don't remember where I read it, but there is a story about a sculpting teacher who did an experiment on a class. He divided the class in two, and told one half that they should spend the entire semester focusing on one pot or vase, and that they would be graded on the quality of that one object. The other half was told that they would be graded purely on ...


2

The relationship between planning and doing is a bit tricky, isn't it? I used to have a great deal of trouble with this, too. In my case, it was because I planned things that I didn't really know how to write. I would envision scenes in which someone dealt with a difficult, emotional situation that I have never experienced; scenes in which my characters ...


2

It really comes down to two things, and nearly all professional writers recommend both of them: read a lot, and write even more. Just like anything else, you need to practice. Practice, practice, practice. You need to develop your own unique voice, and the only way to do that is through trial and failure. See what works, see what doesn't, and if you ...


2

There's nothing wrong with writing off the cuff: trying to keep written conversation flowing nicely by a version of stream-of-consciousness i.e. if you type reasonably fast its almost like "recording" your own imagination-dialogue. Done well it makes for excellent material - well-paced and "natural" on read-back. The rub comes when you've finished first ...


1

In my experience it goes both ways. Either you start with an outline and write chapters and scenes from it, or once you've written your first draft "by the seat of your pants" you might end up creating what looks pretty much like an outline, or a scene list, just to get a grip of the often chaotic mass of text in the first draft. (This is at least how it ...


1

A common practice is to envision a scene and then write the story towards that scene. Quentin tarantino Thought up a scene where 3 men with 2 pistols each were pointing their handguns at each other in a mexican standoff. He didn't know who any of them were or what quarrel they had, but that was what he started with to make his story. To answer your ...


1

It's probably useful to think of a developmental editor as a project manager. While it's often associated with non-fiction, but it's not unheard of for novelists to hire a developmental editor. (I see job posts like this every so often.) Whether you should hire a developmental editor for fiction is a hard question to answer without knowing more about the ...


1

Participating in National Novel Writing Month (November) helped me with this same problem. No excuses, no edits, no revisions, just write, for 30 days. I had a few friends who participated, and we supported each other in the Writers.SE chat room. It helped me break out of the idea that I needed to compose in my head so that what I put on paper was the ...


1

Do you mind to step out of the Realm Of Ordinary for a while? If you have not yet done this before - I suggest you to try to spend some time living in the world you're creating with your writing. Immerse in it, feel it. Might be helpful. I'm saying that because I've also been a science student in my youth. And scientific thinking tends to be analytic, not ...


1

I come from a similar situation as yours. I guess I understand what you are going through. From my experience... You read few great fantasy series and loved to put yourself in those characters and role played few of them (in your own world aka mind, at least). You have a great concept to build the story on (Research students in general love to explore a ...


1

I can relate to you. I started my journey in the writing world because of a story that couldn't quite leave me. I feel the weight of the responsibility to deliver it, to write it and breathe life to it. And I did. But not in the way I thought I would, which is by writing a novel or book about it. I didn't write a novel because I couldn't quite make it ...


1

There are LOTS of ways to structure a book. Depending on what you're writing, there may or may not be any expected frameworks. Long-Form Fiction, such as speculative fiction novels, movie scripts, and semi-fanciful "alternate histories" usually progress lineally along one or more character's perspectives along a three-act progression, though more acts are ...


1

I'd call that development. It covers everything in Dale's excellent list and dmm's couch time.


1

I would share the insight where relevant. It's no fun to leave all of the good stuff at the end. In my experience, writing is a journey, and we need to be privy to all aspects of it. This includes the vital balancing act between flow and insanity inside the character's head.


1

The question to me is what you want. If you want to publish novels, then write novels. Bestselling author Elle Casey pumps out one novel per month. You need to get your priorities straight. If you enjoy worldbuilding, maybe that is your way of relaxing from writing. Other writers go jogging, play the guitar, or visit friends. You build worlds. So it just ...



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