valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] catsintheattic has been writing an intriguing series of entries on writing, and it's really made me think harder about my own writing process. One of the things that I've been really mulling over is what I call "plot and chores."

First of all, the terminology is my own rather poor word choice, and I'm certain that it's called something more accurate somewhere else, and it's probably explained better, too, but what I'm trying to do here is explain my own version of plotting in my own words. And keep in mind that this will not be a huge epiphany for anyone who regularly writes--it's more of an attempt to figure out how I write.

When I'm writing a long fic, I generally follow a pattern. I think about the fic quite a bit, daydream about it for days, sometimes months, and then I sit down and start writing down every plot point I can remember. I keep that up for a couple days, and then I type all of the plot points/scenes into a Word document and rearrange them until I have them in chronological order. I add a starting location and a date (and time, if necessary) to each section. I also add a few details that I don't want to forget, sometimes even a bit of dialogue. This is the plot. The outline looks like this:

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I had another insane dream this morning, but have forgotten it.

So I'm up to 36k on this Riptide story. I know I'm past the halfway point, but I still have a lot of distance to go. From what I've seen in the Riptide fandom, this is an uncommon length for a story (though in S&H there are quite a few long tales). My island story is already the longest story on the Riptide archive, and that's only 26k, so this is definitely into the "epic" length.

Writing a longer story, for me, means that the roller coaster is working overtime. Instead of having a couple highs and a couple crashes, I'm up and down like a yoyo.

I'm also reading a very good S&H epic fic right now, and last night I suddenly came to the realization that the language is just so much prettier and nicer than my fic. Which led to the latest crash on the rollercoaster. I told Husband that, in comparison to that S&H story, my story sounded like this:

Cody: You hurt, Nick?
Nick: *grunt*
Cody: Me help! *hug*

Fortunately, Husband pointed out that the tone of my fic isn't meant to be flowery, but rather realistic, and he is right. Still, I just can't help feeling inadequate.

I just spent a few hours reading the entire story, and I have to say, there are some good moments, a couple intense scenes, and a whole lot of Freudian slips on my part. I often read h/c stories where it's quite obvious what the author really likes, as you can tell by the continual re-injuring. Um. I have my own predilections, and they are obvious in this. I mean, I know that h/c is an integral part of the Riptide fandom, so I can't really be worried about this, but still--I don't want this story to be an exercise in How Many Cuddles Can I Realistically Portray.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
So. I've decided I need a Mental Dictation Device.

The way I write is pretty straightforward. I have the kernel of an idea. I begin to think about the idea, and where it could go. This daydream state is just as important as the actual writing portion.

As I grow obsessed with the idea, I begin to write it in my head. I narrate it exactly as I would narrate it on a piece of paper, only because it's my mind, I jump ahead to other sections and combine some daydreaming with it.

Then I begin to actually write it physically. At this point, whenever I am not at the computer actively writing it, I am narrating large sections. Like, when I'm in the bathtub, or in bed, or driving, or at work. I start at the beginning of a scene, and I simply start mentally writing the text. The words appear exactly as they would for the page. If any of it is particularly interesting, I make a note of it somewhere.

Blah blah blah writing, short, I promise )

I'd just have to remember to turn it off when I start daydreaming about my Mary Sue characters. lol.

How about you? Any thoughts on writing processes? Would you welcome or curse a MeDD?
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I've been thinking about my last entry, and I think I've come up with a good analogy.

Let's say you're writing about a forest. Now, this is just a rough estimate, but

70% of your readers probably have spent little to moderate time in forests.
20% of your readers might never have spent time in forests.
10% of your readers will be forest rangers.

So then it comes down to...how much effort am I going to make for the forest rangers? That level of research can be quite intense for the non-forest ranger, y'know? And sometimes making the fic good for the forest ranger can ruin some of the plot or punch holes in the timeline. There's also the fact that this is a nice way to escape, and I don't want to get into identifying the Latin names of the insect crawling across the trail; sometimes you just want to call a bug a bug and be done with it.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I have written about 12k in the past few days. This fic is like nothing I've ever experienced before. On Sunday night, after the show, I began the fic, and wrote 800 words.

I was home on Monday. Starting at about 1 or 2, I wrote 7600 more words. Seriously. By the time [livejournal.com profile] subrosax called me at 9:15, I was shaking from the intensity. Every muscle was tense. I was completely locked into the fic. I went to bed at about 1, and could not stop thinking about it. I slept for barely an hour and a half. I was consumed. Seriously. And then I had to get up at 5:45 am to get ready for work. *cringes*

But, bizarrely enough, I still had energy. All day at work on Tuesday I thought of the story. It echoed in my head like a crazy thing.

Since then, I've managed another 4k or so. It hasn't been as intense, especially because I'm now stuck in a wordy description stage of the aftermath of the intense scene, but even so, when I go back and read that scene, I get that feeling of butterflies in the stomach.

Now, YMMV. I have a feeling that people who read this will either be put off by it, or think it's kind of scary. For me, though, it's rather affecting. I can't say that the writing has been enjoyable, because it's actually been so intense and out there that it's been a bit scary. And the other parts require so much googling and so much immersing myself in What Will Come Next, Logically that it's been a strain, honestly. I wish I had a medical background, but then again, I keep thinking that I don't need to be so incredibly realistic, y'know? A little fudging is fine.

More about writing and balancing )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Hmm. I just wrote another story between last night and today for the Riptide fandom and posted it.

It's been ages since I did any writing, and what I always forget is that once the words start flowing, it just takes over.

I mean, I just sat and wrote 5600 words. When I'm away from writing, I feel like it's insurmountable, but when I sit down and write, I remember that even though it's hard, it's easy, too.

I hope I can keep this up. TLS has been eating my brain for three months straight and I'd like to get it on a page.

*hugs [livejournal.com profile] tinx_r for being so much inspiration*
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I'm always fascinated by fics written by teenagers that portray adults. Certainly there are many teen writers with a lot of skill who draw convincing portraits of adults. But then there's that wish fulfillment fantasy writing--a teen writing about herself as an adult, or what she imagines would be a "cool" life as an adult.

Ages ago, I read a story (HP story) by a teen whose protagonist drove an "old" car; worked as a bartender--but was so good at is she only had to work three days a month; kept only the money she needed to live on and donated the rest (retirement? huh?); wore clothing/makeup that wasn't so great, but anyone who looked at her knew she would be gorgeous if she spent a moment on it; could speak Russian fluently; had lots of dangerous enemies; had an apartment with some sort of homemade security system; and didn't bother with a man because she didn't need one. There are a lot of details I've forgotten by this point, but you get the picture.

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Flat ringling lion)
[livejournal.com profile] painless_j discusses titles, why some work, and why some don't.

As some of you might know, I have an English major. One of the most formative classes I took was a Shakespeare class. The woman teaching the class continually took off points for having boring titles for papers.

I'd always had boring titles. I always felt like it was kind of...showing off, maybe? to have fabulous titles. I mean, what if it doesn't live up to a cool title? But this teacher really pushed me, so I started naming my papers wildly, and she gave me full points.

I've kind of gotten out of that, but J really made me think about it. The title for Retribution was pretty boring, but at the last moment I froze, and went back into that old don't-make-the-expectations-too-high mode. Now that I read her entry, I realize that I'm not doing myself any favors by naming things so vaguely.

*resolves to name wildly in the future*

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