Writing about Writing

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Caesia390
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Writing about Writing

Post by Caesia390 »

Just thought I would make a place to blather a bit about the writing process and all of its trials and tribulations.
Caesia390
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Post by Caesia390 »

First of all: definite imposter syndrome here. I write for fun. It's a hobby. It's entirely contingent on having some idea in my head that I can't get rid of.

But then the flipside to that is that I'm at the mercy of wherever my mind takes me.

So I have an idea for a scenario and I know where I want it to go, but then it's like I get caught up in a whole jungle somewhere between the beginning and the middle, and I might not ever make it to the end...

For example I do have every intention of having John and Margaret get together (ahem) in my WWI fic, but there's just so much background to explain how she even got there, and I've hardly even touched on his background yet, and I'm afraid that the actual relationship between the two of them is going to be an afterthought.

This would probably be a lot easier if I were to, say, write drafts and figure out plot structure and what not..... But knowing myself that's just never going to happen.

Maybe I rush too much. But I'm afraid of losing inspiration if I don't strike when the iron is hot.
anywhereis
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Post by anywhereis »

Caesia390 wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2024 12:26 am First of all: definite imposter syndrome here. I write for fun. It's a hobby. It's entirely contingent on having some idea in my head that I can't get rid of.

But then the flipside to that is that I'm at the mercy of wherever my mind takes me.

So I have an idea for a scenario and I know where I want it to go, but then it's like I get caught up in a whole jungle somewhere between the beginning and the middle, and I might not ever make it to the end...

For example I do have every intention of having John and Margaret get together (ahem) in my WWI fic, but there's just so much background to explain how she even got there, and I've hardly even touched on his background yet, and I'm afraid that the actual relationship between the two of them is going to be an afterthought.

This would probably be a lot easier if I were to, say, write drafts and figure out plot structure and what not..... But knowing myself that's just never going to happen.

Maybe I rush too much. But I'm afraid of losing inspiration if I don't strike when the iron is hot.
I also start myself with writing drafts first then expand the plot from there. What I'm struggling recently is to write it consistently. I work in morning-afternoon-night shift pattern and always went home tired. I'm afraid if I procrastinate it too long, the story would become abandoned and I would run of inspiration for it.
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dianakc
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Post by dianakc »

Caesia390 wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2024 12:26 am First of all: definite imposter syndrome here. I write for fun. It's a hobby. It's entirely contingent on having some idea in my head that I can't get rid of.

But then the flipside to that is that I'm at the mercy of wherever my mind takes me.

So I have an idea for a scenario and I know where I want it to go, but then it's like I get caught up in a whole jungle somewhere between the beginning and the middle, and I might not ever make it to the end...

For example I do have every intention of having John and Margaret get together (ahem) in my WWI fic, but there's just so much background to explain how she even got there, and I've hardly even touched on his background yet, and I'm afraid that the actual relationship between the two of them is going to be an afterthought.

This would probably be a lot easier if I were to, say, write drafts and figure out plot structure and what not..... But knowing myself that's just never going to happen.

Maybe I rush too much. But I'm afraid of losing inspiration if I don't strike when the iron is hot.
Hi Caesia,
I've only been writing for a little over a year, so I'm no expert, and it is a hobby for all of the Millers that write stories (I think!).
Having said that, I have written a book length story, so will give you my thoughts.
I found a plan to be very useful. Knowing where I wanted to be at different stages of the book helped me to focus, on both the story plot and the romance plot.
I don't always write in order, but generally that really helps when you get to the editing part of a long fic. If an idea pops in my head I'll write that bit and save it for later. ❤️
DarkshireLass
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Post by DarkshireLass »

dianakc wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2024 8:17 am
Caesia390 wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2024 12:26 am
Maybe I rush too much. But I'm afraid of losing inspiration if I don't strike when the iron is hot.
Hi Caesia,
I've only been writing for a little over a year, so I'm no expert, and it is a hobby for all of the Millers that write stories (I think!).
Having said that, I have written a book length story, so will give you my thoughts.
I found a plan to be very useful. Knowing where I wanted to be at different stages of the book helped me to focus, on both the story plot and the romance plot.
I don't always write in order, but generally that really helps when you get to the editing part of a long fic. If an idea pops in my head I'll write that bit and save it for later. ❤️
also a new fic writer. But - I neeeeed to have a plot and some research under my belt to even start (research might be as simple as reading some Gaskell chapters again, or searching the novel for key words or phrases, but also can involve a lot more), and then I write and then I have to go back and put in details in earlier parts to give the later developments a better foundation. Important to me is a bit of a theme, too. That might develop as I am writing (so then, I go back and put in or change things to make it all make sense).
So everything is edited a lot as I go along, then there is a final edit (I find reading it out loud really useful for ironing out repetition of particular words and getting rid of awkward phrasing).
But - if an urgent need to write something strikes me, I will write it and edit it in when I get to that part of the story. For me, most notable was Hannah's proposal scene in Facing the Future, which I wrote when I thought of it, and then blended in to the longer story weeks later. I definitely wanted to capture the inspiration of the moment.
So, a process similar to Diana's maybe?
Just to say - my plan is flexible and writing is still very organic, so I don't always have any idea what will be in a particular chapter - just a notion of where the characters need to end up. They then kind of take charge of how to get there.
This is also why I finish something before starting to post.
But I think part of the fun (?if it is fun) of writing is finding your own style. I had an idea of my approach beforehand, having done a lot of writing for work and academic papers (sometimes with multiple co-authors!)

But - it is supposed to be fun, right? So, you should do it however you find it pleasurable.
Caesia390
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Post by Caesia390 »

Thanks for your thoughts!

It's interesting to read about the different processes people have.

I've started writing more things out ahead of time, but it's more like scenes that will get incorporated in.

Somehow it feels like an actual outline just wouldn't work for my style. It's like the story itself surprises me in its twists and turns and tempo.

Sometimes that works, but sometimes it does get rushed if I really want to move ahead to the next plot point.
Caesia390
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Post by Caesia390 »

By the way I skimmed back through the middle portion of Lady Chatterley's Lover to get a feel for the pheasant coop/hut logistics, and a) this book is actually pretty funny - kind of a bleak, saucy comedy, and b) Mellors reminds me so much of a younger Nicholas Higgins. I can't unsee it. Like, the whole exchange with the key, and his particularly flippant form of class-consciousness. And he's just so, like, *sigh* "All right then... I guess we're doing this." *commences steamy, sticky affair*

Nicholas Higgins/kind of ditsy version of Ann Latimer...

Or oh my god Nicholas/Fanny.....

Or Nicholas/Edith...

Probably Edith is actually the closest to Connie. If Captain Lennox was an impotent, infantile dipshit. She's not dumb so much as she's just sort of... willfully simple. To accommodate the restrictions of her class, her family, her marriage, etc. Until of course she finds herself completely fed up with it all and basically just falls on the gamekeeper's ****.

And they've got some real chemistry. And it's actually cute as hell. I love how it annoys her that he puts on this thick accent, but eventually they trade accents back and forth, and... it's so cute.

But what I'm saying is that I'm going to have to do some work to get my mind back into the John Thornton/Margaret Hale-via-Vera-Brittain version, because the characters are actually quite different.
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TRavine
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Post by TRavine »

This is just a general thought for everyone who struggles with writing at times and fears that they will get caught up and not finish. (Happens to all of us, believe me). Always remember that you have full authority over your work and can change anything anytime. Sometimes we forget that. But if, for example, you write your WWI fic in these little episodes to kind of figure things out along the way, that's fine. You can ALWAYS then go and write out another full-length fic based on these episodes. You can always start a new document and rewrite it, or write variations if you want to explore different paths the story could take. Some writers have whole universes and AUs for a certain trope - like Daisy with her "Grace and Consequence" series or Pippa with her modern AUs. You can pull down what you've already published anytime and replace it with something new or (even better in my opinion) you can leave everything up and just add new stories. You have full creative freedom and, while we do like to please our readers, the one person who should be truly satisfied with your work is yourself. I don't know if this is helpful, but it certainly helps me when I get stuck in my head and fear that I might write myself into a dead end.
"I'm not sure I'd know how to dabble." 8-)
Caesia390
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Post by Caesia390 »

Thank you!

That is helpful.

I also miss having a blog. Back in the old Harry Potter days I had a livejournal where I could throw all sorts of random thoughts and ideas.

But on the other hand this does rather force things to percolate and actually manifest in the form of reasonably coherent fiction.

It's funny how many old associations this is bringing up.... The Great War reminds me of old Gundam Wing fics, and then thinking of Milton/Manchester in the 1920s I'm getting flashes of Peaky Blinders, stylish but melodramatic... Lol no need whatsoever for a gangster subplot, thank you.

I think I also feel a lot of urgency because I'm simultaneously trying to balance work and family and online courses and fanfiction has hijacked my brain. This hasn't happened to me in years!

But I'm just going with it.
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Post by Philipaholt »

Caesia390 wrote: Mon Mar 25, 2024 5:45 am By the way I skimmed back through the middle portion of Lady Chatterley's Lover to get a feel for the pheasant coop/hut logistics, and a) this book is actually pretty funny - kind of a bleak, saucy comedy, and b) Mellors reminds me so much of a younger Nicholas Higgins. I can't unsee it. Like, the whole exchange with the key, and his particularly flippant form of class-consciousness. And he's just so, like, *sigh* "All right then... I guess we're doing this." *commences steamy, sticky affair*

Nicholas Higgins/kind of ditsy version of Ann Latimer...

Or oh my god Nicholas/Fanny.....

Or Nicholas/Edith...

Probably Edith is actually the closest to Connie. If Captain Lennox was an impotent, infantile dipshit. She's not dumb so much as she's just sort of... willfully simple. To accommodate the restrictions of her class, her family, her marriage, etc. Until of course she finds herself completely fed up with it all and basically just falls on the gamekeeper's ****.

And they've got some real chemistry. And it's actually cute as hell. I love how it annoys her that he puts on this thick accent, but eventually they trade accents back and forth, and... it's so cute.

But what I'm saying is that I'm going to have to do some work to get my mind back into the John Thornton/Margaret Hale-via-Vera-Brittain version, because the characters are actually quite different.
I would die for a Nicholas/Edith LC pairing. WRITE IT!
The secret of life lies in laughter and humility. —GKC
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Philipaholt
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Post by Philipaholt »

Caesia390 wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 3:23 pm Thank you!

That is helpful.

I also miss having a blog. Back in the old Harry Potter days I had a livejournal where I could throw all sorts of random thoughts and ideas.

But on the other hand this does rather force things to percolate and actually manifest in the form of reasonably coherent fiction.

It's funny how many old associations this is bringing up.... The Great War reminds me of old Gundam Wing fics, and then thinking of Milton/Manchester in the 1920s I'm getting flashes of Peaky Blinders, stylish but melodramatic... Lol no need whatsoever for a gangster subplot, thank you.

I think I also feel a lot of urgency because I'm simultaneously trying to balance work and family and online courses and fanfiction has hijacked my brain. This hasn't happened to me in years!

But I'm just going with it.
AS someone whose brain is hijacked on a daily basis...I can sympathize. I AM enjoying your current story so do keep at it while you can! :hug
The secret of life lies in laughter and humility. —GKC
Caesia390
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Post by Caesia390 »

Philipaholt wrote: Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:33 pm I would die for a Nicholas/Edith LC pairing. WRITE IT!
Bwahahaha! XD

I feel like you could basically just find/replace the names in a full text of Lady Chatterley and it would work!

Though maybe it would be interesting to transpose the story backwards in time, from the immediate post-war period to the height of the Victorian era... HMMmmmmm....

And I'm glad you're enjoying the current story! It certainly isn't done with me yet. :)
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