Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Novel Idea – Writing

This week, Ashley has chosen questions about writing, rather than about characters and their background. Which is an idea I love, because I can read about how others like or tend to do things, and maybe I'll even learn a thing or two.

click to link up to this week's post!

What does your writing process look like? Do you sit down and plot your story before you start writing, or do you usually start writing before you plot?

Usually, my stories start as a scene. A picture in my head which may or may not come to life with voices, actions, etc. If they don't start with a picture, they start as an unusual idea, though still a scene. I'll either jot down the idea, write the scene, or store the picture/voice[s] in my head for later. For me, plotting is the hardest part of writing. Characters are always the "easiest." Characters come to me along with the scenes (usually the scene(s) are based off the character(s)... it's kind of a two-in-one deal), while I have to really work at plotting. I might have a slight idea of where I want to go (in fact, for a few things, I've known the end first), but all of how and why and when and etc. of getting there is the issue.

With shorter writings (short stories, fanfics, etc.), I've found that I begin writing the beginning and write straight through until I come to the part where I've got to stop for a moment and think about what's going to happen next or how it's going to happen. While I'm trying to decide that, the end starts writing itself in my head, so I write that and then go back and fill in the middle. That's how I wrote MyrnaWater, Fire, and the fanfic I'll be posting sometime in the next few days.

Do you have any strange writing habits? Such as only writing in one certain place, etc?

The format I'm using very much affects my writing. I find it's easiest to write straight into a blog post or in iPad Notes, while OpenOffice pretty much kills my writing cells (though I have gotten work done using it). Is that strange?

Also, I've found that my best writing is almost always what I've written in the middle of the night.

Do you usually write on paper or on the computer? (Or on a typewriter?)

Most often, I write on iPad Notes. A close second is directly into a Blogger post (whether or not it's something I plan on posting). I have written in a notebook (I almost always have one with me as well as my iPad), but I mostly write in it only when I can't use my iPad or laptop, or if I'm writing a poem. For some odd reason, I've written almost all of my poems in notebooks. Though everything else usually gets written best on screen, poetry seems to like being written in notebooks.

I've always thought a typewriter would be really awesome to use. Unfortunately, I've not yet had the pleasure. I'm looking forward to the day I own one.

What authors inspire you to write better? Is there an author you'd like to be like?

Edgar Allen Poe, Ally Condie, Anne-girl, Rachel, Markus Zusak, Ely, Westmoure, Olivia, Vicki, Michael J. Kirby, Suzanne Collins.

Those are just the first few I thought of. Some of them aren't technically authors, but all are writers, and that is what counts here.

I don't know that I really want to be like any of them. I am who I am, and I will write like I write. But I am influenced by them, and through that influence find my own style. Not that I would mind being [positively] compared to them.

What advice would you give to people who want to start writing?

Oh, yes, I'm such a cunning and experienced writer. Let me impart my great wisdom to you.

Uhh... nope. In fact, most of you reading this probably have more of that than I do. I've only gotten truly serious about writing these past several months. But since you asked, here's a few thoughts:

1) Be prepared. Don't get started thinking it's all having fun and eating chocolate and drinking coffee. Writing is blood and torture and tearing your heart out over and over again. And lots and lots and lots of work. 
2) On the other hand, it can be a lot of fun, and there is chocolate and coffee (or tea, if you prefer it). Make sure you are having plenty of that along the way or your writing will suffer. All work and no fun makes for dull books. 
3) Read and read and read, and write and write and write. And then read and write some more. You learn so much more than you realize by reading good and bad books. The good ones are best, but the bad ones can be just as valuable from time to time because they show you what not to do — they point things out you might not notice otherwise. Writing is like any other skill — the more you do it, the better you'll get.

Writing, like anything else, is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Or something like that. This means two things: First, that you have to work at it. But, second, you're not a terrible writer because you're not constantly inspired. That's normal. It's called writer's block, which you attempt learn to work through and with.

Thinking about writing? Read these.

Hmm... those were rather long answers, weren't thy?

Feel free to comment and give your own thoughts or opinions. Better yet, write your own post! And don't forget to follow the button and link up so we can read your answers.



  1. I loved your answer for the last question. It's so true!!!

    1. Haha, thanks. That question was kind of weird to answer because... well, like I said!

  2. I love your first piece of advice for aspiring authors! Blood and torture. :P

    I like the mix-up of these questions because it's interesting to read everybody's responses about their writing process. :)

    1. Yes, it is. And it's neat to see the way each blogger answers, even if they happen to be saying basically the same thing. Everyone has their own way of putting it.

  3. Aww. That was really sweet of you! Tbh, I'm surprised you write on an iPad. I hate typing on my ipod, doesn't it make it easier to type the wrong thing, or no?

    1. I'm sure I'd end up killing an iPod if I tried writing on it. The iPad is pretty easy, I hold it sideways in both hands and type with my thumbs. The "keys" are plenty big enough. It didn't really even take much getting used to. At first, I just used it was much more convenient than attempting to lug my laptop around everywhere.

  4. Your last answer was AWESOME!! Thanks for writing that - it made me day, and it's so true!
    Thanks for linking up!

    1. Aww, thanks! You guys have just made mine. :)

  5. This was really, really fun to read! I loved hearing more about your writing style and preferences. The part about you getting scenes was especially fun to read, I think it's similar for me.

    I too have written on my iPod! Though it's not ideal, and I often get very, very frustrated. :P But I've had quite a few long car trips, and times where I'm away from home, so it's been nice to have that option when I need it. I was shocked one time when I somehow wrote 1K on my iPod. I still have no idea how I did it!

    I also loved your part about writing being torturous and hard work. " Be prepared. Don't get started thinking it's all having fun and eating chocolate and drinking coffee. Writing is blood and torture and tearing your heart out over and over again. And lots and lots and lots of work." Beautifully written, and so very true.

    I really liked reading this and I'm glad you shared this with us! Thanks for doing that. :)

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

      Well, you use what you've got, right? And I suppose if that means typing on a tiny screen, so be it. Not too many years ago, I would type stuff into my mom's smartphone when I didn't have my laptop with me. That was frustrating. Wow, 1k words on an iPod? Impressive.

      I actually don't own an iPod, but an iPad. Apple really should get just a bit more creative when they name their products, don't you think? It's so confusingly annoying sometimes.

      Why, thank you. *bows*

      Oh, the pleasure is mine! Thank you for coming by, and for the longish comment. :)

  6. *gasps* Matthew J. Kirby! Have you read Icefall? I love that book, and nobody I know seems to have read it. I love how the plot seems to always be moving and there's so much tension. And I love Solvieg. Her character and story arc. :)

    1. *instant friendship* Yes, of course! That's the only book I've read by him, in fact.

      I'm up that same tree with you. It's such an awesome read, though! You wonder how someone can *not* have read it.

      My favorite part of it was the style, and the whole story-telling theme. I didn't quite like the end as far as Asa goes (trying not to post spoilers, here), but other than that I absolutely love it! And the writings at the end of each chapter were so neat.

  7. Oh your answers are fantastic. XD I especially love your advice, too! Perfect advice. I think a lot of newbie writers underestimate how important it is to read. You learn so much from just reading, plus you get to eat awesome stories and say "it's for research". What could be better? Chocolate and coffee is a huge reason to be a writer. Honestly, it is.

    1. Oh, yes, I think they do. There's been plenty times where someone has given some great tip and I'm just like, but isn't that obvious? Until I figured out it's because I've read constantly ever since I was taught how at four or five year old. You learn to think like a reader, which is probably one of the most helpful things ever. It's readers you're writing to, after all!

      {Not discrediting the tip, of course. It certainly helps to be reminded. And I'm sure there's things others find obvious that I don't!}


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