faerie_dreamer: an open book & writing utencils, a blank page ready for all the creativity you can pour into it (Default)
[personal profile] faerie_dreamer
Background on this post:

So, I was writing a story - something I hope to turn into a novel. At the time that I got stuck, I'd managed to get 25 scenes written. I say scenes, because I don't really know if they break into chapters the same way, given that some of them are many pages, and others are really, really brief. I'd gotten a good deal of a 26th scene written out as well.

As a random aside, my writing method is as follows: I physically hand-write the scene. Once it's written out longhand in a notebook, I proceed to type it up. I do a lot of re-phrasing, some editing, and a lot of descriptive adding at this point. I will go back to it later to re-read what I've got typed up to see if I can catch any spelling or grammatical errors, and see if I still like the way I've got the scene worked out. I usually wind up making corrections and fixing things, and I determine if it flows well. A lot of times I'll re-read the scene before it too, to check that it flows with what's all ready there.

This method of writing is in part due to necessity: I can often get a lot of writing done at work, but I can't use my laptop there, and a notebook is easier to carry about. Also, I have always enjoyed writing things down. Something about that just makes the process more pleasurable for me. ::shrugs::

The actual post:

There was one scene I knew I was going to have to re-write. My main character won out too quickly and easily against someone that he should have really needed to work at beating.
Even though I knew that scene was going to need work, I kept writing. I had too many ideas to work on to pause and reconfigure that one scene...and, truth be told, I had no idea how to re-write it. I got an awful lot further in the story before I really got stuck, and when I got stuck, I decided to take a small break from the writing. I read instead, and did other stuff to occupy my mind.

When I decided to go back to writing, I actually spent a lot of time re-reading the scene I knew needed the most work. I must have sat down 7-10 times to try and re-write it. I just blanked, I couldn't come up with anything to make it better, or to make it even work. I'd get up and leave and do something else...so I didn't really go back to writing. ::laughter:: I just tried to. Once inspiration hit me though, it all clicked. And that was fantastic! Except that it led to a lot more work.

When I was done with that one scene (which was far from simple for me to manage), I knew that the scene immediately following it would also need a lot of changes. For one, the original opening was certainly not going to suit any more - the ending of the scene I'd re-written had completely changed all that. So I wrote a new beginning to the following scene, to lead in to what I'd all ready written. Then I went back to re-read the story, thus far, from the beginning...and realized that my writing style had drastically changed since I'd started writing. The re-written scene was much better - still descriptive, as all my stuff had been - but the tone was vastly different. The plot was better defined, and the action more drawn out the way it should have been. It was definitely improved, but that meant that everything I'd written before I re-wrote that scene was no longer up to snuff. Lots of work ahead of me, and a creative challenge to boot.

I was exhausted at the prospect of having to re-write the entire story; I was invigorated by the fact that I now knew that I could do a much better job of writing that same story, however. The excitement was the bigger part of it, and I embraced the challenge, promising myself that I would cut, edit, and add as I needed to make the whole story fit together. It's a good thing I did. When I printed out the scenes to re-read and re-write, I wound up crossing off an awful lot of stuff. The first scene I'd treated had doubled in length. The second nearly did as well...and so it went, right up until I got back to the scene I'd first re-written.

Although I'd written a new opening for the following scene, I had stopped there. From that point, I decided it made more sense to re-write the story in order, the same way I'd been trying (so hard!) to write it to begin with. Re-writing that scene actually took nearly as much work as the first scene, though it wasn't as long

That's when I ran into my next problem: An explosion of ideas for plot, sub-plot, character development, and everything else. Having the plot better defined was great! But there were so many new directions. I couldn't keep track of all the ideas I had flitting around in my mind and I was trying to figure out which ones were the ones I should keep. I made a few decisions about things, but my next problem proved to be knowing where to put what information and plot stuff.

I needed an outline - something at which I'd never been terribly accomplished at creating. I have enough trouble trying to write things in chronological order. I'd never actually written an outline for any of my creative writing projects. Of course, I'm not entirely certain anything I'd ever written before was really quite complex enough to require one.

So that's where I am now.

I'm currently writing out an outline of all the scenes I have all ready re-written, using the roman numeral A) 1.2.3. B) 1.2.3. style. It's a style I feel I can only use for creative writing when I've all ready written the story out. ::laughter:: I don't think my mind works logically enough to be able to continue in that style once I break into new territory - the "where do I write from here?" portion will require more of an actual writing-style outline. I'm hoping just trying to write out where I want the story to go from here will help with placement of certain pieces of plot. I'm trying to break the habit of writing without an outline. I really do need to become better at planning out the story in a physical form prior to actually writing it out completely. I suspect it will make the next explosion of ideas a bit easier to handle!

And, uhm, I think that's my first official post on y own craft-work. ::laughter:: For anyone who's reading this, please feel free to comment with any ideas about outlining - how you do it, if you find it helpful, why you like one way of outlining over another, etc. I'm currently rather open to new ideas!


faerie_dreamer: an open book & writing utencils, a blank page ready for all the creativity you can pour into it (Default)

May 2013

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