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Post Reply When it comes to writing stories, do you sweat the small stuff instead of writing?
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Posted 2/17/14 , edited 2/17/14
Theonesoywaldo,
I understand what you are saying. When writing everyone has their own base level of comprehension of the language that they are using. I especially try to use the best grammar and spellings possible in my rough drafts, this isn't an attempt to be able to present it to someone, but to be able to know what I was thinking when I wrote it.

However, what I mean when I say don't sweat the small stuff is, I don't go back to correct my writing either. In my rough draft stage I am still creating, my thoughts flowing on my chosen medium are more important than how they are presented at that time. Final draft, where I polish the work is where I start looking for the errors. How do the words flow? Have I conveyed my thought fully, can I make it better? Why waste time polishing something that may not be used?

PS It is interesting to note that I have to pop back into this post a few times. There are several reasons why I use rough drafts LOL
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Posted 2/18/14
sgillott,

Thank you for the clarification in regards to your own approach. I can certainly see the merit in jotting your ideas before you lose them -- I know I've lost my share. Even so, in my personal practices, I am incredibly meticulous when it comes to writing, thinking over and revising practically each line multiple times before I move on. (These sentences alone are the product of exhaustive concern to portray myself and my writing/language adequately; I pour far too much thought into any action of expression, which explains an awful lot, but I digress.) It's something akin to a neurosis (or it very well is one) that I must carve my way down to shape even the slightest sentence instead of lop it down in one fell swoop. However, in doing this, it also helps to coordinate the direction of my writing; I do not necessarily plot out my thoughts beforehand, but let them design their own course. Such a process has its drawbacks as I often have no way of fitting in some arguments (to clarify, I'm thinking of this in the way that I write essays) without disrupting the continuity and flow of the paper itself, but in this congruous creation, my writing structurally supports itself and should not give the impression of a void. (It should be noted that this is done with maximum length limitations [generally between 12-20 pages] in mind, which sometimes means paring down my arguments. Allowing my writing itself to dictate what information is introduced and explicated is the most natural means of developing a thorough thesis in the allotted space.) What I mean to say is that what I write is rigidly wrought, but intricately woven (as best as I can muster anyhow) at first pass; I rarely write more than one draft and read through essentially as a means to clean up loose threads (spelling errors and whatnot).

...With all of that being said, it is an excruciating practice. This brief message itself took far more time to write than I am willing to admit. If you can manage drafting, it is by all means the healthier way to write.
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Posted 2/18/14
Theonesoywaldo,

Thank you for your reply. I understand Believe me I do understand.
After years of writing, I have found a simple truth. There is no single correct way of writing. The way you work, the way I do, even the way that someone like Stephen King works is entirely different from one another. What we share among ourselves on technique is really an insight in the way our minds work. I thank you for sharing that small piece of yourself. I can only believe that what we share here will help others in their endeavors.

SGillott

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Posted 2/21/14



I worry too much though.
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Posted 2/22/14 , edited 2/22/14
Don't worry, be happy!

Just let your thoughts flow on to the paper. Most new writers expect that the story will form itself on the paper ready to published. They don't realize that it takes at least 3 drafts for a work to be ready. Each one of these drafts can be reworked several times. This is just to make the work as polished as possible. There is a story of Hemingway taking a month just to write a single line in one of his works. He knew what he wanted the line to say from the start. It took him that long to phrase it the way he wanted. Don't let people like me tell you exactly how to write though. If you listen to us you will get discouraged. I want to help, this is the way that I work.

The main thing to remember when writing is to have fun. Keep practicing, set goals to write so much every day, and don't stop. One day you will figure out what will work for you.

And one day, when your publisher asks who do you want to thank in your forward, remember me, and laugh as you thank someone else.

PS See! I had to come back in here and edit
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Posted 2/23/14



Thank you. I'm more of an on and off type of writer who been this way for a long time. It doesn't help that my ADHD/bipolar gets in the way or simple fear.

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Posted 2/23/14
I know both of them, they are horrible roommates. They never clean up after themselves, and sit right next to you when there is a cute girl in the room, I just tell them I am writing now and leave it at that.
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Posted 2/24/14

sgillott wrote:

I know both of them, they are horrible roommates. They never clean up after themselves, and sit right next to you when there is a cute girl in the room, I just tell them I am writing now and leave it at that.




Huh?
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Posted 2/24/14
ADHD and fear. They are horrible roommates. In other words they live with you. I have a bit of experience with them myself.
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Posted 2/26/14

sgillott wrote:

ADHD and fear. They are horrible roommates. In other words they live with you. I have a bit of experience with them myself.


Oh okay.
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Posted 2/28/14
Everything is a part of the writing process to me.
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Posted 2/28/14

Shrapnel893 wrote:

Everything is a part of the writing process to me.



Okay.
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Posted 3/15/14

qualeshia3 wrote:

Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.


I find myself worrying about making grammar mistakes(I HATE IT!) and showing rather than telling. I write the story then get annoyed by my work once I read it over. Got any advice for me.

Explain your answer in great detail.


There are different kinds of editing. I've seen flawlessly structured stories that were dead inside. I've seen scattered pieces that had one or two great ideas that never came to fruition because the author had the grammar of someone on drugs. Whatever the problem is, there's a type of editing for it somewhere.

From the original post it sounded like you worry about showing too much, not telling enough? Check your setting descriptions. You might have pretty good character "animations" and simply not be giving enough environmental detail. I had that problem in the first book, which was action-horror. I was great at keeping things moving, but I had to ADD environmental detail during the editing process.

It's also possible, given the place we're having this discussion, that your writing is meant more for comics, games, or visual novels - not pure literary pieces. If you have great dialogue and great "action" but suck at the mundane details, it's something to think about.

You'll make fewer grammar mistakes the more you read, actually.
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Posted 3/15/14


I get the feeling I tell too much rather than show and the characters aren't even fictionally human enough to appeal to the readers. Grammar, punctuation, syntax, vocabulary, and etc are always on my mind. When I think about the story, I can see it like watching a movie yet when I write it feels different. The same happens when I read a fiction novel. I CAN NOT visualize what happens in the story my mine is always focused on something else. If there is a fight scene going on in chapter 5 of a story, the only thing I can do is read it instead of reading and visualizing together. It's so annoying and it been that way since I was young. I have ADHD/bipolar which causes problems for me when it comes to reading. I get the feeling it affects my writing too.

I haven't been able to enjoy reading and writing creatively since it doesn't feel real anymore. I write yet it doesn't feel the same. I lost all motivation and dedication for it.







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Posted 3/16/14 , edited 3/16/14
I'm not a good story writer and I focus mainly on poetry but when I do write stories, I tend to start with a skeleton and build my way up, polishing and refining the story, gradually fleshing it out and shaving it, plumping it up and trimming it into shape over several editing sessions. This is done in sections, which I assemble in the end to create the story.

Then, after I initially think I am done, I will leave it alone for a few days to a few weeks. I'll stop stewing on it and I clear my mind during this time. This is a recovery period. Afterward, I'll keep going back to it any number of times to make increasingly smaller changes. My poetry goes through this particular process as well. I have some poems that are a couple of years old and I am STILL tweaking them here and there. In a depressing sense, you can never really be 100% done. This is more applicable to stories than poems because you can at least 'feel' that a poem is complete and every word is in its proper place. I never feel that way when I write stories.

I write stories sort of like how some people draw by first creating a crude outline and making changes to it. This is vastly different from how I write poetry, which might account for why I'm uncomfortable writing stories. Sometimes, it does bug me when I'm in the middle of writing and feel that I need to make each part perfect before adding more but, more often than not, that is counterproductive and results in the swifter manifestation of writer's block. I will check for grammar, word usage and spelling errors the entire time but I'm usually sober enough to avoid making them in the first place. But it happens and I always eventually catch my own mistakes.

Of course, different people write in different ways. People may also change how they write depending on their mood, experience and style. I know people who can write parts of stories in complete sections in chronological order and with minimal editing, but this is very rare and difficult to do. Even rarer are people who can do this and complete an entire story in one sitting. Stories take me days to write.
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