Have youe ever just written down loads of words just to try and inspire yourself?:

Discussion in 'Writers Forum' started by SelfControl, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. SelfControl

    SelfControl Boned.

    I have. it's practically all I do these days, actually. More of a lyric writing thing, but there you go. When I'm a desperate hasbeen I'll sell it to my adoring fans at an extortionate price. :X

    So yeah, anyone else ever done this?
     
  2. madbeast

    madbeast Member

    aactually yea ,i do it a lot, not so much as to inspire myself though, but it always seems to b the outcome anyway =) ill just b bored and ill sit wiht a piece of paper and litterarlly write the first things that come to my mind, it usually starts out just a bunch of nonesense, mostly funny crap lol but then ill hit something and go off on a tangent about something, ending it wiht either the retellingof a past event or something i believe strongly in: love , someone in my family, the world in general, i wrote a particuallrly interesting one on aliens once lol i usually like to do this though when im down on myself cus it gets my inner thoughts out in a positive way.
     
  3. SelfControl

    SelfControl Boned.

    I just have this problem at the moment where I can't think of a subject. i can come up with scenarios, and I can write fairly well (apparently), but I just get stuck knowing what to write about. So just writing without a subject suits me. I'll put some of it on here if I get time.
     
  4. cutelildeadbear

    cutelildeadbear Hip Forums Gym Rat

    yes, i've done that in the past. i haven't been writing much these days. i also journal and sometimes i go back to my old journals to find some sort of emotion to draw from to write. even if i'm not feeling the same thing, i still remember how situations made me feel which helps get ideas moving. i also take bits and pieces of song lyrics and just write them down and mix them all around to see if i can incorporate them into anything.
     
  5. White Scorpion

    White Scorpion 4umotographer

    I'm perplexed, SC. Your writing is of a higher calibre and your e-mails are sensible. I can't believe that you would find any difficulty. It may be that you don't get enough time, due to other commitments, which in turn wear you down. I'm saying this, because that's what I'm experiencing. May I be bold to suggest that you think about something that you feel so passionate about, an injustice for example, that will compel you to write a story about it! Looking forward to seeing your writing.
     
  6. SelfControl

    SelfControl Boned.

    I can be eloquent when I want to be, but I think it's been a long time since I've felt strongly about anything. Also, I'm meant to be writing an EP, and I've been trying so hard to be original in the lyric I haven't written anything at all cohesive. Meh.
     
  7. roly

    roly Senior Member

    In answer to your quesion yes. In fact thats generally how most of my work starts off...its great!
    Roly.xxx
     
  8. kidder

    kidder Member

    What I'll do in my journal is pick someone or something from my past and write down everything I can remember about him, her or it. It's amazing how thorough Time is. The little bastard keeps most of it to himself but slowly we can drag it out of him. It's worth a try!
     
  9. very common writing excercise that works well.

    So yes, I do.

    Another great one is to picture a color in your mind and then write about and just keep writing about it until it feels done. I started on a color 2 years ago and it's over 100 pages longs and still going.
     
  10. kitty fabulous

    kitty fabulous smoked tofu

    i usually start out by doing an exercise i call "taking the trash out". i get all my bad writing out of my system before getting down to the real work. it usually will be a couple of pages of whining, complaining, demands and imagined expectations that have nothing to do with what or why i want to write, self-criticism, and personal melodrama. i do this until i get bored, which happens very quickly.

    i follow this sometimes with a 10 minute or 3-page undirected or directed freewrite, just to get things flowing. put your pen down on the paper & don't stop writing until time's up, or you've filled 3 pages. this isn't "real" writing yet, although sometimes an idea will pop in there i can use. this is practice, it's saying, "ok, brain, we're going to sit down & write now." i may then do a few minutes of organizational writing, outlines, character notes, whatever, depending on what i'm working on just then. if i'm working on a project & am having trouble coming up with ideas or solutions, i may do some specific exercises that relate to the problem. there is a book calle what if? exercises for fiction writers that is useful for this, i can't think of the author. again, i keep these brief.

    after the exercises, i get down to business. by now i'm ready to concentrate & have ideas flowing. i'll spend half an hour or longer writing chapters, putting some "flesh" on my skeletal outline, or solving specific problems i've been struggling with. i often find i get ideas for solving other problems, or questions that need to be answered about the story, while i'm writing. this is distracting. i jot these things down an index card to set aside & deal with later, one thought at a time. i've already expressed my preference for index cards. for me, this cuts down on distractions & delaying tactics. after i've done the main writing work for the session, i may do another exercise, edit, some more organizing, or deal with the tidbits on the index cards before calling it quits.

    this is what works for me, but you may have a different writing style. it's important to observe & become familiar with your own writing habits. for me it helps to have a visual system that forces me to take things one at a time. that's why i "take out the trash" & freewrite first, and jot unrelated ideas down on index cards to get them out of my head & out of my way before they become a distraction.

    a couple of things i could add - i forget who it was, but there was one author who said it was not possible to write and edit at the same time. when you write, write, and don't stop for distractions. if you have a nagging thought, jot it down elsewhere to get it out of the way. but don't go back and try to edit while you're writing. writing is a process of creation, editing is a process of elimination & refinement. do that later, when you're done with the creating. don't expect to get every sentence perfect while writing, because human brains don't work that way.

    another thing to consider, when you're "stuck" on a topic: in zen & the art of motorcycle maintenence, robert pirsig writes of a student of his who was stuck on writing asignment. she had planned on writing about a building across the street, but couldn't find anything to say about it. pirsig had her narrow her focus down further and further, until he had her writing about a specific brick on the facade. she wrote pages and pages about the stupid brick. sometimes if you're having trouble writing big and profound, try focusing down to some stupid little mundane detail. you'll be amazed how well that works.

    but try the freewriting, and don't forget to "take out the trash" if necessary.
     
  11. SelfControl

    SelfControl Boned.

    I'm afraid I store the trash. I have a good 32 pages from the last couple of months just sitting there on my harddrive at the moment.

    I tried the card index idea once, and it was quite successful, but I became unhappy with my plot (because it was basically a cross between Bridget Jones and Bodily Harm, with a horrendous bisexual love story tacked on to keep me interested) and ditched it. Still, I got that up to about 80 pages (handwritten, I write better by hand, plus I can edit it when I type it up, rather than do it in Word and end up agonising over each and every line). I think once I have a rough idea what happens in what order in a story, I can write better, because I can jsut write the bits I want to and join them up later. A lot of people don't like that method, but pfft.
     
  12. kitty fabulous

    kitty fabulous smoked tofu

    having it on your hard drive is still better than having it in your head while you're trying to write, or worse, showing up in your story! who knows, sometimes under controlled circumstances you might even be able to use it - for example, my own self-criticism could very well form the basis for Briar's dysfunctional internal monologue in my story. but you certainly don't want to let it run amok and raise merry hell with your "real" writing. that's why i give it a place, where it can fester its nasty little heart out on a separate page, harmlessly away from what i'm trying to work on. you might want to try this for 5 minutes or so before you write. i find it to be a very refreshing exercise, and it improves my concentration and the quality of my work, and makes the editing process easier.

    what i love about using the index cards is that it makes it easier to set thoughts aside for later. as kidder pointed out in the thread about languages, i've a talent for coming up with delaying tactis. but another nice thing about the cards is that the thoughts are there for later, and sometimes if i find myslef "stuck" i can go back to the cards for that day, do a directed freewrite, and come up with an idea to change it.

    i find it easier to do the "raw" writing by hand too - actually, taking a pointer from natalie goldberg, i tend to like writing in cafes & coffee shops because i find the change of environment helpful. (and also there's the fact that it is difficult to write with a toddler climbing on you, regardless.) she even gives advice for selecting pens and paper for this kind of writing. she suggests using a flip-top pad and smooth-flowing rollerball to increase writing speed & prevent your hand from tripping up your fast-moving your thoughts. i myself prefer ball-point pens & composition books, because the slight sticky "drag" of the pen forces me to slow down enough to keep the writing legible. although lately i do wish i had a laptop word processor, so at least i could keep everything in one place.

    i am terrible with delaying tactics, and will waste a lot of time coming up with elaborate detail when i still don't know where my story is going. when i found myself getting bogged down with the language, i made myslef at least write out a skeletal outline of the whole story first, so at least have an idea where things are going & how they're getting there before i drown in detail. the skeleton provides the structure to build the story on, all i have to do is flesh it out with the detail i love to play with so much. that doesn't make it carved in stone, either. i try not to get too attatched to the words i write, keeping them flexible, so that if i need to change something later i won't be tempted to keep a part that really isn't working, just because i had fun writing it. i'm sure an editor would be even more merciless than i am.
     
  13. SelfControl

    SelfControl Boned.

    I always struggle with beginnings, especially is I don't know where the thing is going. So I try and just write the bits that interest me at the time, that help advance the plot or whatever. It's tricky, you'd have to do a lot of editting to join everything up and get continuity right, but it does at least mean that, even if you don't know exactly where the story's going, you have a good core to work on. If there's a scene that's absolutely crucial to the story, write that first; if it's central to the story, the other stuff can kind of bend to it. You don't want to end up having to change the part you really like just because of something you wrote earlier on when your heart wasn't really in it.

    I did think about doing a Name Generator for characters. I'm never happy with character names, it's probably a big factor in what stops me writing because I need to know who is thinking and doing what, and while I've tried writing with characters having numbers instead of names (with the intention of replacing them later) I just find the character isn't really real to me. Anyway, I never got round to making it.
     
  14. madbeast

    madbeast Member



    i find it easier to do the "raw" writing by hand too - actually, taking a pointer from natalie goldberg, i tend to like writing in cafes & coffee shops because i find the change of environment helpful. (and also there's the fact that it is difficult to write with a toddler climbing on you, regardless.) she even gives advice for selecting pens and paper for this kind of writing. she suggests using a flip-top pad and smooth-flowing rollerball to increase writing speed & prevent your hand from tripping up your fast-moving your thoughts. i myself prefer ball-point pens & composition books, because the slight sticky "drag" of the pen forces me to slow down enough to keep the writing legible. although lately i do wish i had a laptop word processor, so at least i could keep everything in one place.
    i have to write everything by hand first. my friends dont get it, but idk,i just cant type something on the computer right away, it needs to come from ME and i feel it does more when i see it in my own handwriting. the computer seems to final. i prefer writing in notebooks of any kind really, and like to use any pen that allows me to go fast and that doesnt need me to use too much pressure since this gives me more time to write in onne shot before my hand hurts. and i like to write in my room, its like my special place where i can sit alone with no distractions, quietly, in an environment that keeps my mind imaginative.
    one thing i noticed though i have a problem with is writing, stopping, and picking it back up. iv only been able to write short stories mainly because i find that im never in the same mood twice, ever. my moods are never the same, so if im feeling one way and writing the piece coveys a sertain feeling, and if i try to pick it back up, the way i write and the feeling conveyed seems to change. this doesnt count for editing though, but the actual writing and thinking and creating. i have to do it in one sitting from start to finish. i wish there was a way to keep the feelings i get so i CAN go back to my story at a later time, especially since i have an awesome idea for a novel, but i obviously cant do it in one sitting...
    I did think about doing a Name Generator for characters. I'm never happy with character names, it's probably a big factor in what stops me writing because I need to know who is thinking and doing what, and while I've tried writing with characters having numbers instead of names (with the intention of replacing them later) I just find the character isn't really real to me. Anyway, I never got round to making it.
    o god lol one of my favorite things is thinking of character names...i love interesting names myself, and wish to name my daughter Cypress like the tree. anyway lol for me i took this baby name book of my dads i found one day. it has like names for all over the world, all different places and cultures, as well as give their meanings, a history if there is one, and the many forms it can also b written in. i use this as my character name bible almost lol if they are from a certain area i refer to it and name them accordingly, as well as i like to keep the names so they correspond with their personalities. if they are nice person ill pick a name that says means kind hearted, u no? idk, this is just what i do lol idk Y i find it fun...its just so cool see them come to life with a name, its like their soul to me, a good name helps me create a good character.
     
  15. kitty fabulous

    kitty fabulous smoked tofu

    baby name books are great resources for writers. old phone books are a good source of names, too. you don't have to match up the same first and last names, after all. when i'm writing & i don't have a character or place name yet, i just leave a little dash; it'll get filled in when i type.

    when i freewrite, it's even more raw than a rough draft; it usually goes into the computer by the second or third draft, but it usually changes even after that. it's done when it's right, not when its been rewritten a certain number of drafts. i try not to get attatched to my words; i change things and move things around. sometimes i'll scrap an entire chapter & start over.

    and i never write linearly. i don't think it's necessary to write chapeter 1 and then proceed to 2, in fact i think for me that's a very limiting way to write and often causes problems. if you want to write a longer story, but have trouble carrying the mood of a certain scene, try jumping to another part of the story, and working on that. you'll find sometimes when you sit down to write, you'll say to yourself "i really feel like continuing that death scene," or "now's a good time to work on introducing the heroine to her sweetheart," and it'll be much easier to keep the mood of the scene. of course, i think you should be willing to edit and re-edit enough times that it gets unified anyway, whether you were in the "mood" or not. your words are not sacred, they are your tools. you're the boss, put them to work for you, and don't be afraid of changing them if they're not working out the way you want.
     
  16. BlackGuardXIII

    BlackGuardXIII fera festiva

    I read that J.K. Rowling wrote the last chapter of book seven of the Harry Potter series first. I don't know if that is true, though. It makes sense, as it would allow you to be very specific with your foreshadowing. The Sixth Sense seemed like a movie that could have been written that way.

    I have no advice to offer other than 'just write', whenever, however, in whatever order you like, but just keep writing. One page a day adds up to a 365 page book in a year.
     

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