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Thread: How do you write?

  1. How do you write?

    This is geared to the people writing creatively, not those making a grocery list or what have you.

    How do you do it? Do you hand write? Do you use a type writer? A computer? Are you partial to a particular font/paper/pen?

    I write lyrics almost exclusively with ballpoint pen in small composition books, edge to edge like that guy in Seven. I used to be kind of fancy about it, buying snooty hardcover books to write in, but I've managed to cut that shit. I've tried using a computer, or my iPad, but nothing ever comes of it. I think it's the "oh, I'll just jot this thing down" instead of "now I will sit down and write"

    Do you write when the mood hits, or do you write at 8pm for 45 minutes 5 nights a week? I use about 25% of what I write, how about you?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fe 26 View Post
    No one uses sigs.

  2. What I mean by that is for a song with two verses I'll try to write a bunch, then take the good parts, or change things, or whatever. It's a very fluid process.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fe 26 View Post
    No one uses sigs.

  3. I used to write on whatever I could find whenever the mood hit me. Then I surrendered to negative feedback and haven't written in 8 years or so. I'm terrified of it.

  4. I only write about robots and movies and shit for very similar reasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fe 26 View Post
    No one uses sigs.

  5. I have adjusted to the electronic age.
    I used to have to write with pen and paper if I wanted to get anything done. Too many distractions accompanied the laptop.
    But my manuscript would end up looking like a football play book with arrows, circles, and x's all over it. Much time was wasted writing and rewriting.
    I now use Word. It's great.
    For all my papers for school and pleasure, I do most of the work in my head first, then type it out. I've found that mentally writing for a few days before I physically write allows me to get over the initial intimidation of the blank page. I usually edit each previous paragraph when the following paragraph is done in order to ensure proper flow. I then give the whole thing a reread once it's complete and clean up from there.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Some Stupid Japanese Name View Post
    I do most of the work in my head first, then type it out. I've found that mentally writing for a few days before I physically write allows me to get over the initial intimidation of the blank page.
    This is me figuring out the melody and the pacing before the words.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fe 26 View Post
    No one uses sigs.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    How do you do it? Do you hand write? Do you use a type writer? A computer? Are you partial to a particular font/paper/pen?

    I write lyrics almost exclusively with ballpoint pen in small composition books, edge to edge like that guy in Seven. I used to be kind of fancy about it, buying snooty hardcover books to write in, but I've managed to cut that shit. I've tried using a computer, or my iPad, but nothing ever comes of it. I think it's the "oh, I'll just jot this thing down" instead of "now I will sit down and write"

    Do you write when the mood hits, or do you write at 8pm for 45 minutes 5 nights a week? I use about 25% of what I write, how about you?
    I liked that glimpse into the process for musical writing, as I have zero experience with it and only ever see the outcome of that process.

    Sorry for TLDR but who knows - maybe this will help someone.

    For me there are a couple of parts. I always have a ball point pen and one of those little flip pads no matter what. I have this tremendous universe swirling around in my head that's comprised of names, events, places, planets … you name it. There are general things that I know and won't forget but sometimes I'll just be sitting there and be like, "Holy crap, Steve was friends with Kim and she grew up on Planet X. Planet X is where History Joe staged a rebellion and he's a distant ancestor of hers…" and I have to get that stuff down. Or, if I'm actively editing stuff I've written, edits will pop into my head throughout the day.

    In the past I used a pen and notebook to write. Now I use a computer and that's split into a couple of different areas: I have spreadsheets filled with family trees, auxiliary history, names of places, whatnot. I also have a document for every character that covers what they look like, important pieces of their past, when and where they were born, when/where/how they died, their motivations, and where they appear or are mentioned.

    I use the same process for the actual stories:
    - The skeleton covers the major plot points I need to hit.
    - I flesh out the major events surrounding the plot points.
    - I discover who/what is involved in those things, compare to their character docs, and place them in. Then I update the doc.
    - Based on who is where, travel time, etc. I split things up into chapters.
    - I write a one-page synopsis for each chapter.
    - I write each viewpoint but only use specific ones (could switch mid chapter). The unused ones go into the "DVD Commentary" for the manuscript.
    - After that it's a matter of editing, cross-checking events, and reading each chapter on its own for continuity.

    I use Courier for the MS. For the chapter files I use Lora, with the viewpoint names in Cinzel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    What I mean by that is for a song with two verses I'll try to write a bunch, then take the good parts, or change things, or whatever. It's a very fluid process.
    I can churn out 40-50k words in a sitting, which is perhaps a work shift of writing, but other times I will take the same amount of time to write 3k-5k. When I write a lot of words it's generally my brain just getting things out - events are happening and I'm letting the characters do whatever comes to mind, and all of that gets distilled down to 3k-5k anyway. The times where I only write the 3k-5k it's a super important event - major character arc surprise, weighty death, Chekhov's gun or red herring - so I prefer to get it right the first time over distilling. Two examples:

    During the writing process of the first book there were several battles and while they served to advance mystery about how the "bad guys" are such good fighters I needed them to have tons of events so over a weekend I wrote 100k words which were the viewpoints of three characters and then some unnamed soldiers. That got condensed into 4 chapters (4 battles), maybe 12k-15k words.

    I realized that the second book ended with the male lead descending into so much despair that he's on the verge of giving up, but all of this is experienced via the characters he alienates. I know what he's going to do but I felt it was disingenuous to end without some glimpse of what he's doing so I sat down and added 2.5k deliberate words over 8 hours.
    - calianaderderajhfjdjjdskk
    Check out my stories: guildlibrary.net

  8. It's like Empire.
    Shit looks dire, but at least Luke got a new hand.

  9. I watched an interview with Jon Anderson of Yes and the interviewer was asking about his lyrics. Paraphrasing here, but essentially he said not to worry about the words so much because they didn't define the reason for the song's existence. He just wrote the words that best fit the song to evoke a certain feeling or experience. The words simply matched the tempo and phrasing and didn't have any deeper meaning. They don't have to if the music does the job.

    What I take is; do you enjoy music in a language you can't understand? If so, why? Because art can reach out to you regardless of the obvious. This is why I hate country music. With every fiber of my being.

    Lyrics specifically never really mattered to me. I always thought it was about the movement.

    I find there are those that don't give a flying fuck at a rolling donut, and those who scrutinize a song for its every word.

    I'm going to get hammered and listen to my records now. Thanks for that, Josh.
    Last edited by Hubbitron; 10 Jul 2014 at 09:21 AM.

  10. Adding to that, I'm not trying to diminish the value of great poetry in music. I'm just drawn to the simplest execution. Why bother with so much language when you have all these instruments to help tell the story?

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