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Aerden
aerden
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November 2017
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Aerden [userpic]
A Question for Writers

I'm interested in opinions.

Is it better to not write at all, or is it better to write something, anything, even if you realize that you do not have a clear idea of your story's goal and haven't yet done all the background work?

I decided to pause in the writing of Archon of Gloucester because I felt I needed to do more background work and thinking before I continued writihng. It has paid off. I got an excellent idea today for the threats posed by the villain.

Comments

When you are a writer, staring out a window counts a working.

I think that we have to be open to where we need to be. Now, if you are on a deadline--say, if you're getting paid for this--I think it would be better to write something...but something you were ready to write. If you need to work on this scene more, write something else in the story. BUT--I think that there really are times when we need to stop, think, do research. And--honestly--that counts as writing!!! It is just as important a piece as getting the words down on paper.

If you want a rough rule--pausing to ponder or research is fine. The most time you get off is 24 hours if it's your job, 3 days if it's just what you want to do. Much longer than that, and you risk being paralyzed by your own inertia.

Not that I am in any way shape or form an expert on this subject!

Yeah, I agree with you about not getting paralyzed by one's own inertia. I do write something every day; it's just not always the bigger projects I'm working on--which, thankfully, are my own and not for a job.

Anybody I've ever spoken to who knew anything about writing (that is, my creative writing professors at school, who are all--I think--published writers themselves) told me that you should write every day even if you don't know what to write about. "Writing" can be defined as simply sitting at a desk with a pen in your hand, staring at a blank piece of paper, although the general idea is actually to produce something, whether it's worth keeping or not.

Generally, I write a scene even if I don't have all the details figured out yet, that way once I do figure them out and go back to rewrite, I already have a place to start from. If that makes any sense.

Like, I recently wrote a scene between two characters, and I know now that I will probably be going back to write it all over again, because the first version turned out slightly vulgar and I decided later I didn't like it that way. And I decided after I wrote it that it didn't fit their relationship or their personalities. At some point I realized that there was a lot of weird, dark, sexual stuff going on under the surface in this story, and it would probably be best if it stayed under the surface--that was more in line with the character of the story.

Ok, so what was I talking about again? ;)

Anyway, I hope that makes sense.

It makes sense, and I do agree that you should write something every day, if possible. One has to accept the fact that the way a writer works is not exactly the same way that an architect works.

Chantal