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Your writing style:

 1 Tera Chimera, Sun, 20th Feb '11 8:53:20 AM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
Everyone has a different writing style, so what's yours? I'm curious to know how other people write. Give anything you think may or may not be important: settings, characters, plot, how you come up with stories, the way you write stories, things that frequently pop up in your writing, etc.

I come up with cool scenes in my head, and then try to justify them, so my stories tend to be a little backstory-heavy. For example, I wanted to make scene with a train sliding down a destroyed bridge, with the characters climbing up the cars before everything drops into the canyon below. I came up with a Masquerade, magically-created red mercury as the MacGuffin, a base in the mountains to justify the train (too high up for helicopters to access), and a plot involving recreating Die Glocke.

How much action I put in depends on the mood I'm in, and what I'm writing. I once came up with a game that involved very little combat. Another story has the main character jumps from one plane to another in mid-flight, magic users playing missile pong, carsurfing gunfights, and a temporarily invincible character doing a Rocket Jump.

I like writing character interaction. I occasionally fall into the Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue, but that usually only happens when there isn't much going on, such as the characters talking in a restaurant.

That's about it for me. What about you?

edited 20th Feb '11 8:53:49 AM by TeraChimera

"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
 2 cityofmist, Sun, 20th Feb '11 9:35:22 AM from Meanwhile City
turning and turning
I tend to come up with characters first, occasionally settings. Sometimes I'll get the 'flash of inspiration' thing but more often it's a result of me sitting down and thinking out a character, coming up with and discarding ideas. Some of them I do that very quickly - the other day I came up with John, who went from conception to roughly-who-he-is-at-the-moment in around ten minutes, while Aurelia, a protagonist, was slowly fleshing out inside my head for a while. Plots take me a lot longer to come up with - I think I first decided to write Aurelia's story about three months ago, and since then I've slowly been adding characters and bits of plot and keeping notes of any good ideas I come up with. The plot is still neither finished nor completely cohesive, so it'll take me a while before I actually start writing it, even though all of the main characters are happily running around my head snarking at one another.

I have to work hard not to do Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue as well. Also, of all of the adverbs which follow 'he/she said' in my writing, around 50% of them will be 'calmly'.
Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
 3 Tarsen, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 4:40:34 AM from somewhere or another. Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Hmmm~
[up][up] My story creating process is pretty much the same, only I focus much more on the character than the awesome event that started my interest in the story, and often I will write out the event entirely after a while.

My actual writing style, from what I can tell from the little I've actually written, is to focus on actions and events more than the background or anything like that. Often I can only really imagine conversations taking place in empty, featureless houses.

I really like dialogue, so I try to reach a conversation as soon as possible, but I'm careful not to make it awkward with exposition that wasnt asked for just so I can lengthen them, and I also like writing fight scenes, albiet short ones where literally every move means something- although I have a problem figuring out how to get it flowing smoothly.
Pro Tip: Spiders are not technically insects, but actually skeletons made of congealed hate.
 4 Crystal Glacia, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 5:11:17 AM from Cedarpointland
patience, young padawan
I come up with characters before anything else. Concepts for them come to me randomly at no warning, and they always start as job descriptions. For my protagonist "An assassin who kills to provide for his children." For his godfather Kiyoi Shimada, "An old samurai-turned-swordsmith."

I've also been doing a text-based, script-formated RPG for the last few years, so I can write dialogue really well in a way that feels natural because I hear it in my head. A lot of my descriptions seem to sound more like thoughts without directly saying "I", like in limited third-person.
Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.
 5 Collen, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 5:30:08 AM from it is a mystery
vilent waler
First I find a central idea. (For instance, owls.)

Then I come up with characters, each with different personalities for them. (Aviar, shy, oblivious. Phara, snooty, sour. Brash, hearty and snarky. Vit, smart and noble. Lysa, self-centered and jealous). Each of the characters don't always come together as a big happy family, but they stick together anyway, for their own reasons. I usually have a backstory for each of the characters, which will come into the story when the time is right. Occasionally a character will hint at his/her backstory, letting the reader piece together things. I never write flashbacks in present-tense, I always write them as a character speaking.

The only time I go to the Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue, it's usually because there's nothing to see. Like, if a character blacks out or something.

 6 Native Jovian, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 8:52:39 AM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
I tend to think of an interesting setting, system, or situation, and then pull backwards from that and try to think of how to write a story around that. For example, I've had an Alternate Universe Gundam fanfic idea in my head for ages (effectively, a UC timeline story with Giant Robot-equipped Space Pirates instead of all-out mecha warfare). So I think backwards; how would that situation arise? (The One Year War turns into a Forever War instead of ending after the first year.) How can I tell a story about it? (Feature the first group to make the transition from Space Trucker to Space Pirate.) Then just sort of let things flow from there.
 7 Volatin, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 3:32:56 PM from Massachusetts
Volatin
I wrote a fantasy novel that I'm currently working on getting published.

I figured out the concept and the setting WAY before anything else; the concept was the result of a nightmare and the setting was the result of sitting down for several hours and drawing a map to see what I could come up with, and then fine-tuning it until I was satisfied.

After that, I developed the backstory to the map and the concept. Finally, I started working on a plot and characters, and then I wrote. The pre-writing process took about a year.

The writing took about a year and a half, and editing is looking like it'll take another half-year. But maybe less :D

Anyways, irrelevant tangents aside, my writing is very heavy in dialogue. I would like to think that writing dialogue is one of my strengths.

I guess my writing style is less plot-driven and more character-driven. Sure, there's a plot, but I tend to have more fun developing the characters.

That's not to say that the plot goes slowly. :P At least, I hope not.

As I've been editing, I've noticed that I used to have a lot of Purple Prose, and that's something that I've always tried to avert. Because of that, my writing becomes much more succinct in editing because I eliminate redundant description.

Yeah, that was a tangent. I don't really know what I'm trying to say; I just like to talk about myself. :P I don't even know if that was coherent... it was kinda stream-of-consciousness.

 8 Quillpaw, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 5:59:42 PM from The Incinisphere
Mistress of Mongooses
I create a world first, then I justify the characters within that world, and in the creation, a plot forms around the characters that have sprung forth. Then I get really excited and build the world up more, and start thinking out the really awesome parts.

Then I get bored and abandon a half-finished first chapter to the dusty recesses of my idea thumb drive.
There is no limit to characters I can crack ship with a jailbait raven demon. Trust me on this.
 9 chihuahua 0, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 6:22:32 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
I sometimes think up the premise first, and sometimes the character. I then think up the plot, and start thinking up the basic structure of the story. I then fill in the holes.
 10 drunkscriblerian, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 6:29:58 PM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
I'm all over the place, but my stories always start with a random collection of images, imagined visions with the same "feel". Then, I have to string those into some semblance of a story, and explain who these people that I'm imagining are and why they're where I'm imagining them.

Also, drug visions and fever dreams have given me some good ideas.
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
 11 Dr Furball, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 8:40:41 PM from All Along the Watchtower Relationship Status: Dancing with myself
Up, up, and away!
Ideally, I'd like to start with an outline of the plots and sub-plots, then write a full script before drawing the comic. Lately, I've been skipping the script, though (gotta stop that).

I've noticed that I favor cities and alternate dimensions for settings. There's also a heavy use of magic and sci-fi elements. And lots of puns and non-sequiturs.
I have great ideas in my head, then successfully stare at a piece of paper for a while with pencil in hand. Then I curse the gods who created me and see what's on the tube.

That is my writing style in a nutshell.
Power corrupts. Knowledge is Power. Study hard. Be evil.
 13 pagad, Fri, 4th Mar '11 11:13:26 AM from perfidious Albion Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Sneering Imperialist
I think I am a little too keen on adjectives and adverbs.
 14 Metalitia, Sat, 5th Mar '11 1:10:37 AM from New York City
Transsexual needs <3
Sometimes I like to build an entire world and plot around a cool name that pops into my head. For instance, I came up with an entire setting just around the title/main character called "Jykku Jetty" (Jykku pronounced "jee-koo"), which is heavily inspired by Kurohime, Fullmetal Alchemist, Trigun, a bit of Chibi Vampire and Vampire Knight, a bit of Star Wars, with a few other things thrown in. The plot of the main story (there's also gonna be a spinoff focusing on an Expy of JJ's sidekick) revolves around a simple-at-first-listen missing-child quest, with some twists and turns along the way (and at the beginning too).

And all that came from just me wanting to do a manga-style story about a stylish ace gun-slinger named Jykku Jetty. grin
Original Story

1. Create a world. Get way too in-depth with it.

2. Populate it with characters, very slowly, often changing absolutely everything about them but their original names in the process.

3. Change the names of those characters.

4. Languish in a state of not quite having written enough actual story yet.

5. Console self by writing silly jokes, usually involving elaborate Deadpan Snarkery, non-sequiturs, and jokes about main male characters being gay for each other.

Fanfics

1. Come up with plot. Get way too in-depth with it.

2. Populate it with some new characters, but focus mostly on existing characters I like.

3. Attempt out to flesh out the existing world. Get way too in-depth with it.

4. Entertain self with shipping.

edited 5th Mar '11 5:13:36 AM by AirofMystery

Will Ruin Your Life
I come up with the characters, which sets up some fragments of the plot along the way. Then I start thinking of the settings and the plot as I go along in a very linear way before I start thinking of (dreaded) plot holes, parts that doesn't make any sense and then try to correct it (with varying degrees of success.)

90% of the time I have a really hard time thinking of how the story should end (and I fear that I would do an Asspull or an ending that doesn't satisfy the mood) so think of the ending early in development before anything else. Otherwise you're going to have a hard time thinking of a good ending if you start from the very beginning and have absolute no idea how it's going to end nicely.

 17 66 Scorpio, Fri, 11th Mar '11 11:22:22 PM from Toronto, Canada
Banned, selectively
There are different elements to one's "style" in terms of plot, charcters, dialogue, perspective, humour. I generally write in two syles. The first is as a (future) historian or pop science (fiction) author like John Keegan or Timothy Ferris or even Stephen Hawking. The second is a serious, third person military tone that usually incorporates laconic or coping humour. But I also write things that are farsical, politically incorrect, surreal et al.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are probably right.
Only Sane Fox
My writing style seems to be based around a restricted third-person narration style. I tend to stick with one perspective character whose perceptions determine what gets included in the description. If they can't see or hear something happening, it doesn't get included in the narration. For thoughts, I tend to summarise the perspective character's thoughts in the description, rather than giving the text of them. If I switch characters, I use a scene break or new chapter. I tend to write a lot of detail for a given amount of time.

For the process, I tend to start out with a basic seed idea which I then let grow to create either a world of my own or my own extension to an existing world. The downside is that sometimes it's difficult to get it to grow, and other times it grows far too well, resulting in a project which is far too big for one person to handle.
Accidental mistakes are forgivable, intentional ones are not.
 19 Aondeug, Sat, 12th Mar '11 11:00:38 AM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
Now...this has been posted elsewhere but this is how the imagination portion of it works. This is how I go about the actual physical act of writing. Now it wasn't mentioned in the first link, but for me a general sense of feeling comes first and a character is born from that. From the characters the setting grows.

Now style? I tend to use a restricted third person. I may or may not switch characters and when I do there tends to be a scene break or new chapter. I often just pick one character and use that character for the duration of the work though. Their thoughts aren't written out as a monologue usually. Occasionally they will be, but for the most part I describe the thought processes. My descriptions of body movements, facial expressions, and surroundings tend to be very sparse due to them being almost impossibly hard for me to imagine. If I can't imagine it how on earth will I write it in a convincing fashion that doesn't feel forced? Instead most of my description tends to be spent on feelings and thoughts. So you'll have simple actions being described simply and a chunk of description of how the character feels or is thinking.

Apparently my sentence flow comes off as odd or clunky at times. Some enjoy this. Others find it bothersome. This oddity can be seen in this thing.

edited 12th Mar '11 11:02:42 AM by Aondeug

If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
I see the story as Live-Action TV, I always write the first draft in Script Speak, I do have plans to translate my fics into Literature Speak, but they are just plans.

[up][up] I really don't like third person narrative for some reason. Don't know why. I prefer first person I guess. I can't remember any novel I've read that has a third person narrative.
Power corrupts. Knowledge is Power. Study hard. Be evil.
 22 Nick The Swing, Sat, 12th Mar '11 4:13:47 PM from Ya really wanna know? Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
BFS Enthusiast
In my new work, we start with an Urban Fantasy and I have decided to tease people with loads of shout outs, and then subvert said shout outs later.

Then a dynamic swerve from Urban Fantasy right into Sci Fi as we examine what "The Traitor Heavenly Blade" is doing. Meet Zaine Calston, overpowered Hollywood Cyborg blazing his way through Dark World with help from Callan, his Tagalong Kid.
 23 Aondeug, Sat, 12th Mar '11 4:22:46 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
First person I really like but I seem to be more picky about it than I am with third person.
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 24 cityofmist, Sun, 13th Mar '11 3:11:37 AM from Meanwhile City
turning and turning
[up][up][up]You can't remember a single novel you've read in third person? How do you know you don't like it? Shouldn't you try maybe reading something in third person that you know is considered good/enjoyable by other people before you make up your mind that you dislike it?

I always thought I'd write as a snarky omniscient narrator, but apparently I like writing a whole story from one person's POV. I change the style to fit what I think best expresses that person's voice, so I have Caroline narrating in first-person present tense, Aurelia narrating in first-person past tense (as a First-Person Smartass), and Morpheus, the couple of experimental scenes that I've done with him, in third-person-limited past tense. I don't know why. Although I have a tendency to think about myself in the third person, so I guess he just does it as well.
Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
[up] I may just not remember.
Power corrupts. Knowledge is Power. Study hard. Be evil.
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