How to organize your writing?:

Total posts: [25]
1 MrHollowRabbit18th May 2011 06:19:55 AM from In a burrow , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Will Ruin Your Life
I'm taking my first step in pinning my ideas down for my story, and I think I'm doing it in a very linear way (which is not usually how I do things, since things keep changing now and then when I see some of the characters acting OOC.)

So I just want to know how you guys organize your writing in a way it's easy for you to work with.
Cough cough.
2 annebeeche18th May 2011 08:13:31 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
For larger stories I tend to write the story in pieces starting from important plot points in the middle and the end (since i'm absolutely terrible at deciding on how to begin a story and starting from elsewhere helps me figure that out).

I arrange everything in the order in which the story is meant to be read until the entire work is filled out.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
3 MajorTom18th May 2011 08:16:24 AM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
My method couldn't get any simpler.

Simply put, I make an ending (for either the work/series as a whole or the specific part I'm writing) first. Once I know how it ends then I make how it begins. Once I know both of those I generally try and script out from points A to B but beyond that I let my ability to create plot do its thing in the interim.

Yes I frequently employ Writing by the Seat of Your Pants, you got a problem with that?

edited 18th May '11 8:16:33 AM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Away on the wind~
I make up scenes, then connect them.

I find Writing by the Seat of Your Pants to be a terrible magnet for plot holes.
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
5 MajorTom18th May 2011 08:21:08 AM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^ Yet I've rarely had any, odd.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Away on the wind~
Could be any combination of luck, skill, talent or not noticing them. Could even be reliant upon the work itself.

The tighter the plot- e.g. mine- the more careful you have to be.
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
7 annebeeche18th May 2011 08:25:54 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I wrote Borghild Brynlaging essentially by the seat of my pants and I'm surprised at how solid the plot turned out.

I find it amazing how a stray detail you throw in can make an excellent Chekhov's Gun in the end.

edited 18th May '11 8:26:51 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
8 MrAHR18th May 2011 11:38:34 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I write by the seat of my pants.

It's just that I don't write it until years later. grin

edited 18th May '11 11:55:22 AM by MrAHR

Also known as Katz
I do NaNoWriMo by the seat of my pants because I don't really care how it turns out (but come on, it was a time traveling cyborg romance novel!), but I outline all my serious works. I'll list all the scenes and events I want to include and then put them in order.
If I write down an outline, it changes every time I sit down to write. So, I think of a barebones plot ("These kids get kidnapped", "These two women are on a pilgrimage through the wilderness", "This boy is trying to escape his mother's murderer") and embellish as needed whilst writing by the seat of my pants.
11 nrjxll18th May 2011 12:41:57 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
I plan out my setting in meticulous detail, then I start writing by the seat of my pants. Having a well-developed world makes it much easier to let the plot derail when necessary. I usually have an ending in mind, but I'm willing to change it based on how things are going.
12 animemetalhead18th May 2011 12:47:51 PM from Ashwood Landing, ME
Runs on Awesomeness
For me it was beginning, then concept, then world building, then editing the beginning, then more world building, then coming up with an ending and some stuff to fill the gaps. Then changing all of that when I thought up more characters.

To say my thought process is disorganized is an understatement. But at least all my notes are well-organized, at least.
No one believes me when I say angels can turn their panties into guns.
13 deathjavu18th May 2011 01:52:11 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
I have basic outlines or ideas for bits and pieces scattered throughout the story, and then just wing everything in between. Sometimes the in-between parts change things so much that I have to modify the pieces I'd already set up, but thus far all such changes have made the story better.
Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
14 chihuahua018th May 2011 01:58:07 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
It's all in my head. I usually write from beginning to the end, and I employ Writing by the Seat of my Pants. However, I should really get in the habit of outlining, since all of my major writing projects never finish.

15 KyleJacobs18th May 2011 05:12:24 PM from DC - Southern efficiency, Northern charm , Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
I plan out 3 acts, and then come up with the beginning and end of each act. I then make a list of major events and plot twists and place them in each act. Once all that's done, I put the characters in the scenes while keeping all major backstory revelations in mind, and let the point-A-to-point-B write itself. The plot hole checking is reinforced by the fact that I write for a webcomic and am currently about 14 months ahead of schedule.
16 Morven18th May 2011 05:19:34 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
I have a world-guide Wiki that I update occasionally, to help with continuity.
A brighter future for a darker age.
The Puzzler
By placing all of my notes and work in notebooks, on my bed,* or in my white 5-gallon bucket composed of the undying souls of the damned, 3/8 ounce of Gorgonzola cheese, 1/2 pound of ground elephant tusks, an arm from an Apollo 11 astronaut, 2 pounds of broccoli, 235 amperes of electricity, and plastic.

It even comes with a sticker warning people to keep their children away from it, in case they drown. That means it is kid-friendly! grin

Pardon me for trying to have some fun. tongue Oh and the bucket is just made of plastic, I think.

edited 18th May '11 5:41:57 PM by EldritchBlueRose

Has ADD, plays World of Tanks, thinks up crazy ideas like children making spaceships for Hitler. Occasionally writes them down.
18 Dec18th May 2011 06:16:16 PM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
I'm mostly a Seat Of My Pants writer, so this is ether as I'm writing it or after the fact, but its usually something like:

Chapter.Scene - One sentence description of what happened that's important to the plot.

So, when I'm trying to plan something out, it looks kinda like this:

(CUT) 1.1 - Intro. MC as he wakes up in the morning.
1.2 - Villain and his informant, talking about their plans, introduce premise.
1.3 - Vigilante Girl running/hiding from mooks by hiding in a department store clothing rack, fleeing when they burn building down to smoke her out.
1.4 - Show MC at the cash register, introduce daily life.
- Vague description of what happens in the following scenes, in which the MC meets Vigilante Girl, gets involved with her problems, and proceeds to get captured with her and questioned. Scene blocking is unknown.
1.[X] - MC and Vigilante Girl escape with the help of a Double Agent, run off into the sunset as chapter ends.


And that isn't even getting into how much of that stuff is already written, or how the outline gets constantly reworked as I go along. For example, you can imagine 1.1 as 100% done, 1.2 at 35%, 1.3 as 15%, and 1.4 as being spotty as hell with four or five disjointed chunks that take up about 65% of what I imagine the scene covering. And chapters on average have about 8-12 scenes in them.

The numbering of the scenes also won't change, even if I cut something, for the sake of consistency over multiple outlines, unless they're moved into a different order before the first draft is done. At that point, it has more to do with how much I do or don't identify the scene with its number, in which case I might rewrite the outline the same way and mark the change with arrows instead of renumbering the scenes. Because that totally makes sense, if you think about it.

edited 18th May '11 6:25:46 PM by Dec

Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
19 MrHollowRabbit18th May 2011 07:03:39 PM from In a burrow , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Will Ruin Your Life
It seems that a lot of you are employing the Writing by the Seat of Your Pants method. If I were to do that to my entire story, it would probably end with little success. It can only do so much for me to a certain extent since I have some parts of it planned out and it's critical to put them in story context. One of my major problems would be pinning down the ending, but I'm working on that.

edited 18th May '11 7:04:30 PM by MrHollowRabbit

Cough cough.
20 nrjxll18th May 2011 08:02:35 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
[up]In my case, at least, it's easy because I do all the world-building first. So rather than making the entire thing up as I go, I only need to worry about the plot - the characters and setting are developed already.
Responsible adult
@Leradny: That's pretty much how I write, too. I'll plot the whole thing out, and come up with specific scenes, but certain things I just let crop up as I go. I find that this actually helps my plots become tighter, as I tend to come up with stuff on the spur of the moment that helps tie things together according to the specifics of a past scene, and things like that.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Well, the first phase of organising is all in my head. When I'm working on a project, I'm usually thinking about it whenever I'm not doing anything else (e.g. when I'm travelling to or from work) and the scenes will replay themselves in my mind, gradually adding more and more detail or telling me more about the characters. What I find is that, after a while, I nearly always have detailed knowledge of how the story begins and ends, and rather sketchier knowledge of the middle (but I will have a rough outline, and some scenes in more detail). I don't write any of this down; I don't need to and I don't feel it would help much.

Next, I make notes to help me flesh out the characters. This usually takes the form of outline descriptions based on a template, and includes deductions about them from what I already know of the plot, and details that come to me there and then from thinking hard enough about character questions. Character is one of my weak areas in writing, so forcing myself to outline really helps.

Then, writing the first draft. A saying by Bernard Malamud that I frequently quote — because in my experience it's very true — is "First drafts are for learning what your story is about." So in this phase I write "by the seat of my pants" with very little revision until it's finished. I may take wrong directions and have a lot of work to do in the revision, but at least I know it will be a lot easier to revise once I have a complete story that I can look through and feel what's wrong with it.
23 feotakahari23rd May 2011 03:24:33 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
The stories I actually finish tend to be divided into sections—not necessarily acts per se, but bits that each have a specific purpose. For instance, in one story, I planned out two bits to introduce two characters, two bits to display their real motivations, and one bit to have them clash. I then filled in the blanks. (I very often have some sort of Framing Device or Greek Chorus that I dip into and out of, so I have a clear dividing line.)

edited 23rd May '11 3:24:40 PM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
ya idk i just do it with outlines
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
Every story has five chapters, each focusing on an important event. Before that, I figure out who the characters are.

I also don't name the chapters, I quote a character instead.

"Here Comes Princess Spider" is the expo, and it's about a bday party.
Level 3 Social Justice Necromancer. Chaotic Good.
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Total posts: 25