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You can call me Hal.

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Writing about writing is the best way to procrastinate on writing.
I've been writing this afternoon (for a wonder), trying to get back into the groove. I'm working on changing my approach, to become more of a draft writer. In the past, I've done the writing and the editing at the same time (not that I don't do more editing later) and it's a pretty slow process. Now I'm trying to just sit down and type out words, words, words without worrying too much about the quality. It's a bit scary! I think it's working okay, but as I haven't done the editing step yet, I'm not totally sure. I'm hoping it will help me get over my hatred of sitting down to write and also improve my word count.

What's your usual approach? Are you a draft writer or a craft writer? Do you outline or do you just write?

In other, related news, I've been mulling over my santa_smex assignment. I've picked the pairing, figured out a good gimmick, I mean premise, and now I'm churning that around with some possible themes, like rocks in a rock polisher, before getting down to the painful process of plotting. I love doing this part of the brainwork. I just hope I don't end up plotting something too unwieldy. I'm still working on the proper scale for plots and such because I don't want to end up writing something too long.

In other, unrelated news, I thought for a while that I loved my iPhone more than cheese, but that turned out not to be the case.

On the novel I have an overall timeline and general outline for the action. Otherwise I'd get things irretrieveably tangled up as I wrote. Otherwise, I just write. I can edit later.

Sounds like a good plan!

Not that I write much, but I have to know the ending before I write, at least. Like, if I'm going from A -> B, I have to know what B is, so I can get there. So often I'll have the first lines and the last lines written first.

Yeah -- I don't always write the last line right away, but I can't begin if I don't know the end.

Draft writer. I have the opposite problem to you, I think -- I can't edit as I go, which I think makes my work less tight in the end. I'm not so good at editing, period. I just write and hope something good comes out of it somewhere!

I do worry about losing some of the compactness of my writing this way. I think maybe the way to go is to edit after a few draft sections, not wait until the end.

What's your usual approach? Are you a draft writer or a craft writer? Do you outline or do you just write?

I'm not either. It's not that I don't have a process, because I do, but what it looks like from the outside (just writing) is nothing like what it is on the inside.

Funny but true: my workplace had us do these personality profile thingies and mine said that I will appear to do absolutely nothing for long stretches of time before turning out something perfectly polished. And that's exactly what happens; that's precisely my process. Say I have 5 days to write a report. I will read over the information, and then I will play solitaire for 4 days, and then on the 5th day I will write the report. Except what I am really doing while I am playing solitaire is letting my back brain work on the report until it's ready to come out.

Writing fiction mostly works that way for me, too. Not always, but more than 90% of the time. It's part of why it took me so long to start working with beta-readers.

Oh, I like that! I do tend to do a lot of back brain work, but not quite to this extent. Usually if I'm playing solitaire it's just to procrastinate. :)

I tend to be more of an edit-as-I-go writer when I type my first draft. So nowadays I tend to write my first draft with pencil and paper. It`s longer and more laborious but it encourages me to just keep writing because I`m lazy, and I don`t want to keep writing out the same old thing 30 times by hand, because I`ll get a cramp.

Then when I transfer it to my computer as a second draft, I can add stuff in and start to edit it a bit.

I haven`t actually finished anything in a long time (or, uh, written anything that anyone would particularly want to read) but in terms of output, I`m able to write a lot more these days using this approach.

I think my hand would fall off if I tried to draft on paper! Also, I would never be able to read it afterwards. This I know by experience.

I have a hard time just writing without thinking and re-thinking what I'm writing as I go, but you're right, I am trying to change that as well, because it's sometimes important to just keep the words flowing.

I think there's probably a happy medium, if we can just find it!

So is it just unbridled cheese love shining through or is the shine off the apple?

The first one. I'm still madly in love with my iPhone. Just ... it's not cheese.

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The best is an iPhone *plus* cheese. Usually, that's what I have, so I have no reason to complain. :)

Mmm, chili cheese dogs.

I just write, and edit as I go. I find that when I write outlines the finished product never sticks to them, especially if it's a longer work. For school writing projects requiring outlines I always made them last if the deadlines allowed for it. *g*

Hee! I'm sure a lot of people used that outline-after method. I have to outline longer projects but, yeah, they do have a way of heading off in another direction.

Craft writer. I'm a really slow writer, actually,, and I often end up re-reading previously written stuff during the writing process and thus doing editing.

I usually have an outline in my head when I write, but I've started writing down my ideas/plot points and the general order I want them in so I don't forget and can plan the writing better. For a few of my longer projects, I'm doing fairly in-depth outlines.

I can't write without some sort of outline, I find. Shorter pieces, it's often just a bunch of jot notes. Longer ones, I do serious scene-by-scene.

Both? Neither? I tend to put off writing until I have self talked several versions and copies - so I have a good solid idea of what I want and where I want it to possibly go. That is why I almost never start writing until 3-4 days before the fic is due if it is for an exchange and why I whinge so much trying to get other people to write it for me. Ever walk around with Niou or Nisei or Vincent telling you nasty jokes or brooding about how they want to poison Ron because he's snogging Hermione for weeks on end? Not fun.

and once I sit down to write I am there until it is done - with the occasional smoke break or wandering around drinking coffee and talking out a rough patch. After the piece reaches what it tells me is the end (another bad idea, and one which I have often had readers whine and bitch complain about) - I close the document and refuse to look at it for a day or so. then I edit it, move a piece there, delete a piece there, and send it off to beta. viola.

this may also be why I never produce more than 400 words. *nods*

I'm more likely to harangue the characters than the other way around. Or beg them. Or apologize to them. :)

Maybe I'd get more done if I started smoking. I do have a cigarello around here somewhere...

I never outline. And I can't write if I'm not inspired to do so. I know people who can hammer out a story whether their heart is in it or not and I'm not one of those people. Anything can inspire me: a sound, a feeling, something someone has said - anything. I get a basic idea for a story based on some inspired feeling and I just go with it. I usually have to start writing and not stop until I'm done. My ideal set up is my office with very little light, a bottle of water, some really good trance and me writing without pausing or looking up. Until I have to use the bathroom or something. -__-

If I edited while I wrote, I'd never write. I'm really looking forward to your smex fic. <3

Oh, and I had the most delicious havarti this weekend and I thought of you.

I'm trying to become someone who can write when sober uninspired. I've never tried writing to trance, but I listen to it at work when I need to get through a project quickly. Hmm.

Smex should be fun! Quite different this year, I think.

I need to think everything through before I start (which does not imply a fixed outcome, just an intended destination), then I just write, editing as I go along. No drafts except in my head. It is slow and I have not enough stamina to write anything long. =(

Yeah, the slowness is what kills me. I hope to become a bit more zippy soon.

I'm usually the same as you, I'm so picky I can't help but change half the things I'm writing half a paragraph after I'm written it. XD I don't write much though.

The curse of being detail oriented. :)

plotting is like pulling teeth. I write first, think later.

It's interesting how it works so differently for different people! I'm the total opposite of that.