prillalar: (Default)
prillalar ([personal profile] prillalar) wrote2017-02-18 09:03 am


I'm in that stage with my WIP where it's not so much a WIP as a jumble of notes and despair. The problem with "just write X words per day" is that it doesn't really leave time for this part of the process: the ruminating and complaining and taking walks and creating the fucking outline, which, for character-driven stories, is so difficult for me.

Do you have a method for kick-starting that process? Just barf some words onto the page and see how that goes? Force a friend to listen to you ramble? Outline the emotional beats you need to hit and then fit the canon/made-up scenes around that? (That's not a bad idea, actually.) Procrastinate on social media?

In other news, I haven't been reading a lot of fic in YOI so far -- when I'm writing a lot in a fandom, especially when it's new, I tend not to read very much -- but I read almost everything in Choc Box (except some threesomes and a crossover) and it was great! So one of my goals is to do a bunch more reading, especially for rare pairs. But I may need to wait until this WIP is drafted to jump on that.

Another goal is to write something for YOI that's more plot-driven and light-hearted. YOI came along at a time when I was longing for a fandom with adult characters with sexual histories that I could write dirty porn about without having to age characters up first. (Not aging up for purity reasons; more wanting the characters to be sexually experienced.) And I have SO enjoyed that! But it's pretty far from my usual sports-series fare. (That said, the Idea Jar is far too full of stuff that makes me go, "Ooh, everyone is going to hate that but I'm going to write it anyhow.")

How do you pick which ideas to write (or draw or vid or ...)?

naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2017-02-18 07:53 pm (UTC)(link)
That said, the Idea Jar is far too full of stuff that makes me go, "Ooh, everyone is going to hate that but I'm going to write it anyhow."

Story of my life! And yet the things people hate are never the things that I expected to be hated. Fandom is so unpredictable.

As far as picking ideas, really they pick me – the ones I end up writing are the ones that I couldn't avoid writing. (Or the ones I started off in a sudden burst of enthusiasm and then felt I was in too deep to abandon.)

Good luck with the writing.
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2017-02-18 08:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Sometimes I get those "can't help it" ideas and sometimes I just scan the list until something jumps out at me. What do you do when you have too many ideas to work on? If you come back to them later, do you still feel the same enthusiasm for them?

Oh it really depends. With YoI I have so much momentum that it's been shocking me how quickly I've been moving through my WIPs list. I keep a folder on my desktop which is devoted to stuff that I'm actively writing or soon to be actively writing (try to keep it under half a dozen at most). And then other stuff gets filed in various fandom folders, and I either come back to it or don't. Some things just work better as concept than they do when you actually try to write them! There are definitely ideas where I have to prod them quite a bit to see whether they'll spark to life or not, but fundamentally if I can't muster that much love for the words that are on the page, then they're not going to get written.

I feel like there's a difference between the hook of the concept - it can be great to discuss with friends - and actually finding a way in to writing something. For a while now I've been wanting to do something on "the epic Nikiforov/Plisetsky rivalry leading up to the 2018 Games." I have it all plotted out but I haven't yet found the writing hook. And if I don't, it'll never get written, alas.
spywindow: (Default)

[personal profile] spywindow 2017-02-18 10:34 pm (UTC)(link)
"Ooh, everyone is going to hate that but I'm going to write it anyhow."

Relatable feeling! But I suppose one upside of doing this is that you can meet other people who like [thing that everyone hates] and bond over your objectively superior niche tastes. :)

Re: writing process, mine usually consists of "force self to free-write [x] number of words every day" --> despair at what a mess it is --> re-read everything after a period of days/weeks/months and realize that there are moments within the mess that I like --> make a chart with the events of the story-so-far on one side and the characters' emotional development on the other side, and add new bullet points and rearrange existing ones within both sides as necessary --> print out a hard copy of the freewriting and do a lot of editing / crossing-out / writing new bits by hand so that it gets closer to the outline and is less of a mess in general --> type up what is hopefully, by now, draft one --> edit draft one from start to finish several times until it becomes draft two, three, four, etc.

And re: picking which ideas to write, for me it's usually whichever ones have developed a critical mass of freewriting! As for which ones get freewritten, that's usually a combination of "I like it" + "no one else is writing it" + "few to none of my fandom friends are into it so I don't have to worry about outside scrutiny." How about you?

Good luck on your WIP!
spywindow: (Default)

[personal profile] spywindow 2017-02-19 07:45 am (UTC)(link)
Nerves, mostly! It's normally really difficult for me to make myself sit down and write, so freewriting is the only sure-fire way for me to actually get words on the page, and it also doubles as brainstorming. Sometimes I have a general idea of what I want my story/scene to be about when I start writing and sometimes I have to throw a bunch of different ideas to the wall and see what sticks, but either way, the actual exercise of writing things down gets my brain moving, and then once I have some writing to work with I can contemplate second-order questions like "what is the best way to order these scenes" and "which scenes are redundant" and "is the POV character's emotional progression consistent, and if not, what other scenes need to be added?" The chief difficulty is not getting too discouraged by the quality of the freewriting itself, because as you'd expect from speed-written prose written with no outline and/or idea of where the scene is going next, it is generally pretty rough. :V But that's where the later-stage editing comes in. (And I feel you on the problem of editing while drafting! That's awesome that you're able to resist the temptation. For me it's still difficult, which is part of why I do my first edits hardcopy, so that I can't spend too much time dithering about whether or not to erase things.)

Best of luck with your WIP! It can be so tough to work out those happy endings sometimes, but so so satisfying when you finally get there. I'm looking forward to seeing the final conclusion when it's done. :)

And thank you! It's currently progressing slowly but steadily, just like its subject. At this point I have most of the fic roughly sketched, but I still need to do a lot more to flesh it out and polish it up.
thawrecka: (Default)

[personal profile] thawrecka 2017-02-19 11:08 am (UTC)(link)
I do all the ruminating and mentally outlining while I'm at work, and madly scribble notes in my notebook on breaks. Other than that I just write bits in Notepad because it's less intimidating somehow than a real word processing program would be.
flonnebonne: (Default)

[personal profile] flonnebonne 2017-02-20 06:48 am (UTC)(link)
If I get stuck I usually abandon the WIP and work on something else, which is a terrible way to ever get anything done but does eventually work for me. My brain works on the problem subconsciously. Unfortunately, this method does often lead to an over-long, rambly narrative...I end up trying to put in too many ideas that I came up with at various times. I need to make sure I leave enough time after finishing that first draft to leave it alone and come back with fresh eyes, but I am always too eager to get it done and posted by then.

I am also having a hard time writing every single day right now because I am spending time working on plot too! But since I'm ahead for the year I'm not letting it bother me...too much.
karanguni: (Default)

[personal profile] karanguni 2017-02-21 10:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Barf. At some point, I just have to sit down and barf if it doesn't come to me all at once.