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Writing Meme

Gakked from many people, but I believe arrow00 came up with it originally.
The questions (for your copy/paste convenience):

Ideas. Where the hell do they come from? Can you make those little fuckers show up?
Wild horse-bunnies. When a story just gets pulled right out of you. Do you get them?
Writer's block. Have you been scourged?
Clean up duty. Do you like editing?
The ending. Is it hard for you to find the ending?
The title. Where do you get yours? Do you have yours when you start the story?
Plot. If you plot out your stories first, raise your hand.
POV. How do you choose your POV for a scene? For a story?
Challenge. Do you like them? Do they inspire you?
Sex. Do you like writing sex?

Ideas. Where the hell do they come from? Can you make those little fuckers show up?
If I'm writing to a challenge, I drop the prompt down into my brain and yell, "Hey, Muses! Anybody want to take a stab at that?" Other ideas tend to come to me from reading stories or meta. I first thought up Con Job while reading meta about how Ray Kowalski defines himself in terms of other people's expectations. I've heard about other people starting from an image, but for me, it's always an emotion. Once I feel the story, I can write it.

Wild horse-bunnies. When a story just gets pulled right out of you. Do you get them?
Yes. My DS_Match story, Into a Far Country was like that - it came out in a rush! The other stories and vids that have demanded to be written have been the darker ones. Partly it's them pushing to be created, and partly me wanting them out of my brain. Immortal Survivors, "Am I Getting Through?", When Masks Slip, and Safe House fall into that category.

Writer's block. Have you been scourged?
Hello, right now! I've written less than 300 words in the last 4 weeks. I've been busy and sort of blandly uninspired. The weirdest part is that I have a story in my head, at least as developed as when I normally start writing, but when I sit down at the keyboard to get it down, nothing happens. Blah.

Clean up duty. Do you like editing?
Editing, in the grammatical sense? No, not especially. Revising and polishing? Yes. I tend to walk around repeating the scene I'm writing to myself, over and over, shifting words and making it better. I always read through a story before sending it to betas several times, fixing stuff up as I go along. And I'm always quite disappointed when I send something off to a beta and they reply with, "It's great, go post it!" I'm like, "But *sniffle* you're supposed to help me make it better."

I don't mind when betas suggest major re-writes. I might not always agree, of course, but it's nice to hear someone else's outside-the-box ideas. I want my stuff to be the best it can be. I almost always end up making minor changes after I post, too. Not being able to edit my DSSS story drove me nuts when I spotted two typos and one word that doesn't quite say what I want it to.

The ending. Is it hard for you to find the ending?
Interestingly enough, it's the drabbles and snippets that are hardest to find endings for. That final image must echo in the mind of the reader with such a short piece, and that's not easy. Climaxes are always easy for me. I often think my resolutions are a bit weak, but my betas usualy disagree.

The title. Where do you get yours? Do you have yours when you start the story?
I don't start off with one. I usually read through the story before I send it off to be beta'd and try to come up with some image or phrase that ties things together. To me a title has two jobs: 1. To get readers in the right mind-set going in. 2. To help people find the story later, if they want to re-read.

Plot. If you plot out your stories first, raise your hand.
*laughs* Not even a little bit. I usually start writing when I have the opening scene, the climax, and a few bits of dialog or action in between. I write scenes as they occur to me, often with no idea why things are happening or how they got themselves into this situation. I suppose there's an emotional arc that's clear in my head, but I make up the physical events that occur to provoke them later on, in a jumbled fashion. It's very non-choronological, so I can never post WIPs. I make an outline late in the process, to see how all the bits I've written fit together and what gaps still need to be filled in. With Father Confessor, I found I was only half-way done when I wrote my outline - ooops! If I didn't start writing until I had an outline, I couldn't write anything longer than I can hold in my head all at once.

POV. How do you choose your POV for a scene? For a story?
I don't. It chooses me. Stories start when a Muse shows up and starts telling me a story. The story is from that Muse's POV. This is why almost all of my stories are from a single POV. And it's almost always in 1st person, present tense POV. Which I then have to translate into something less freaky. The exception was Safe House, which I saw in my head as a play, so that's written from a completely external 3rd person POV.

Challenge. Do you like them? Do they inspire you?
Yes, I like them! Most of what I've written has been for one challenge or another. Even if I miss the deadline or over-shoot the word limit, so I can't post them as part of the challenge, they still provide the seed that starts me writing. Deadlines are sort of stressful. But also useful! If I had a deadline to write to, I would probably force myself out of this Wordless Wasteland.

Sex. Do you like writing sex?
No. Writing sex scenes is very hard for me. They're essentially extended action sequences, which are always difficult, plus the need to serve whatever plot or emotional impetus is driving the sex scene, while still trying to be HOT. Which is why so many of my pieces are PG or PG-13. If I can gracefully avoid having to write a sex scene, I do. In Guilty Until Proven Innocent I pulled off a harlequin romance without even a kiss.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
isiscolo
Jan. 26th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
In a discussion in the comments of my post on my ficlets for the porn battle, I mentioned that for drabbles (and also for really short snippet-fic) I always start from the ending. It's so important to have a punchline in this sort of story that I can't start writing until I know exactly how it's going to end.
keerawa
Jan. 27th, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)
That makes an awful lot of sense, Isis.
bertybertle
Jan. 26th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
Oh! Wow! Thank God! There IS someone else who writes like me.

dS is full of these amazing writers and they all seem to have like a process. I'd like to say I had one of those! My process seems to be "get coffee, switch on laptop, write what comes into your head", which seems so amateurish! Your plot, editing, title, ideas and POV answers are so close to mine - although yours are much more eloquently put, dahhhling!

*twirls your similarly freakish brain*
keerawa
Jan. 27th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
Wheeeee, I'm twirled!

I read those author's process posts with a sort of hoirrified fascination. Then I shrug and carry on with my freaky lack-of-process. I approve of your commune idea. Do we need a special license to import Mounties?
bertybertle
Jan. 27th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
I approve of your commune idea. Do we need a special license to import Mounties?

I shouldn't think so; they're terribly obliging!
2_4_joy
Jan. 27th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
I envy your lack of process for writing. I get bogged down planning and frequently never get the story written.

I concur with all your answers for clean up duty, challenges, and sex scenes.

And I'm copying this meme to fill out myself in the next week. Thanks!
keerawa
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
I get bogged down planning and frequently never get the story written.
That's hard for me to even imagine. Have fun with the meme!
nos4a2no9
Jan. 28th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
Your answers were really interesting, and not at all what I expected! I was sure you had a really methodical approach because your stuff is always so *together* when you post the final product. It clearly works well for you, and I've always been impressed by your dedication during the editing stage to refining and perfecting what is already a pretty damn perfect product :-)

And I hope hope hope your block ends soon. I miss seeing new keerawa stories pop up!
keerawa
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)
I was sure you had a really methodical approach
That made me laugh. I let me subconcious do all the heavy lifting, and edit like a fiend to make all my little disparate bits fit together in the end. Since I don't really have a clue what's going on, I'm always happy to make changes late in the game, so long as I like the direction it takes the story.

I managed to get a little writing done a Highlander story today. That's a good sign, I think!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )