Resource Fanfic Writer's Desk: Your Place for Writing Discussion, Questions, and Advice

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Luna_Nightshade, Nov 24, 2011.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Harpalyce Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2010
    star 3
    The only surefire cure for me when it comes to writer's block is to do something TOTALLY different.

    And I do mean totally different. Write, cartoon, watch some TV, play a game (cough cough Skyrim cough), go for a jog. Load an entirely different story into your head, or even an entirely different fandom. After that I can come back to where I'm stuck and look at it with fresh eyes.

    I definitely agree with the writing in order thing. To me personally it's a drag to get there, but when you DO get around to writing that scene, it's so much better because you've had time to mentally refine it and add small echoes of it in foreshadowing.

    Of course, the only other cure I know of for writer's block is, in my case, to sit down and draw out where I want the story to go. Either it's a raging success and I get psyched up about the story and where it's going, or I get so disgusted that I can really and truly take a break... and sometimes I get so frustrated trying to draw a character I decide it's much easier to write them instead, and go do that!
  2. Draconarius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2005
    star 4

    I find this to be so true. Take notes as inspiration strikes, of course, but waiting not only feels better but nine times out of ten I'd wager makes you write better, too. You will have all of the scenes that led up to this point right there at your disposal, all contributing to the feel of the scene you're writing. It is beyond helpful.
  3. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    See my signature for a quote from Dragon Age II that seems to be quite insightful for the author...
  4. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Usually, I write in order, from beginning to end, after lengthy plotting (or plotting while writing). Though, for The Devil You Know, I wrote that out of order. The third act turning point was written first, then the first two acts were written afterward, interspliced with other vignettes and scenes that had nothing to do with the story. For me, I guess it just depends on how the story materializes in my head. TDYK spawned from that one scene, whereas Breakfast in Bedlam came to me from the beginning. It took me a year to write it, but it was written in order.

    A writer shouldn't restrict themselves to one single method of writing. If a story comes to you out of order, write it that way. If it comes to you in order, write it that way. If you write by the seat of your pants for one story and then methodically plot the next from beginning to end, chapter by chapter, fine. As the quote in Goodwood's sig says; good stories aren't written?they're uncovered.
  5. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Where writing in order is concerned, I have done it both ways, but let me tell you why I don't write out of order.

    "The Other Half" was supposed to be a 30-page collection of vignettes about Luke and Leia's friendship. I accidentally turned it into a John Grisham novel. It was at that point that I decided to write the last scene so I had something to work towards. In it, Leia gets executed. I was very proud of how it turned out, put it on the back burner.

    Well, by the time I got to that part, she didn't get executed and the 30 pages of vignettes turned into a 400-page epic.

    I'm not good at sticking to a decision if I've written it in advance.
  6. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Did your story end up better? Sometimes these things evolve. But you are right. I am doing a fic that I wrote different scenes and then tried to figure out how to put them together. I had to write and rewrite a lot. That is hard to do. But sometimes when you are stuck it helps you to get your muse back.
  7. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I personally think that it would have made for a much more interesting story with the original ending, but the other way, I got Leia trained by Yoda and that had its own charm.
  8. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    When I wrote Breakfast in Bedlam, I had only one concept in mind and wrote the story around that concept. I think it was around the third chapter or so that I started to plot it out further. When I wrote The Devil You Know, the story centered around one scene that I had written a while back. It was from that scene that I wrote the story, so most of the time, it seems to me that my stories are happy accidents. At least my finished stories.

    The story that I was plotting out for NaNo, though... It has ground to a complete halt. But, I see it as a learning experience. Perhaps plotting from beginning to end isn't the way to go. Perhaps I should go back to just writing a scene that I have in mind and letting the story unfold from there...
  9. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    It sounds like you need Annie Wilkes as your muse. [face_worried]

  10. mrjop2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2007
    star 4
    I find storyboarding the entire story to be very helpful when writting epics. It limits writers block since I always know where the story needs to go. Of course, in the process of writting, I makes changes when new ideas come to me that improves the quality of the story. I always write from beginning to ending.
  11. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Hey, great idea for a thread, Luna.

    First off: to add to the current topic, I always write from beginning to end. If I have a scene in my head I am really excited to write, I keep it there, that way it is easier to change so when I finally so get to it, it is even better.

    I usually know what is going to happen at the end from the start, but one of the stories I am most proud of had zero planning on what was going to happen after chapter 5. From that I learn that sometimes you just have to wait and see where the characters take you.


    Secondly, how important do you guys think updating on a schedule is? I am usually pretty strict on updating the same day every week (or every 2 weeks as the case has been with my Dear Diary Challenge) unless something random happens. This week, however, I may not update and it feels almost like I am planning on sinning. I do have a 3 chapter 'buffer', but that is small for me, I like to have at least 5. How big are you 'update buffers', if you even have one?
  12. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    I like to update once or twice a week. I've found that's a pretty good schedule to keep. If I post more, it's usually because I'm at the end of the story and the cliffhangers are flowing.
  13. mrjop2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2007
    star 4
    At the very least, I would try to update every 4 days. While working on three epics at the same time, that's been changed and I've been able to update each story about every 7 to 9 days.
  14. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Once a week, depending on length. Sometimes, I'll update once every three days, if the section is short. Otherwise, I don't stick to a schedule; I update when I remember to update.
  15. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Since my chapters tend to be very long, I tend to update weekly at the very least (occasionally earlier if comments are aplenty?yes, I know, that does sound like something bad). If a week's gone by and no one's commented, I tend to wait for a comment because I dislike double-posting story sections.

    Just one fellow's opinion, though.
  16. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I get about 5 chapters along before I post anything. Then I will post everyday IF I have written a new additional chapter everyday. So if it takes me three days to write a new chapter, I wont post an update for three days. This way I always have 5 chapters in reserve.
  17. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Just out of curiosity, what does everyone consider "long" vs. "short" for chapter length? I like mine to be at least 2500 - 3000 words, but a lot of them tend to be longer. And sometimes it's just necessary to have a short chapter.
  18. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    When I first got into fanfiction (reading), I would get SO annoyed with short chapters that were only a few hundred words. What's the point?
    So when I started writing, I had a system that every chapter had to be at least 2000 words, unless there was a very good reason to cut it off between 1500-2000, where continuing just wouldn't have worked well.
    NOW... depending what I'm working on... my chapters tend to be anywhere from 2500-3500 in most cases. I think 4000 is where I start to considering things too long for a chapter, but there are always exceptions, depending on how you write and how the story flows, etc.
    One of the best fanfics I've ever read (a HP fanfic) had 10,000 word chapters, updated weekly. It was nice that you had a lot to read every week, but when it comes to reading on the computer, I like something more concise that I can comfortably enjoy in one sitting.

    I would consider short to be anything shorter than 1000 and I'd prefer things to be at LEAST 1500.
  19. Harpalyce Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2010
    star 3
    I am absolutely rubbish at sticking to a strict schedule, but I try to update all of my fanfics once a month, at least. But I also realize I may be one of the slowest writers here.

    I tend to think anything over 3k gets to be overwhelming for one chunk on the internet. The act of turning a page gives something of a mental breather and since we don't have that here, I try to break things up more frequently.

    Honestly, though, it's more about when the scene is done than anything else.
  20. mrjop2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2007
    star 4
    I try for 2,100 words per chapter, and no more than 3,000.
  21. mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic & New Movies Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    On updating:
    I'm terrible in if I'm writing the story as I go, I don't write the next chapter until I've posted the last so sometimes the next chapter will be a few weeks or a month. As a reader, I know that is awful but if I don't write the whole thing in advance I like to see what people like and don't like before moving on. Unless it changes a major plot point I've been working toward, I've been known to change the story based on what people are saying.

    On length:
    It just depends, and mostly about where I'm reading it. On here, I'm not a big fan of longer chapters. And by longer I mean more than 2,000 words. On Livejournal or fanfiction.net I love chapter that are 4,000- 6,000 words, which is about as long as I like a chapter. I have no clue why this is the case. 8-}

    When I'm writing, I let the story dictate the chapters. Usually they are around 1,600 to 2,000 words but, the story I was writing for NaNo, they were around 3K... of course a lot of those words will probably be cut before it's posted! ;)
  22. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    I have no idea how long each of my chapters tend to be, but it seems for my 50k word novels, the average chapter count is around eleven or twelve (so roughly 8-9k words per). But that's just how I am, really; what would probably be a chapter for most folks is a chapter section for me, because to me a chapter break represents a significant point in the plot, such as the resolution of a major subplot (not the whole subplot, mind) or the beginning of the main story's endgame.

    J. K. Rowling has had a big influence on my writing over the years (she's bloody awesome). Particularly in the realm of where to end a chapter, some forms of descriptive prose and vocabulary, and sentence structure. Though I absolutely refuse to actually go so far as to name my chapters...
  23. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I tend to break down my stories by scenes, so each chapter is intended to be a scene. If I have a few scenes that are related in theme, I will put them into the same chapter. Those scenes can vary in length, but my chapters tend to be pretty short, 1,000-2,000 words or so.

    For my first attempt at a novel, I'm breaking the story down by acts, then chapters, and scenes within a chapter. It's a bit harder and I want to go back to my old method, but I intend to see this style through.

    If you view each scene as a chapter, then write it that way.
  24. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I think between 2000 to 3000 is a comfortable length for a person to read during one sitting.
  25. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    If you wanted two people to blurt out something and try to talk over each other or say something different at the same exact time, how would I do it. I know if they said the same thing you would do:
    "No!" they said in unison. But if they are saying different things at the same time what is the best way to show that?
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade