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Has writing changed you?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by obaona, Aug 19, 2003.

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  1. obaona

    obaona Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Just something I got curious about while eating breakfast. ;)

    When I first began to read (as in, read a lot), I read everything I could get my hands on. I decimated the Science Fiction/Fantasy section of the local library. The librarians knew me.

    Then I started to write. As I learned more and more about writing, I started to notice things that people would do wrong, things that I did and avoided doing, or things I did and didn't know how to fix. I got a lot pickier. ;)

    Then I found fanfic. ;) I not only met other people with the same interest, I found other people who would help me and encourage me, and I saw people as amateurish as myself, some better, some worse. I got a beta. ;) (What a learning experience that was!) I made friends, I got friends who understood how frustrating plot bunnies can be - all through writing (and a love of Star Wars ;) ).

    But as I wrote, and kept writing, I started to think of how to improve - and I figured the best way I could improve was to see things as they really were, and put it in words. I really began to watch my surroundings, and observe. Look at the way leaves tremble in the wind, each unique leaf fluttering differently. Or the wistful, loving expression on a father's face as his little girl puts her head down on his thigh to take a nap (saw this in church).

    In becoming a writer, I think I learned to really see some of the beautiful, and sometimes horrible, things this world has.

    What about you? ;)

    And my apologies if this is offtopic for this board. ;)
     
  2. Shaindl

    Shaindl Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Great thread idea, Oba!

    I agree that writing has changed me, and in many of the ways you mentioned, especially in terms of observance. I also think that for me personally, it's changed my outlook on life in general. Before, I didn't have an outlet for creativity, so writing has made me a happier person.

    I loved your explanation of how you look around and observe more. One of my favourite quotes on writing was by a man named Theodore Sturgeon (you're a big sci fi fan - have you heard of him?). He said that writing is simply about asking the next question. I think that's what you were trying to get at here.

    Anyways, my two cents. Great idea!

    Shaindl
     
  3. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Like Obaona, I was and am an avid reader. Growing up, I read everything I could get my hands on and now my house is crowded with books! I still read voraciously but mostly online. The creativity out there is absolutely astounding.

    Unlike Shaindl, I have many hobbies and I'm quite good at some of them (enough to make money and win awards). However, again unlike Shaindl, this hobby of writing does not makes me a happier, more creative individual. Rather, it is frustrating as heck most of the time. I know what I want to say but getting there is very time-consuming and down-right annoying. I keep telling myself to just type it out and stop playing with it. Some days, I just walk away and do something else, anything else; some days, I throw my hands up in defeat and swear never again. Some days, the joy of creating a world is just breathtaking.

    Has writing changed me? Well, I'm much more aware of writing styles and how people say things (even in everyday conversation). I've always been observant of my environment (due to my other hobbies) so that hasn't changed but I'm pickier now about what I read and what I say. And I think about things a lot more, seeing layers of possibilities that I hadn't considered before.


    Interesting topic. I'll be curious to see what other people have to say....
     
  4. Qwi_Xux

    Qwi_Xux Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Definitely. In most of the ways you mentioned (heck, the librarians still know me! ;) ). I feel like I've gotten to create so much more, to develop parts of myself that might not have been developed otherwise. The characters I've written or created have become a part of me, and they are as much their own person in my writings as I am in real life. (Hopefully that made some kind of sense.) It's been a wonderful (and oftentimes therapeutic) experience for me.

    And when my creative juices are low, I go talk my stories over with my husband, and he pops out lots of ideas. It's been another fun aspect of writing. ;)

    I'm a lot pickier now, too...
     
  5. Dev_Binks

    Dev_Binks Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2003
    I'd have to say me writing has I've noticed the smaller details more and how people talk. The only problem is I space out a lot in school thinking about what I'll write next.
     
  6. AlrikFassbauer

    AlrikFassbauer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2003
    My love for language and words grew stronger. ;)

    I agree with the first sentence of what Dev_Binks wrote. I eventually became more sensitive towards communication, somehow, I think.

     
  7. Shaindl

    Shaindl Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Hey Diane,

    I think I should have explained myself in a little more depth. :) When I said writing gave me a creative outlet, it was because schooling and work have taken up so much of my time and effort, that I needed to find a way to let out some of the creative juices I was feeling. It wasn't that I didn't have other hobbies or activities in my life, it was that none of them involved a creative streak. For me, writing is a release and like you said, the joy of creating a world can be breathtaking.

    Shaindl
     
  8. inez_the_swampgirl

    inez_the_swampgirl Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Interesting topic...

    I really don't know if my writing changed me or I changed my writing. I've always said that I don't consider myself a writer, but a a very avid reader. I've never sat down to write for the sake of writing. My writing usually stems from the currant mood I'm in as a way to express myself. I only do it when I feel compelled to. My current fic is a challenge that I have placed on myself. Therefore, it reflects what I am at the moment.

    I do find myself researching more and reading more about the topic of my story (or discussing it with friends to get others' opinions), but I haven't caught myself observing external things. I do strive to write better and express my characters as authentically as possible, so I look for little things that will help me in that arena.

    Inez
     
  9. LianaMara

    LianaMara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Like obaona, I've been an avid reader from a very young age, but as long as I could read, I wrote down my impressions of the world around. And I've found that as the years progressed, my stories became better and more unique. Six-year-old scribblings of "My Superhero Kitty" changed into preteen ramblings on Luke Skywalker's troubles, which eventually morphed into the much more mature stuff that I write today. (I hope!)

    But I've noticed that thanks to writing, I'm able to describe things, and pick up on things better than others. If the falling leaves are piled up in someone's yard, I'm easily able to explain what it looks like to my little sister or my young cousins. I'm much more selective about what I read, because I've written and learned about a lot of the errors that you'll see in books, so now I mostly stick to good, well-written classic novels.

    But above all, writing has helped to define who I am as a person. When people talk about me in school, they call me "that chick who writes." And strangely enough, I like that title. It sets me apart, gives me my own identity; and that's the most important thing you can ever do in your life. :)
     
  10. JediKlea

    JediKlea Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2002
    It most ceritenally has, when reading for example, I find myslef noticing similarites between plots, things that were probably "borrowed" from another book. As I mentioned before in a similar discussion, I like to sit there and orginize the thoughts in my head and "use writers terms" so to speak of myself, like I was writing a story. Ie. "She sighed as she stared at the insurmountable amount of math left in front of her" 'she ran out the door with a cheerful look'
    Okay I think I botched that explanation up, hopefully you understood what I am talking about. Anyways, if not, don't worry. My sister informs me that I am throughly insane. ;) [I tried to explain it to her on one occasion]

    I also will observe things and try to put them in writers style.

    And I have gotten very good at deciphering Authors styles, ect. and figuring out who is really the best [original, its VERY hard to be truly original these days, practically all the good plots and ideas have been used 100 times over; even when you think they are original, you can often look at them and realize that it was several ideas mixed together] author, and who just clipped thier writing styles off of others.

    Anyways, there is my long random thoughts on the subject.
     
  11. Darth_Tim

    Darth_Tim Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 26, 2002


    Involvement in fanfic, as a writer, reader, beta-reader, and archive reviewer, has made me much more of a critical reader toward writing styles (if I see lots of adverbs, "said" replacements, plot mistakes, etc, in a novel, I keep wanting to take out the red pen)

    I've always enjoyed writing, and especially writing in SW, because it satisfies various interests regarding what I enjoy- a good SW story can have something for the history buff, the comedian, the intellectual, and the romantic sides of my persona.

    As for seeing things from a writer's perspective, I have to agree with what many have said. It's strange, now, how I'll be reading something that has nothing to do with SW and some portion of my brain will be thinking "how could I incorporate this into one of my stories?"

    -Tim

     
  12. Dev_Binks

    Dev_Binks Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Are any of us really sane what is the deffinition of sane what if the insane ones are really the only sane ones and the rest of humanity is insane? sorry I was feeling philosophical. Hmm I've never really thought like that I just think like I normally do and then when I'm writing I just take little things from everyday life and use them in my stories well a little bit.
     
  13. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Hey Shaindl - Sorry about the misinterpretation! I know a few people that have no hobbies so I just assumed.....(and you know what they say about assume)...LOL.


    How else has writing changed me? Well, this isn't quite on topic but I started writing about 18 months ago and since then I've gained 10 pounds....LOL. I haven't been able to figure out how to exercise and write at the same time. If anyone has, please let me know!




     
  14. rogue11lovesjag

    rogue11lovesjag Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 13, 2002
    I think it has. I begin looking at people and wondering what story they have to tell. What is their story, and can I use them and their story in my own tale.

    And the more I write, the more I see my own writing improve. When I go back and look at my first story, Maelstrom (which I'm trying to revise without much luck at the moment), and then read the parts I've written of the third part of the trilogy or my Rogue Squadron story, I see my writing improve, as I become more observant to what I see happening. I've begun to add more detail, noticing little things, rather than the bare facts. Details you notice in real life.

    ~Rogue
     
  15. TheFallen

    TheFallen Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2001
    It's changed me because it led me to a lot of different people that changed my life more than anything. ;)



    tf
     
  16. obaona

    obaona Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Just popping in to up this, and to say how cool it is that writing has affected others in similar ways that it has affected me. Well, sometimes. ;) And a couple of people have mentioned things that I've noticed, but didn't mention here.

    *huggies TheFallen* :D
     
  17. Deneveon

    Deneveon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Writing has definitely made me more aware of my surroundings, making me pay more attention to the quirks and personalities of people and things around me. It made me an introvert, keeping my thoughts and observations to myself. When I discovered writing, it gave me a chance to put my imaginings to paper, and give me a world all my own, where I can vent when I want to, say what I want to, be who I want to.

    Other than that, it's given me a keener eye for things I'd otherwise taken for granted. For instance--I once wrote a story for webzine about a girl who'd lost all her family after a lifetime of hating them. I didn't exactly hate my family, but I realized that I could lose a loved one anytime. It gave me a sense of thankfulness that I still have people to love, and that they loved me back, no matter how aggravtingly annoying they might be at times.

    Things like that.
     
  18. Agent_Jaid

    Agent_Jaid Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 21, 2003
    While I was growing up I struggled to read, I hated it. Then I figured out how to speed read with a 98.7% comprehension of everything I read from medical text books to science fiction. By the age of eight everyone I knew told me I should write but frankly I was scared. I wanted to be a lawyer. I kept that dream until about two years ago when I started writing. In my experience, writing has changed me.

    I want to know the how and the why to it, and then I rephrase it and make it sound professional. Much to my little brothers horror. I am thoroughly addicted to writing; I love re-writing things done by others. Often times when I do, I just get stunned silences from the people I show my re-writes to and they just ask if I plan to write professionally when I come to age.

    While I don?t it is rather a relief. I didn?t even know fan-fiction existed until late February of this year. Then I devoured it. I don?t know how I survived it without a beta. :p

    I had one complete story, novel length but I trashed it due to the fact it was completely cliché. I still struggle with that. However writing fanfiction has given me two new resources. I now have people I can bounce my work off of, and I have a beta. Both of which I have never had before but would not trade for the world.

    In a sentence, writing has made me critical, inquisitive, and introspective. My family often times will throw their hands up and declare me to be insane when I whip out my note pad and pen and start jotting down ideas. Maybe I am, but I like to think not.

    If this seems to much like the ramblings of a mad person, just notify my Beta, Kyp_side_of_TheForce, she?ll take it from there. *rolls eyes*

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if you haven?t? I?m hurt that you didn?t!! :_| [face_plain] Please tell me you didn?t fall for that.



     
  19. Jek_Windu

    Jek_Windu Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2003
    I was a lot like A_J when I was little. I started reading and writing about eight. I think it's made me a lot calmer and paitient.
     
  20. HandmaidenEirtae

    HandmaidenEirtae Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2001
    Yes, I think it has.

    For one thing, I'm always writing now. My friend's grandmother thought it was the funniest thing that I'd write on napkins at resturants and always had a notebook handy. It's very much part of my identity.

    I also observe a lot more and with more attention. I'll see something that intruiges me, I'll think of how to incorporate it into a story, then I'll start mentally describing it before I put it onto paper. Little things spark off stories, like the showerhead being nosy and shrieking or my friend messing up her words or the waves crashing on the beach.

    Writing is an outlet for me, too. If there are things I can't talk to anyone about, I'll write about them. It's a form of venting.

    I've also gotten a lot pickier about grammar. I can't stand it when the grammar in a book I'm reading is different than what I'm used to. It's one of my weird pet peeves. I just finished Wuthering Heights. Wonderful book. Waaay too many commas. ;)

    When I write, I write partly for me, but partly for other people. I love to write, but I also want people to get something out of what I've written, whether it be a moral question, the powerful image of the crashing surf, or just simple enjoyment. I'm not into the writing for myself philosophy. But that's me. :)

    This got a little longer than I meant it to, but what do you expect?

    I'm writing. ;)

    Eirtae
     
  21. obaona

    obaona Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Upsy to see if anyone else is interested in sharing. ;) Personally, I'm fascinated by how writing can change a person.

    I'll see something that intruiges me, I'll think of how to incorporate it into a story, then I'll start mentally describing it before I put it onto paper. Little things spark off stories, like the showerhead being nosy and shrieking or my friend messing up her words or the waves crashing on the beach.

    I do this constantly. When I go on long trips, I occupy my mind by describing everything I see. It's good practice. :D It also helps me remember wonderful sights I've seen. I still have this very beautiful image in my mind that I described to myself on the way home from a long trip. I was looking at the window on the highway, and there was just this beautiful meeting of dust storms, clouds, and a setting sun. I'll never forget it. :D

    Writing is an outlet for me, too. If there are things I can't talk to anyone about, I'll write about them. It's a form of venting.

    Yes, same here. ;) Most of the time I just take out my general frustrations/thoughts, but there have been a few cases where I've written a fanfic in direct response to something that happened to me (or someone I know). Holding, a L/M vig, was the result of my mom's illness.

    When I write, I write partly for me, but partly for other people. I love to write, but I also want people to get something out of what I've written, whether it be a moral question, the powerful image of the crashing surf, or just simple enjoyment. I'm not into the writing for myself philosophy. But that's me.

    I'm actually the same way (this is getting freaky ;) ). I do enjoy writing, and I've written things I'd have written whether or not people would read them, but I also want others to get something out of them. I write, and try to write well, not only because I enjoy it, but so that other people can enjoy it, too. :) And I don't think there's anything wrong with being that way.

    And length = good. As long as you aren't reiterating yourself or wandering uselessly, my young Padawan. [face_mischief]
     
  22. Darth_Fruitcake

    Darth_Fruitcake Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 18, 2001
    It can change me for the better or for the worse, depending on what mood I'm in, on what mood the characters are in, etc. ;)
     
  23. Dev_Binks

    Dev_Binks Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2003
    HandmaidenEirtae I do the same thing now also I'll be talking to my friends and suddenly get an idea for a story or be really bored and I suddenly get an idea like what if you fell too the floor but instead of hitting it you fall through and end up in the Errant Venture.
     
  24. obaona

    obaona Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Upping to see if anyone else is interested in replying. ;)
     
  25. jjeess-ttyy

    jjeess-ttyy Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 14, 2001
    since i've startes writing in tth grade, scripts that sucked, forgive the french. and ever since 9th grade, i've been writing books, and since this year, i've been getting off the subject of sw, and started writing the sequal for potc, and now a fanfic for after the fellowship in mirkwood. so, i say i've improved since i've started writing.
     
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