The Mind to the Paper (Or a discussion of our boggling ways)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Amidala_Skywalker, Mar 10, 2003.

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  1. Amidala_Skywalker

    Amidala_Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 4, 2001
    Since everyone is creating such fascinating fanfiction discussion threads, I thought I should contribute something. This time around I didn?t get the idea for this thread in the shower ? instead it came when I was walking home and talking aimlessly to myself ;).

    Have you ever had this perfect story (vignette or otherwise) in your mind, and yet when you try to write it down on paper (or an MS document) it ends up coming out like you never intended or as rubbish? I?ve had that happen to me before when I planned what I thought would be my best piece of Vader work I had ever written. After a few hours of work, and an overnighter with the beta, I classified my ?ideal? fanfic a failure and unrealistic. It just wouldn?t work out for me. The prose was fine, but the story was totally out-of-whack.

    Had it always been like that inside my head? What part of the story had changed since I transferred it from my mind to the text in front of me? And most importantly, why didn?t I realise it wouldn?t work out before I took to stabbing it?

    What does everyone think? Have you ever been in a situation where you were so happy with your new ?plot bunny?, and then bingo, you?re throwing it into a plastic bag and it's getting deposited in the tip?

    Am [face_love]
  2. obaona

    obaona Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 18, 2002

    Well, you know I have. ;) You were very kind when you told me it was weird and incomprehensible.

    I think sometimes its just that we have this really, really great idea and we just know it will be great - but the idea itself isn't fully realized. Fuzzy parts still remain, where you aren't quite sure how you'll connect this or do this and that. Sometimes, you can get that down anyway - come up with as you write. And sometimes you can't. ;) And sometimes . . . it just doesn't work.

    IMHO. ;)
  3. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2002
    *grins* Of course!

    Little known fact: I get most of my inspiration for writing from music. I try to put a Star Wars connotation with almost every song I hear, and that generates some pretty wacky story ideas. I play with them in my head, consider writing them or not, and usually end up throwing most of them out because they're too wierd to pen out. Or I might try to write them out and then they become waste-can filler.

    A lot of the time it has to do with the original idea. I usually carry a notebook around with me so I can write down the idea just as I get them. Sometimes I end up subconsciously changing the story and making it too complicated. I try to "work things out", and end up with something far too complicated or just plain weird. On top of that, I usually can't remember what the original idea was in the first place!
  4. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002
    It will sound incredibly arrogent but the truth is, for me at least, is simply No...

    My stories bang around in my head for days (sometimes weeks) before I start commiting them to keyboard and it may evolve and change a bit (from "Bed Blanket", Anakin's comments about it being against the Jedi Code were originally to be answered with 'like you and aunt Padme'... The story 'didn't want to be' like that so I dropped the line...)

    I have yet to toss a whole story out the window as being "unworkable"...
  5. Jedi_Liz

    Jedi_Liz Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Apr 24, 2000

    My current fic, Lightswords of Fury, I **intended** for certain events to happen sooner than they have, but instead, I expanded on everything and "pulled" it out a little further.

  6. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2002
    Well, I usually toss an idea before it gets to full story stage. It's usually my bunnies that get tossed. I have a lot of wacky time-travel things in my head that work perfectly for me, but I know people would think I'm crazy if I posted them. ;)
  7. Trickster_Jaina_Fel

    Trickster_Jaina_Fel Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 3, 2002
    lol, i think everyone has...other than Phoenix, i think every single one of my fics has gone in a completely different direction than i expected...i started RotJ thinking one thing and...well, let's just say i've given up trying to plan [face_laugh] :p

    but as for plot bunnies gone totally and completely wrong...*groans* don't even ask...FAR too many of those [face_laugh]

  8. Princess1

    Princess1 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 3, 2001
    Oh gosh, waaaay to many times!
    I rarely tottaly toss a idea, but it gets changed around alot,or sometimes two differnt plot bunnies will sort of cross breed tottaly without my permission and become something tottaly differnt.

    Then there are those stories, (like my big one right now, The Sacred Silence) that started out as this not to complicated thing, to this huge story that keeps expanding and expanding getting longer and longer.... until it is almost tottaly unreaconnisable(sp?) as your orignal idea. But better then before.

    But I also have a major thing for time travel, way out type of things that make perfect sense to me but it would be very kind to call them confusing. :p
  9. zeekveerko

    zeekveerko Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 30, 2002
    if you're trying to write something and it dissolves in your head as you're writing maybe it's an indication that the idea isn't quite evolved enough yet to leave your head.

    this sort of thing used to happen to me on almost every story i attempted to write in high school, to the point that i finished about 1% of the stories i started. now i take my time and let the situations and words come as they may, without trying to force them. this can be frustrating when you have an idea that just, for whatever reason, refuses to solidify.

    nowadays these fanfic vignettes come out the same day i think of the bunny, but larger projects are much more difficult to tackle. when i think i know exactly what's going to happen in the story is when i get writers' block. maybe it's because i've worked out the details so well i'm no longer interested in writing them down.

    my problem tends to lean more toward my tendency to write about things that don't seem to capture anyone's interest.
  10. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2002
    It's like I've worked out the details so well that I'm no longer interested in writing them down.

    That has happened to me so many times. I completely outlined every line of the story, and then when it came time to write it, I was too tired of it to actually finish it. That's why my stories stay mainly unplanned...I only do a little loose outlining. For example, in Shades of Green, the death of Ben Kenobi was completely unplanned, but it's added a depth to the story that wasn't there before. A depth it desperately needed.

    I haven't yet tried the "write out before you post" method (I'm far too impatient for that) but I think I might try soon. I'll never be able to keep readers updated on *another* brand-new story when I already have two full-time novel length stories and one round robin. On the other hand, I have way too many plot bunnies running around in my head that are just itching to be written. So I work them out a little (not too much) write a little, and imagine a little.

    Imagining is the most important part of my "story-evolving" process. I roll post ideas over and over again in my head for days before they actually come out on paper. Sometimes they do come out on paper, but not correctly, and so I have to start over.
  11. Jedi_Suzuran

    Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Knight star 5

    May 22, 2002
    I admit that does happen to me, but not very often, for which I'm grateful. The story is usually plotted out(very very loosely) so I manage to write something down. I edit heavily as a result. :p

    I haven't yet tried the "write out before you post" method (I'm far too impatient for that) but I think I might try soon.

    [face_laugh] I hear you, Emmi. For some reason, I can't write out the whole story before I post. For me, it's not impatience. I actually tried that, but I got as far as a prologue and couldn't go on anymore. It may be weird, but the action of posting makes me write more. I can't write the whole story before hand. The boards give me that extra push to jot stuff down. Strange, but true. :p :p
  12. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    I've been fortunate enough that I've never had to label a story as "unworkable", although the story I end up with may not be exactly what I'd planned when I started....

    I have yet to write a story that hasn't changed in some way between the time I started writing and the time I finally shipped it off to my beta. When I was in high school, my English teachers made such a huge deal out of "the proper steps" in writing: outline, first rough draft, second rough draft, finished paper. Finally, after I graduated, I realized none of my English teachers were staring over my shoulder any more, and I never had to create an outline for anything ever again if I didn't want to. Free at last! Hallelujah! :D

    When I start writing, I have a general idea of the main plot points and ideas for the story; minor points and all kinds of miscellaneous information just seem to materialize as I write. I find out all sorts of things I didn't know about my characters and their culture. Unexpected characters enter the story; all sorts of interesting little details of personal preference or cultural beliefs emerge. It's a voyage of exploration. But the finished story usually has the same main points I planned when I started out.

    I insist on having the story completely finished before one word gets posted anywhere. I have this terrible fear of finding on page 26 that I've written myself into a corner, and to get out I need to rewrite something on pages 4, 9, and 15, which, ooops! are already posted.... [face_blush] I go back and forth when I write -- an unexpected idea at one point in the story means I need to go back and rework something written earlier, or it has an impact on something later in the piece. I envy anyone who can start on the first page of their story and write the whole thing in sequential order.
  13. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    26 pages? Heh, I can beat that! :) I have 88 pages of story that got to the beginning of the action-packed conclusion and crashed into a wall because the motivation of the bad guys isn't working out at all, and the subplots are so convoluted that I either have to cut them (which would erode two major themes I'm trying to develop) or completely rework them, which will make this monstrosity five times as long as it already is. Sigh.

    I do often start with only a vague idea of plot, or just write a few scenes for the sake of writing them and figure out what to do with them later. But usually I get things sorted out pretty quickly.
  14. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2002
    Eek! Eighty-eight!

    *sends Mistress_Renata a box of chocolates*
  15. vader_incarnate

    vader_incarnate Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 29, 2002
    Whoosh, yes. [face_blush] I run into roadblocks all the time, mostly because I have so little planned out, I guess. :p Whatever I happen to type out quite often surprises me as much as anyone else, I'm afraid, though I have only the vaguest, vaguest things planned ahead. Like "I want so-and-so to die" or something. :p And the fact that I love random plot twists only confuses me more . . . like I know something shocking was supposed to happen here, but, six months or so later, I can't remember what it was. [face_blush] :p

    Toodles, I'll stop rambling now. ;) :D
  16. debeautimous

    debeautimous Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 2, 2003
    The writing process has been very therapeutic for me. My mom died recently. I never thought I would have the courage to write. I actually use the forum as a sounding board and I can fix all the imperfections later. I guess I think just because people are reading it doesnt mean it is finished.
  17. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    Am, that it totally me! In about 3 & 1/2 years here, I've written 9 stories and have 4 in progress, and NONE have come out as good as I wanted to them to be. Some have come close, but I have come to face it that I'm not the world's greatest writer. :p I'm good with dialouge, but I'm HORRIBLE with descriptions. I think I should be a playwriter instead of a author. :)

    I've got a bunch of bunnies all hopping in my head right now, and one is really shining at the top. However, I'm somewhat afraid that I won't do the idea justice by writing it.

    But, there is an alternative! I did this once and it turned out great: Throw out your idea to other writers!! (Keep in mind: I did this a few years ago when the board was WAY smaller). I had an interesting bunny hopping in my head one day, and I thought of writing it. Yet I knew very little on the subject. So I threw the idea out to the JC. Luckily for me, it was gobbled up by _Derisa_Ollamhin, who turned my simple idea of an Authurian Legend/Star Wars story into the fantastic piece it is now!! It turned out better than I had ever imagined.

    Just a thought. :p
  18. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2002
    Well, DeB, I know about the therapeutic thing. A friend of mine died about a year ago, and my main comforts were my best friend and the JC boards. I know that many times, my best writing comes from when I'm terribly emotional--usually sad or angry. *shrugs* Other teenagers yell at their parents, I write stories...

  19. Sock_of_Darth_Vader

    Sock_of_Darth_Vader Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 24, 2002
    I do the outline, first draft, edit, finished draft thing. Ok, I'm a scientist. :D

    I always have these vividly imagined scenes in my head, and when I get to that point in the story, they gush out in relief. That's why I write so many one-shots ;)

    I would always need to have a story at least well under way before I could let anyone else see it--even a beta. At the minute I'm writing a story at two different points--got halfway through and found the early chapters needed reworking, lol.
  20. DarthSnuggles1121

    DarthSnuggles1121 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 28, 2002
    You have nooo idea, Am... :p

    Not too long ago, I got this idea for a fantastically emotional vignette. It was to be long, tragic, and beautiful. It would be the best fan fiction I'd ever written.

    Ha! By the time I'd written it all down, I knew it wouldn't even come close.

    What's worse was that it was sort of a sequel to another vignette I'd written, which I believe to be my best work to date. I had high hopes that this sequel would surpass its predicessor, but alas, it was not to be. Naturally, I was pretty upset and confused by this. Spent about an hour just staring at WordPad, wondering why I couldn't get all the emotions that I'd wanted to express in that little document. I could practically taste the character's feelings, but so help me I could not write them down, and the vignette turned out to be waaaay beneath my previous work.

    Ah well. Can't win 'em all. ;) The best we can do is just keep at it.
  21. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2002
    I always have these vividly imagined scenes in my head, and when I get to that point in the story, they gush out in relief. That's why I write so many one-shots.

    Well, I don't write many one-shots, but most (okay, all) of my stories are based on one or several scenes vividly imagined before the rest of the plot. Landslide, for instance, is totally and completely written for one scene I've had in my head for (I kid you not) almost two years now. It changes periodically, but the base always stays the same. Shades of Green has quite a few of those that have been rolling around in my brain for quite some time as well.

  22. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    I love one-shots, but I can't usually manage them! Too mouthy, I guess. It's always a pleasure to run into them on the boards.

    Re: stories that you don't expect to write --one of the most sucessful ones I've done was "Not an Option," which was intended to be backstory for a story I was co-writing, but it got bigger, then Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan wanted a part, and a little idea took off big time (over 100 pages)... and re-reading it, I'm afraid I'm never going to come up with anything that strong again!

    I agree, writing is VERY therapeutic! When I've had a bad day at work, or when the news depresses me, I can pull up one of the many bunnies on my floppy, and hey presto! A few hours later, I'm feeling better. So sorry to hear about your mom, debeautimous!
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