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What do you do before you start writing?

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by U.N. Owen, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. U.N. Owen

    U.N. Owen In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...

    We all had to deal with a teacher who forced us to outline our papers before we start writing. Even television show have a series bible just to keep all the plots, themes, and world elements straight. I began to wonder how other fanfic writers write.

    Personally, I take a document and just start making a sort of mini-wiki just to keep everything consistent, seeing how I ghost write some fics and often write things within the conundrum that is the Marvel Comics Universe.
  2. DeliriousAbsol

    DeliriousAbsol Call me Del

    I spend a fair bit of time thinking about the story to make sure I actually want to write it. If it has enough interest to keep me excited, I jot up character details in Scrivener in their own folder, being well aware that some things may change as characters progress. Important bits get noted - place names, character names etc - which I add to as the story progresses while I write. That way I don't forget major things. For example, System Reboot has a Place Names document which lists all the cities and what pokemon types primarily live there, to avoid inconsistencies.

    After these bits are noted up, I then just start writing. I've got a couple a writing app on my phone called Story Planner. I use that to note down scenes I may daydream up while away from my computer, just so I don't forget them. Because there have been times where I've completely forgotten something, and it's so frustrating.

    I don't go into the nitty-gritty details with planning, as with the way I write, those details will likely change as the story progresses.
  3. NebulaDreams

    NebulaDreams A Dense Irritating Miniature Beast of Burden

    I outline, either through Evernote or through good old pen and paper. It's important for me to have a direction for my chapter to go before I write it, so I make a note of the key events of the chapter and write around that. I fill in the details with the actual writing, and sometimes, it might deviate from the outline if I've come up with something that better fits the story.

    I've also made timelines of events, particularly those for my GeL subplot as those span about 4 years, as well as character outlines as well as questions for my characters to answer. I also note down ideas I like such as certain worldbuilding elements I think could be made into a short story or appear in my main fic project.
  4. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie All I want for Christmas is you...

    I make an outline of what I'm thinking of, then I start throwing in some characters who I want in it, especially if there's OCs, whom I immediately start designing for reference. But mostly I have to sit on the idea for a bit to see if I'm amused or interested enough by it to start writing down dialogue. That's usually what I jot down first is a string of dialogue that I fill in the gaps as I go along. Any scenes that come to mind of what I'd like to see in the story I jot down a quick summary on its own separate page of the document until I reach that point to put it in the story proper.


    Actually, I kinda don't really pay much attention to what I do when I plan things out. The above's typically what I do even as I'm going along, but ideas/plot-bunnies just come to me at random (usually in the shower or as I'm listening to music/out on a walk) that I let fester as I try to piece together what I want. For the most part, I come up with what I want the ending to be, the "moral of the story" so I have a good idea of what my goal will be. If the idea sticks with me and continues to grow within the week or two, that's pretty much a good indication that I like the concept enough to want to finish it (someday... eventually). To keep myself interested, I'll even go so far as to sketch out scenes when I'm not near my computer.

    Given that I have a bad habit of procrastinating and not work on stuff for months or years on end (I rarely delete documents), if it's something that really wants to be written, it's gotta grab my full attention, and I have to basically be working on it for months at a time in order for me to get it in my thick skull that I'm being serious about it.

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