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Free Writing - Do you do it?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Ruru, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Ruru

    Ruru Troubadour

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    I've undertaken a creative writing course. Its the first one I've ever done, and I'm loving it, but that's an aside.

    It has introduced me to Free Writing.

    I'd heard of it as a concept before, but never actually tried it out. I've discovered that, for me, its a really powerful tool. It doesn't even matter what topic I write about: if I sit down and free write about something for five minutes before I start a session, the writing that follows is freer, the thoughts and words seem to come more easily.

    Its also shown me that if I'm not focused on the final outcome, if I'm not worried about how the piece will come out because I am totally winging it and there are no expectations, I can write a lot. A lot for me in any case, I don't know what other peoples outputs are like. But 550 words in ten minutes, those being words that I don't immediately want to screw up, made me smile. And the more I do it, the easier it gets, not to mention the weird and wonderful places my mind gets to go during the process.

    I am curious to know if this is a tool that you use, and how you find it. What other methods do you use to get those creative juices flowing, to get warmed up and motivated?
     
    Chessie2 and DragonOfTheAerie like this.
  2. Writeking

    Writeking Sage

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    I do a lot of free writing, and it is a very useful tool. I also find the more I free write, the more I notice improvement in my writing. Like they say- Practice makes Perfect. So I definitely recommend Freewriting.
     
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  3. Agam Ridelle

    Agam Ridelle Scribe

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    IMO, it's good for a practice at the beginning. Later on, figure out if you're ready and then either own the content on your website, or publish it for yourself, or offer it, and get something out of it - promo, portfolio materials, affiliate, or money.
     
  4. EponasSong

    EponasSong Scribe

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    That would be very bad for me sadly. I have difficulty staying focused as is.
     
  5. Silversha

    Silversha New Member

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    I can't free write to save my life :cry:,does anyone struggle with this? I just hate leaving things sloppy and unfinished and that's what free writing forces me to do- so i tend to not do it.
     
    Ruru likes this.
  6. All the time. I spend lots of time just throwing out words in a stream-of-consciousness type fashion. To brainstorm, to develop ideas, to just open my mind.
     
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  7. Devora

    Devora Sage

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    I've try freewriting from time to time. i never really manage to finish a story but it kinda helps to shake off some rust and get some raw ideas down.
     
  8. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I try to approach most of my writing kind of like it's free writing. For example, I know what a scene is supposed to broadly do. I have specific place where I want a scene to end. Everything else is sit down and go. In some ways it's like I'm free writing as the POV character.
     
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  9. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    This is often how I write my novels. There are plot points that have a clear need for me to fill but most of the time I have no idea where or how to start a chapter, so I just write. The process always works itself out.
     
    Ruru likes this.
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I don't really get freewriting. There's writing. I get that. I'm not sure what I intend to say just now; does that make it freewriting? What if I'm only somewhat sure? What if I jotted down one idea and then started writing? What if it was only one page of notes?

    Not trying to undermine anything here. If an approach resonates for you, then go for it. It's like in music, if you like the sound of minor 7ths, then bully. If you prefer major chords, then compose with that. Everyone has their own path. For myself, it simply doesn't even look like path. It's all just writing.
     
  11. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Most of my notes are free writing. I put my hands on the keyboard and let my mind wander into whatever nooks and crannies it connects to the project I'm brainstorming or worldbuilding for. It makes for a lot of irrelevant information in the end, but there's always some good stuff that I can glean from it.

    When it comes to the actual manuscript, though, I need to work with a solid plan in place. Even if it's just a scene, I have to know how it links with the other pieces of the narrative I have written, and I'll lay it out before writing to plot out how it follows its own shorter arc. If it's a dialogue-heavy chunk I'll usually script it out ahead of time.
     
  12. Ruru

    Ruru Troubadour

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    Really interesting to hear everyone's takes on it, thanks! I guess using free writing type sessions to actually draft pieces for WIPs etc starts to boarder on the whole 'pantsing or plotlining' discussion, which does seem to divide most people.

    The 'rule' with the sessions we were doing in class was that your pen was not allowed to stop. If your mind went blank, you had to continue with 'blah blah blah' until you got going again. It was really interesting to see that for the works few weeks, our works were full of blah blahs, but that has slowly faded away and people are getting down some quite coherent pieces.

    Its definitely been a great writers block tool for me, getting things moving again when I've got stuck. Most of what goes down would never make it into an actual story as is, but it seems to give me phrases, word choices or ideas that I can use, and in particular, has alerted me to the way some of my characters actually want to behave as opposed to how I want them to.
     
  13. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    I don't free write. I just don't have time to spare. Time made for writing is always on a project toward publication, or research, or editing, or marketing, etc.

    That's not to say free writing doesn't have merit.
     
  14. Helen

    Helen Inkling

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    It's great for the vomit draft.
     
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  15. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    So, I realized recently that I was rejected freewriting out of hand. My exact words were that "I don't really get" it, which is perilously close to that classic of teen dialog, "I don't understand." The least I can do is to try it, so I can say I tried and it's not for me, which is a more reasonable thing to say.

    I'm not going to try it as main writing. The prospect of free writing my way to a 150k novel is just too overwhelming. I have, though, thought of another possibility.

    I'm pretty close on my first draft for my WIP. Inevitably (for me) descriptions are thin and not always properly placed. I see now I want to establish early the feel of the place (caverns), so that later in the story I can simply invoke the impressions already established, or ring some change upon them. That seems like a perfect place to do freewriting. Concentrate on the senses. Put myself in a cavern, and just start writing. Maybe that's too much planning for a free writing exercise, but it's definitely coloring outside the lines for me.
     
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  16. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    I will try this tip from the OP. Maybe it can be used to break a author's block?
     
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