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How much do you rely on specific writing steps?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Michael K. Eidson, Jan 15, 2018.

Which choice below best describes how much you adhere to a process when writing stories?

  1. I have refined my writing process to such a degree, I follow the same exact steps for every story.

    2 vote(s)
    14.3%
  2. I have a core set of steps I follow for every story, but I vary on other parts of the process.

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  3. I have some steps I typically follow for writing stories, but none that I absolutely always follow.

    8 vote(s)
    57.1%
  4. I always go with the flow and never pay any mind to what steps I take when writing stories.

    4 vote(s)
    28.6%
  5. I want to have a process for writing stories, but I'm not there yet.

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  6. I write stories, but what's a writing process?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. I don't write stories.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. None of the above describe me well enough to choose them.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    This question is about the set of steps you follow when writing a story. If you write different types of stories (e.g., novels vs. short stories, romance vs. fantasy), feel free to pick one answer for one type of story and another answer for another type of story.
     
  2. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    What about "I have a variety of steps I use, but pick and choose the steps depending on the type, and length of the story" ?

    At any rate, I picked the third option. It was the closest.
     
  3. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    As my first post said, you're allowed to select multiple answers, one for each type of writing you do.
     
  4. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Got it. Changed it.
     
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I voted that I follow the steps every time. But the steps are not.... I mean, I think of a thing. I think of what I need to support that thing (MC lives in a castle on a moving island. Okay, what is everything that implies if I really think about it?). After that I sketch out some tertiary placeholder stuff so I'm not missing anything. I fill in the placeholders as I go.

    So that's primary idea, secondary support, tertiary filler. And I kind of repeat it a bit going into character, plot, and setting.

    For example, for plot, I might think, the MC recklessly puts himself in a tight spot and breaks the ship-castle's rudder. Cool drama - especially if it's a magic and seemingly irreplaceable rudder. That has to mean layers of bad things, Are they now directionless? Or did they stop moving? Big consequences to either, but I can get to those later. The MC now has the following problems:

    - He's too afraid to face the people back home because of the damage he's caused.
    - The damage is going to hurt a lot of people's livelihoods or worse.
    - The conflict that caused him to break the rudder continues unresolved.
    - Breaking the rudder exposes a new and surprising conflict undermining the history of the sailing castle.

    Now I have to pay special attention to the character as I create him to make sure that I support those key plot points.....

    So there's layers to it. It keeps building as every new concept implies several more.

    Also, this story is just an example I came up with now, not one I've thought about.
     
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  6. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    I think i fall somewhere between 3 and 4. Any formal steps i might follow are kind of loosely founded in my head. I would not say i always just go where a whim takes me, some governing principles apply but i dont have a set rules i follow for the whole of writing in general. I may for an indiviual work though.
     
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  7. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    I went with #3, but the better answer might be: I have core steps that will always be used but they aren’t in the same order, LOL.
     
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  8. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    The choices say nothing about the order of the steps. It would seem #2 would be a better fit for the situation you describe.
     
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