• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

Weird writing techniques

Well, there’s a reason for that. I coined the term during a discussion about outliner vs pantser here on the MythicScribes forums. I think Caged Maiden (if I recall the MS name correctly) did an article about what the term meant to her, you can check that archive. Basically speaking, Neither outliner nor pantser fit what I do in a purist sense, nor do I necessarily use a three-act structure or what have you to construct a plot. Three Act is kind of a given for long-form story-telling IMO. But anyhow, the way I construct the story is by considering those things that MUST happen and I write to those points, hence Waypoint Writer.
you're not the first one to come up with the term or to use the method. Robert Jordan was one for instance. And Brandon Sanderson uses the same term in his lecture series when he talks about plotting.

To me it shows that outliner vs pantser is not a one or the other kind of thing. It's a continuum where you have two extremes and everything in between. I consider myself an outliner, but my outline consists of knowing which plot archs I want to tell and one sentence per scene. I know some outliners write 10k+ words on their outline, which is something I can't do. Which nudges me from the full outline more towards waypoints, except that I have very detailed waypoints.
 
Never seen it called such and neither had anybody else while we were discussing it. No doubt lots of people do something similar.

you're not the first one to come up with the term or to use the method. Robert Jordan was one for instance. And Brandon Sanderson uses the same term in his lecture series when he talks about plotting.

To me it shows that outliner vs pantser is not a one or the other kind of thing. It's a continuum where you have two extremes and everything in between. I consider myself an outliner, but my outline consists of knowing which plot archs I want to tell and one sentence per scene. I know some outliners write 10k+ words on their outline, which is something I can't do. Which nudges me from the full outline more towards waypoints, except that I have very detailed waypoints.
 

Mad Swede

Maester
I tend to listen to music whilst I write, and my choice of music depends a bit on what I'm writing. I usually start out writing with some idfea or theme in mind, and then write the major scenes first. The I start to connect the scenes together. But I also sometimes write little snippets of scenes and dump them in my random text file for later use. I find I can't do outlines, and I don't do re-drafts. In both cases it's down to my dyslexia - re-writes are just too difficult. So what goes down on the first pass is generally pretty close to the final text.
 
Once again I am convinced that all people are unique, each has his own writing technique, his own little secrets of successful and interesting story writing. After all, everyone has their own vision and their own style, and what is convenient for someone may be absolutely not effective for another. Once, I did not know how to write and express my thoughts in this way. But, over time, when I began to read many books, as well as the Eduzaurus for various assignments, I realized that it became easier for me to write. It became clearer for me how to structure my thoughts and convey meanings. Although for many, this works in the opposite direction, that is, reading the examples, it is very difficult for some to concentrate on writing their own text.
 
As I came back to this thread, I would be curious to see where Sanderson used the term, because I know it wasn’t in his BYU lectures posted at the time.

you're not the first one to come up with the term or to use the method. Robert Jordan was one for instance. And Brandon Sanderson uses the same term in his lecture series when he talks about plotting.

To me it shows that outliner vs pantser is not a one or the other kind of thing. It's a continuum where you have two extremes and everything in between. I consider myself an outliner, but my outline consists of knowing which plot archs I want to tell and one sentence per scene. I know some outliners write 10k+ words on their outline, which is something I can't do. Which nudges me from the full outline more towards waypoints, except that I have very detailed waypoints.
 
So I play the story all out in my head and will do some scenes over and over until I’ve got it just right. This is also how I get my hyperactive mind to shut up so I can sleep :LOL:. It’s like watching a tv show, each night I add on more. And the reason it helps me fall asleep is because with the story, my mind can focus on one thing instead of jumping around which keeps me awake all night.
 
As I came back to this thread, I would be curious to see where Sanderson used the term, because I know it wasn’t in his BYU lectures posted at the time.
I can't find the video where he references to it as Waypoint writing, and I don't feel like going through all his lectures. But he talks about the method here: 2013.8 lecture. I've seen him reference it in a few other places as well, especially when he talks about Robert Jordan's method of plotting.
 
That is funny, and probably posted after the last year of his lectures I watched parts of. Previous years he seemed to talk about plotting differently, but I guess that’s what makes his lectures worth watching, they vary in details. There is also a Waypoint Authors Academy, but I doubt it’s related, LOL. But the technique has probably been around since novels began, it’s just logical. I’m still curious about the term itself, as things travel on the internet fast, and I’ve been fascinated by how phrases and terms can spread to reach a wider audience, ala Mike & Mike in the morning making up words and seeing how fast they spread. In a smallish community of fantasy writers, it would be interesting to see if he used the term before January 2017 or after... not that I’d ever have a hope of tracking its use since searching the web pretty much takes us straight to Mythic Scribes, LOL.

I can't find the video where he references to it as Waypoint writing, and I don't feel like going through all his lectures. But he talks about the method here: 2013.8 lecture. I've seen him reference it in a few other places as well, especially when he talks about Robert Jordan's method of plotting.
 
I can see that. I floundered for years on finishing projects for a variety of reasons, but it was when I went into screenwriting and 120 pages to tell the story that I learned How to Finish. And the folks at UCLA were good at focusing you... maybe because I was paying for it, LMAO.

And it’s a great way to work dialogue skills.

I find write prose format for a rough draft to be too slow for my liking so I've attempted to write my drafts out as a movie script to later rework into a prose format.
 
Last edited:

Chasejxyz

Inkling
So I play the story all out in my head and will do some scenes over and over until I’ve got it just right. This is also how I get my hyperactive mind to shut up so I can sleep :LOL:. It’s like watching a tv show, each night I add on more. And the reason it helps me fall asleep is because with the story, my mind can focus on one thing instead of jumping around which keeps me awake all night.

I definitely do this. I'll iterate on a future scene and work out issues or I'll put characters in situations and figure out how they handle it, developing them further. When I get migraines and I can't use my eyes at all it's all I really CAN do, it really helps me from going mad from boredom.
 

Chinaren

Scribe
I can relate to this comment. I will write paragraphs by hand in random notebooks with no organization process. It's a complete mess but I love doing. I have so many random notebooks.

I often think of scenes (both for books in progress or just totally random) that I will write for future use. I used the 'random notebook' method too, for this before, but I've finally managed to collate them into a file on my computer.
 

D. Gray Warrior

Troubadour
Nothing that weird, but I like to use index cards for both outlining the story, but also as character sheets.

It forces me to be conservative with the character's details, so that I only include the necessary info, such as their role in the story, personal goals, and personality. I might also include a brief list about their appearance.

This way, I don't get carried away with detailing everything about my characters, like what the MC's favorite food and color are.
 
I'm writing in first person and find I get voicier narrative if I rewrite in a different tense. Changing from past tense to present tense is an exercise in imagining how the character would experience the events in the moment which helps. Conversely, changing from present tense to past tense is about imagining how the character would describe the events. Either way helps me rewrite in the character's voice more strongly. I haven't started in present, rewritten in past, and then rewritten again back to present yet. That's going to be my next experiment. :)
 
Top