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Who's Really Writing?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by blondie.k, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. blondie.k

    blondie.k Minstrel

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    As odd as this sounds, I have been beginning to question whether I am writing the story or if the story is writing itself? How do you tell which is which and when the tables have turned? And is it possible that a story can write you?
     
  2. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    Pretty sure a story can't write you. But yeah, as a pretty much pure pantster most of my stories seem to write themselves while I'm just the guy on the end of the keyboard. It can be fun - finding out how a story ends as you write it. Or learning all the twists of the plot. It can also be massively productive. I wrote The Travel Bug (87k) in just over a month. Editing is of course still a bastard!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
    blondie.k likes this.
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I often find that stories go in a direction that I didn't expect. I've had minor drop-in characters leap to the front of the story and replace the MCs; stories where the character decided it wasn't worth it [whatever the it was] and stop; and in one notable twist, the hero switched sides, killed the villain and became the Big Bad themselves...
     
  4. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Minstrel

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    Stephen King in On Writing uses the image of an archeologist digging up some ancient ruins or dinosaur bones to describe his view of writing a story. I find this image works for me. I find some nuggets of inspiration and poke around at them in my head. This gives me a decent view of some parts of the story. As I start writing, slowly more of the story reveals itself. Some of it I know in advance, but some of it is completely unforeseen. And this goes both for characters who decide they are a lot more important then I initially thought. But also for events happening or the importance of events. I've had it happen that I add in a seemingly insignificant detail at the start of a story (like a bit of description) that later on turns out to be pivotal to the story.

    Of course, this only is about how it feels like the story is written. In the end there is only one person creating the story. And all decisions originate from that person, even if he doesn't know where those decisions come from.
     
  5. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    When I'm getting the good stuff out, I'm not writing so much as just writing it down. There's a trance, a zone.

    It's also exhausting.
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  6. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    But then, what happens when the story goes mute?

    I'm the one always writing.

    But sometimes it's like this for me: As if I've been instructed by a paint instructor to paint some small scene outside the window; I begin painting one thing, then I notice something beyond it in the distance and add it too, then from the corner of my eye I see something else off to the side and so add it, and then these in combination make me think something so I make changes, adding things I don't see until I paint them—a harmonious color palette, a symmetry of shapes, an aura or two hovering around some things I've already seen with my eyes. And so on.

    So I write the story, but the various things I write can "suggest" new directions and additions. It's still me choosing these new things however, i.e. taking the reins.
     
    blondie.k likes this.
  7. At the best of times it feels as if the story writes us, but I think that's us finding the flow or becoming immersed in the process and the world we are creating. Sort of like how you become familiar with an amusement park's layout or the streets of your own neighborhood and, after a time, can find your way around without thinking about it. The more the idea/story/characters become recognizable, the easier I think it is to step into the story in a flow.
     
  8. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Troubadour

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    It sometimes feels like it, but I think the stories come from us. This includes what influences us, of course, but that's filtered through us, too.
     
  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    While I get the temptation and sensation of some sort of mystic experience... it’s always us.
     
    Chessie2 likes this.
  10. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I tried letting the story write itself, but I guess the stories I encounter are a bunch of lazy jerks. All they ever turn in are blank pages. :p.

    I’m a natural pantser, but I heavily outline now. So although theres there’s a certain degree of freedom I leave for the details, all the key stuff has been thought out and re-thought out. The wildness of the story tends to get tamed in the outlining process.
     
    Firefly likes this.
  11. MrNybble

    MrNybble Troubadour

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    I sure hope the story writes itself or I bought this ouija board for nothing.
     
  12. Otter

    Otter Acolyte

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    I just arrived at these forums and I am pleased to see I am not alone. I am not a writer but recently something has germinated in my mind and I am here to learn (I hope,) how to nurture it and see it grow beyond the little sprouts that have made it to pen and paper. The process so far is compulsive and more or less beyond my control. I am worried the snowballing is losing momentum and I won't be able to see it through.

    Um.. can someone please explain to me.. What the heck is a pantster? :p

    EDIT: I just realized it's sort of like that game Kadamari Damacy. The story just sort of rolls around on things and adding them to itself LOL
     
  13. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    Pantster - someone who writes by the seat of their pants as opposed to a plotter who writes according to a plot.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    People write stories. There is no mystery behind it--writing books is hard work. You have to think of what you're writing, put emotion behind it, and find the right way to communicate the message to readers. The idea that story writes itself is completely ruling out the human element that makes it story.
     
    Heliotrope and Firefly like this.
  15. The story already exists, I just find it and write it down. So I'd say that the story writes itself, or at least that's the way it works out for me.
     
    blondie.k likes this.
  16. blondie.k

    blondie.k Minstrel

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    That's how I feel most of the time. :)
     
    Hir i-Chorvath likes this.
  17. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    The story does not already exist. You create it as you write. Ideas exist, sure. But not the whole of the story itself.
     
    Heliotrope likes this.
  18. *shrug* Sure, that's one way of putting it. But where's the fun in that? Why can't it already exist? I think that all stories already exist and are just waiting to be discovered... in the very least, the stories in my imagination are. That's just the way I like to think about writing, regardless of whether or not reason says otherwise.
     
    blondie.k likes this.
  19. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Muse files plagiarism lawsuit... I like it.
     
  20. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    The Eldritch god Cgh'tu'nkwà has deemed this world in dire need of hundreds of half-finished tales.

    I am but a vessel and therefore cannot be held accountable.
     
    Firefly and TheKillerBs like this.
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