tsukinofaerii: Slytherins do it with each other (Slytherins do it with each other)
[personal profile] tsukinofaerii
Here and here two of my most favorite enables [personal profile] jazzypom and [personal profile] valtyr have started a meme trying to get people to discuss their writing methods, and I thought I'd toss in.

Currently, I'm in an odd position because I let so much build up that needs editing. One fic has a deadline that's unavoidable, but the other two (vampire!Tony and girl!Steve) are essentially at my leisure. And boy, do I leisure. D: Of those two, vampire!Tony is actually a victim of not following my SOP, so I'll start there.

I have roughly two methods: one for longfic and one for shortfic. The definition of long and short vary a bit depending on the complexity of the plot and how hard the idea is to pull off, but it's fairly standard.

For longfic, I plan. I've tried doing long stories off the cuff, just starting and letting it roll with an idea. The result was a lot of unfinished stories. I get bored, or it gets to a hard part, or I lose the thread, and that's that. I'll set it aside for a new shiny fic, while promising myself that I'll get back to it. It never happens.

So I've learned to outline. For long fic, I usually start with a scene. Just something interesting that pops into my head. Then the rest of the concept revolves around whatever it takes to make that scene happen. Then I sit own and plan out the scenes from start to finish. Somewhere, B-plots get thrown in, and they get woven in and out. After a bit of tweaking, it's just a matter of sitting down and doing the writing. The hard parts still happen, but it's much, much easier for me to work through them when I have a note saying "Scene 6: Tony sneaks into the kitchen to steal a glass of milk. Steve finds him and is extremely confused. Tony gives some bullshit about saving the world through calcium, then runs away. Steve is O.o".

With Dying for a Drink, the original scene was Ezrabet offering Tony immortality. In This Woman's War, it was Stevie waking up and busting out. Engaging the Enemy, I fell in love with the visual of Steve all tied up semi-consensually while villain!Tony flirted.

What happened with the vampire Tony sequel is that NaNoWriMo snuck up on me. I started out with a concept, but not that one scene I wanted to work for. So it started off with a slapped together plot made from a concept I'd come up with while writing the fic before it, and then it fell apart farther from there. Because of Nano, I pushed through when I should have stopped to rewrite, to research, to plan. :( And now I have a very large fic that makes me kind of ill to think of editing because I want it to be good, but the amount of work it will take to do gives me nervous fits.

With short stories, I tend to skip the "concept/outline" part. I go, "HEY, I like that scene idea." And lo, a story happens. I get ideas from the werirdest places, and also from [personal profile] valtyr. She's terrible. I like prompts and cliches for short stories. They make things flow very nicely, and tend to be low on the details and complications. It's much more off the cuff and inspired.

Regardless of length, I don't tend to complicate my stories much. The A-plot may seem like a doozy (it usually isn't though), but I never really focus much on B-plots or ensembles, and I am so incredibly jealous of people who can. It seems like the most amazing thing in the world to me, to be able to juggle so many different stories and tie them into one. So shiny.

Sometimes I worry that I rely on gimmicks and cliches too much. I love my cliches, but they're cliche for a reason. And really, the W.I.P.E. series could have been handled perfectly well without painting the fourth wall (which ended up being my bane because it mandated first person present tense, RAWR). But no one's complained, so... IDK.

I love my settings and visuals. Love them. And I hate dialog tags. Hate them. So it ends up with really weird blocking sometimes, where a character will do something, anything, just so I can avoid using a dialog tag. It also means that I do complex things to commas that make beta readers cry. But I really do like my visuals, and I try to keep an eye on the sentence length when it matters. Try.

At the end of everything is where I suck. I want beta comments on the plot integrity and how the fic as a whole works, but I never actually do that much editing unless I have to. Unlike [personal profile] valtyr, I almost never go back and expand on a stylistic choice (like bare dialog), or add in whole scenes unless I really, really need to. So far, so good? (tucks the vampire fic under the bed)

So, that's it. What about you, oh circle?

Date: 2012-01-04 03:07 pm (UTC)
valtyr: (Hulk map)
From: [personal profile] valtyr
Unlike valtyr, I almost never go back and expand on a stylistic choice (like bare dialog),

That's interesting. I mean, sometimes I can roll out a whole scene near-complete, but usually it's just a sketch, indicating what will happen, giving the shape and composition - and then I go back and shade it in a bit, give it volume and depth and a bit of colour, and then the finer detail, stuff like reading lines aloud or counting my dialogue tags or stripping out unneccesary wordage and putting in descriptions.

Maybe I should try outlining more for longer stories. What I do is write in one text editor until it becomes unwieldy (as much as 30k) and then dump it into scrivener and take it apart. (I guess at that point, it's a very detailed outline. :p)


tsukinofaerii: Whosoever findeth this hammer, if she be hot, shall wield the power of the gnarly Thor (Default)

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