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  1. #1
    Eva S
    Guest

    Re-inventing the Wheel

    Do you find that, to some extent, you re-invent your own wheel with every project?

    I've thought of myself for years as a "blank pager" -- put a piece of blank paper (or a blank computer screen) in front of me and I'll take off. But, with the last few projects . . .

    One was tightly structured and outlined before I started (although I deviated when needed);

    One came from a chance encounter on a bus that sparked a "what if?" I wrote three chapters, and then an outline, although an additional subplot showed up, much to my surprise;

    One came from a chance remark to a friend and grew into a full-length project;

    One was spurred by a newspaper article and my feeling of "I wish . . ." ;

    And today, I'm happily plugging along on my current WIP, when I get a nagging idea. I pause to jot it down so I won't forget. That was twelve pages ago. It's all notes, ideas, character descriptions. And questions. It's a piece that will require research (it starts in the 1940s) and is asking for detailed characater descriptions, journaling, etc. I have a feeling I will write it in chronological order, and then take the chapters and rearrange them in the rewrite. It's a new way of working for me, and not something where I said to myself, "Oh, I think I'd like to try a project with this method." It simply demands to be done this way.

    Just curious if others work differently on every project, or stick to a tried and true method.

    I find the different techniques interesting, and I carry something from each project that helps me in the next, but I wonder if I'm making it more complicated than necessary.



  2. #2
    Lois
    Guest

    Re: Re-inventing the Wheel

    Eva -- My wheel stays still with a slight shimmy every now and again.

    Plots jump up full blown, and I go from page one. Will often stop after chapter one and dash out notes for the rest of the novel, but NOT an outline.

    The plot always has plenty of wiggle-room so I'm not stuck with each scene. Yet the novel ends up as the one that first attacked me -- usually at the weirdest moments.

    I've deviated once or twice from this route. The novel has either fizzled, or I end up with a short story.

    Am curious about the rest of the WN folks! Thanks for posing the question, Eva.

    Lois

  3. #3
    M T
    Guest

    Re: Re-inventing the Wheel

    So far I've stuck to the same method and pretty much the same genre. It's safe and comfortable and I feel confidant that I've pretty much nailed this one method (although there is always more to learn). But lately I feel that I'm being too easy on myself. I think it's valuable to a writer to stretch his/her mind with trying out diffent styles, genres etc. A really formidable idea IMO is trying to write from the POV of your opposite gender. I'm going to try this one of these days, don't know if I can pull it off though.

  4. #4
    Elizabeth
    Guest

    Wiggling and sex changing

    "Wiggle room" - that's exactly the right phrase. I would hate to be bound to an outline when I suddenly discover a side-road I would like to investigate. And MT - I find writing men hard, too, but it's quite fun. I test my attempts on my husband.

  5. #5
    Eva S
    Guest

    Re: The male POV

    I was worried about writing from the male perspective for certain sections of the hockey novel, but the players who've read it are thrilled. That's helped my confidence a lot -- my plays are well-known for having strong female characters that I work very hard to make sure the men get their due!

    I'm finding that the last few projects are in such varied genres that each requires a different method (and some require different pseudonyms). It's fascinating to experience how each piece "births".

    Lois -- if you get a chance, will you e-mail me off the board? Thanks.

  6. #6
    M T
    Guest

    Re: The male POV

    For a woman to write from a male POV, I imagine the trick would be to get the right mix. Not too much of the feminine side, yet there has to be a little bit of sensitivity or he would come across as one dimensional. I'll do like you, Elizabeth, and try my attempt out on my boyfriend. He might be shocked lol.

  7. #7
    Lindi
    Guest

    Re: The male POV

    I follow an outline, but I never know quite how the scene will unfold until I write it. The characters have to remain true to their nature, and sometimes once I'm writing the scene, the character just won't jump through certain hoops! It all works out though because other characters step in and support the plot in ways I hadn't expected. The important thing is that each character still has a solid goal and solid inner conflict. That way, they keep moving in essentially the right direction.

  8. #8
    Goliardeys
    Guest

    Re: The male POV

    Speaking as a reader, I think the worst mistake a female writer can make is to overdo it and try to show that she know things that she cannot know. For example I've rarely read a sex scene written from a male point of view by a femal writer that has convinced me.

    It is easy to get details wrong, too. I remember reading a woman's male character fantasizing about cake. Other men may contradict me on this, but I don't think cake's one of the thing's we fantasize about.

    Goliardeys.

  9. #9
    Goliardeys
    Guest

    Re: The male POV

    Oh blast! Sorry about that ludicrous apostrophe in my last post.

    Goliardeys.

  10. #10
    Lindi
    Guest

    Re: The male POV

    I don't know why but it's a lot more difficult for me to write female characters. Male characters, no problem. Being female, you'd think it'd be the other way around. The only solution I've come up with is writing out the character's life story from birth and doing a detailed profile. Even then though, it's hard. Notice most of my stories are mostly populated by guys, LoL?!?

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