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  1. #61
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    ^Actually, I've heard it from a writer called Tais Teng It's one of my favourites, together with the milestone-and-deadline system I've created together with my husband.

    I've experienced repeatedly that I procrastinate on the writing (maybe a little bit fear of failure, probably mostly the perceiver's weakness) and I'm frustrated of lost time in which I could have written.

    Husband: "Don't tell me you want a deadline on your writing!"
    Me: "Actually that could work. Let's try one."
    Husband (half joking): "Okay, by next Wednesday you make a list of things you want to do and an estimate on how long each should take."
    Next Wednesday I had not only made the list, I actually had already crossed several items on it! Just by writing down I needed to eg. "make Main character discover Sidekick is in love with her" my subconscious started to work on it and after a day or two I actually had a novel-worthy scene.
    Then my husband told me which items to finish in two week's time. In most of the occasions I met the milestone; sometimes I overshot; sometimes I finished other items than the ones appointed, and on a few occasions I didn't meet it.

    I've created three quarters of the novel in more than two years. The last quarter, together with the overall revision and non-creative but necessary things like "check timeline" and "check appearance characters" and a style (*), spelling and grammar scrutinizing, took me four months (which were interrupted by exams and family holidays).

    Now I'm writing a new one, and I want to begin the milestone system as early as possible. A little outside stress makes me a hell of a lot more productive. It took me two months to work out the idea and a few scenes and dialogue to the point I was able to make an outline with estimates. Now, two weeks later, I have written +/- a quarter of the book, met my very first milestone of this one. I'm totally happy with the system.

    (*) Style: a time-consuming but nevertheless very efficient method is reading out loud. Not "loud in your head" but really loud. It takes a lot of time to go through your work like this, but the improvement on style is astonishing and you only need to do it once.
    Got questions? Ask an ENTP!
    I'm female. I just can't draw women

  2. #62
    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    Talk to your friends and neighbors and start accumulating anecdotes.

    For example, I was talking to the aunt of a friend about 5 months ago, and she related the story of when she was a child and a naked knife weilding drug addict broke into her house. She thought that the drug adict was going to kill her- but really the drug addict just wanted to use the shower, and eat a slice of cake.
    Last edited by ObeyBunny; 06-01-2010 at 11:42 PM.
    Q: "What is the process of seeking the truth?"
    A: "Distilled liquor"

    Q: "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
    A: "Between a starving prostitute and a steak sandwich."

    Q:How would a mathematician capture an elephant?
    A:He would build a cage, step inside, and rename his new location as "outside."

  3. #63
    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    I read an article on how to flesh out the world your story takes place in (make it seem like a real place that a culture might live in, rather than the usual escapism world of just lightly wooded arias with small villages placed here and there)

    The article was in list form, and I’m copying what it said directly:


    In my last post I discussed the second draft and suggested that people use it to flesh out the world of their story. Here are a few areas in which you can expand upon your first draft.

    Physical descriptions

    1. The appearance of characters
    2. The geography and landscape of the settings
    3. The general climate and the day’s weather
    4. Plants and animals in the area
    5. Descriptions of the buildings, streets and other manmade structures
    6. Description of decorations and other character-based changes to setting

    Cultural / environmental descriptions

    1. Types of people
    2. Shared values
    3. Conflicting values
    4. Political climate
    5. Economic status
    6. Class / social status
    7. Educational status
    8. Employment status
    9. Religion
    10. Local customs and quirks
    11. Time of year / seasonal events

    Character / psychological descriptions

    1. Character’s strengths
    2. Character’s fears
    3. Character’s faults
    4. Character’s normal behavior
    5. Character’s behavior under stress
    6. Character’s personality / quirks
    7. Character’s past
    8. Character’s values




    Here’s the link to the article: Short Story Writing Project: Fleshing out your world | PoeWar
    Q: "What is the process of seeking the truth?"
    A: "Distilled liquor"

    Q: "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
    A: "Between a starving prostitute and a steak sandwich."

    Q:How would a mathematician capture an elephant?
    A:He would build a cage, step inside, and rename his new location as "outside."

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