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How do *you* write?

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  • #133778
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Hey guys,

    I’ve run into some interesting ways of writing over the years that made me go, “huh,” and stop to analyze they system’s pros and cons.

    I’m thinking about doing an article exploring unique systems for developing plots and characters.

    So I want to know. How do you develop your plots and characters?

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    #133786
    Arindown (Gracie)
    @arindown

    @daeus-lamb This is a really cool subject.

    I almost always come up with characters first. Being an artist, I usually visualize them first, and then move to personality, then base the character arc off of the personality. Almost all personalities have “weaknesses” that are easy to turn into flaws (like introverts struggling to get along with people, or dominate personalities taking too much control). I believe that all stories should be character driven, so I then use the character arc to map out the plot. External events match the “points” in the characters personal internal journey.

    If I’m struggling to come up with character arc, I’ll do some of the plot first, and then ask myself how those things can help push my character out of their comfort zone internally.

    I look forward to hearing how other people do it!

    Not all those who wander are lost.

    #133854
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @daeus-lamb Cool topic!

    Oddly enough, the world usually comes first for me. Generally just a rough area and time period that I can world build off of, and from there, I figure out what may be issues in that world.

    Any kind of conflict or friction is generally a starting point. If there isn’t anything in particular, I might start from a cool character dynamic. From there, I get a loose theme, which then fuels the main character arc. Sometimes I have the character arc first and the theme second, and sometimes theme falls by the wayside and I have to figure it out later.

    Once I have that, I get the plot and character arc at the same time.

    Then I start thinking of subplots and side characters. I refine all of that until it fits together, which usually requires partially starting over. This part takes eternal dead ends, inspiration blocks, and scrapping ideas, but then I can finally start writing.


    @arindown

    Being an artist, I usually visualize them first, and then move to personality, then base the character arc off of the personality.

    Totally relate to that! More often than not, I’ll have a color palette before I have a personality XD Not exactly useful, but it gets me thinking XD

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #133855
    Rebekah12
    @rebekah12

    @daeus-lamb

    Cool topic! That sounds very interesting.

    I guess for me it kind of depends. Sometimes I’ll start with a character that I want to work with, and other times (like with my current WIP), I start with a what if such-and-such happened? type question, figure out a storyline that works, and deal with what remains whenever I can. I guess I don’t really have much of a specific system. . .

    “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.” -- Nick Fury

    #133923
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    @arindown @rose-colored-fancy @rebekah12

    Your methods all sound interesting!

    As a budding anthropologist, logophile, and analyzer of stories (what motifs and symbols are pervasive, which building blocks are used, etc), my works tend to be inspired by a plethora of random other bits and pieces.  My main WIP started with a dream I had, which was expanded slightly with a song.  Now it has been reworked and modified based on dozens of songs I like and imported character elements or plot threads from other stories.  For example, a massive country-shaping ancient conspiracy that is vastly important to the plot and world was the result of me hearing the single song ‘Godhunter’ by Aviators.  (The song is about a woman – the godhunter – hunting down mortals who made themselves into false gods, not about someone hunting down actual God).

    Because of this mix-and-match jumble of inspiring elements my narratives rarely follow the events surrounding a single individual and instead spread to cover a whole world.  In the world inspired by that one dream (which I call Haven as that is the name of the country a plurality of events occur in), there are at least half a dozen different narratives going on.  Some are about the ancient conspiracy, some are about the formation of the conspiracy, some take place between, some are only distantly connected to it, some are completely unconnected to it.  In the same world I have a struggle between paganism and Christianity in my Viking nation and a middle ages Indo-Arabian retelling of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga set thousands of years before the Viking conflict.  And neither of those stories has much to do with the plot of the most ‘main’ story I have, which deals with the aftereffects of the conspiracy without actually being aware that there was a conspiracy and these are the aftereffects…

    Bottom line, there’s a whole lot going on and most of it is because I’ve listened to a song’s lyrics and thought ‘this could apply to my story/world, I’ll weave it in’.

     

    My other WIP, about a world where all major beliefs are true and Hunters track down supernatural monsters to protect humanity, was actually taken (with permission) from a close friend of mine who based it off the show Supernatural.  That WIP is mostly based on me trying to portray that world as plausibly as possible, staying true to the real myths and beliefs of the real cultures I borrow them from, and also trying to avoid the various mistakes Supernatural committed.  (For example, mispronouncing Samhain as ‘Sam Hane’ makes sense based on the spelling – it is a celtic word and most don’t understand that spelling rules for gaelic languages would dictate it be pronounced ‘saw-win’ instead – but turning a <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>pagan holiday/festival</span> into a halloween demon whose release breaks one of the 66 seals binding Lucifer makes no sense.)

    For the Hunters thing I do still take inspiration from song lyrics, but that affects mostly characters and their relationships with one another rather than the worldbuilding or plot.

     

    …that was really long.  Sorry.  Hope this was interesting though?

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

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