Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » How do you work?

   
Author Topic: How do you work?
LewisC
Member
Member # 9973

 - posted      Profile for LewisC   Email LewisC         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Something I have learned about myself is that I need to have multiple projects going at the same time. I find that if I dedicate myself to a single story, I get bored with it and then I get lazy and eventually I walk away from it unfinished.

However, if I have multiple stories, say a couple of short stories, a novel and maybe a few other things at the edit stage, I stick with them all much better. As I get bored with one, I move on to another. Eventually, I circle back and finish them all. I haven't had any non-finishers since I started working like that.

Anyone else work this way or do you usually dedicate yourself to getting each work finished before starting the next?

LewisC

Posts: 13 | Registered: Nov 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Owasm
Member
Member # 8501

 - posted      Profile for Owasm   Email Owasm         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm sort of the opposite. If I have too many projects going on at once, I lose focus on one or two and those have a higher probability of ending up undone.

I have publishing as a goal, so that keeps me going. (I self-publish).

Posts: 1515 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
GhostWriter
Member
Member # 9963

 - posted      Profile for GhostWriter   Email GhostWriter         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to do one or two at a time as well. I am more of a nanowrimo kind of guy. I faster I go, the better.
Posts: 30 | Registered: Oct 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I keep all my projects on a burner, simmering, braising, broiling as the case may be. Some I make notes about their inspirations and let them ferment until later when they've had time to develop substance and my skills have developed suitably to realize their full potential. A four-decade writing course stacks up an enormous number of inspirations, trunked narratives, and abysmal failures. A few gems result, though, maybe, eventually, perhaps.

I'm more of a Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary, 1856, ten years from inception to publication) writer than I am a Stephenie Meyer writer, (Twilight, 2005, purportedly three months from inception to submission).

Posts: 2781 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I usually have more than one project on go but I don't like to shift too quickly. Most times, the thought of the other project as a possibility can be enough to get me back at the first one.
Posts: 1262 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Natej11
Member
Member # 8547

 - posted      Profile for Natej11   Email Natej11         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I usually do an explosion of writing where I try to avoid all distractions and focus completely on the story. Once that storm of activity peters out then I have to really push to stay on task.

I tried doing multiple stories for this NaNoWriMo, but I just ended up getting about 120 pages done across three projects then swapping to one and finishing it entirely. Instead of moving on to the next one I started writing an entirely new story and am about 120 pages into it.

It's, um, hard to focus an explosion? Can't find traction on a frictionless surface?

Posts: 579 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I'm currently in a phase where I write a rough draft, then let it sit for months before revising it---word for word, retyped, the whole thing, just so I consider every word---then, once that's done, procede to nitpicking revisions.

Meanwhile, while it's sitting, I try to be working on something new.

(Lately it's been kinda quiet, though...in the last month, after completing a rough draft thrown back into the files, I've only written a five-hundred-word start to a new story.)

Posts: 7981 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I need to 'feel' my story in my bones and in my heart. I have the one I am now working on, and about two-thirds the way through; another where I've written about 90K words but am letting it sit in the background while it cooks and another 'idea' that is just 'floating' until I finish my current novel.

Phil.

Posts: 438 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lizluka
Member
Member # 9916

 - posted      Profile for lizluka   Email lizluka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm a one-project-at-a-time kind of writer. I find it too easy to use other projects as an excuse when I get stuck on a particular piece. 'This is hurting my brain, I think I'll go work on something else.' This is an excellent strategy sometimes. However I've noticed lately that some of my best writing comes when I force myself to muscle through a rough patch rather than taking a break from it. At least when it comes to drafting.
Posts: 81 | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rcmann
Member
Member # 9757

 - posted      Profile for rcmann   Email rcmann         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I jump back and forth. After a while my brain gets tired and stalls out. Moving to a new world and a new set of characters re-engages my interest, giving my subconscious time to work on the first story without interference from the cheap seats.
Posts: 883 | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Unwritten
Member
Member # 7960

 - posted      Profile for Unwritten   Email Unwritten         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I usually stick to one, and get it written in a burst of energy, and then take my time editing. But right now, I've got a collaboration going, and I'm learning great stuff about myself from it. The other collaborators (well, at least one of them...) is a slow simmerer kind of writer, so I find myself with a lot more time in between my turns than I'm used to. This simmering time is doing amazing things to my ideas. I find myself intricately plotting the chapters the way I would normally plot the book, and it is great. I'm digressing...drat.

I'm also trying to work on something on my own. I find it hard to be enthusiastic about both projects at the same time. I wish I knew how people do it. It's like I can't hold the details of both projects in my brain at the same time.

Posts: 936 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rcmann
Member
Member # 9757

 - posted      Profile for rcmann   Email rcmann         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some people are synergists by nature, and some are analysts. An analyst breaks things down methodically, piece by piece, one thing at a time. A synergist looks at the whole scrambled mess and tries to perceive the pattern in the chaos. Both approaches work, they just come at the problem from opposite directions.
Posts: 883 | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, analytic and, for the want of the better word *inductive* writing are for me two different phases. In the early to middle stages of a piece I can't work on any other piece because it's like the words are getting ripped out of me. I can't stop or shift gears at all until I've got that next scene drafted. I call this phase the induction phase; each scene, practically each line generates the next.

As the piece reaches near rough draft completion there's a shift to what I think of as analytic writing. The words are no longer pouring out; instead I begin focusing on bits that are needed to make logical bridges between parts of the story. This is where writing becomes hard and then later tedious work.

I begin to revise, even before I reach a complete draft, going back to foreshadow what is coming and going forward in the story to repeat motifs and emphasize themes. I don't see this revision as fundamentally different from drafting the new bits needed to reach rough draft, it's all stuff that is logically needed. In this phase I can work on more than one manuscript. In fact it helps relieve some of the tedium.

For me there isn't a "flag day" on which I complete a rough draft. What happens is as analytic writing continues the balance shifts from adding material to deleting it, with unnecessary scenes, narration, and words getting axed. When I can't bear to cut any longer, I call that a presentable-as-its-likely-to-get draft and I start canvassing critique partners.

Posts: 1137 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2