Let's Talk About What It Means to be a Writer

Come here to celebrate the publication of Fanatics member Rosdeidre! Learn about her new book series, The Parallel Series. Ask questions about the publication process, the writing process, and anything else that comes to mind!

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RosDeidre
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Let's Talk About What It Means to be a Writer

Postby RosDeidre » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:08 pm

So, gang, tonight I'm hammering along on my third book, due in about eight weeks, and I think about all the times I talked to my roswriter pals about how HARD it is to be a writer. The question is often, why do we do it? Is it a vision, so real and driving in our minds that we can't help but put the vision to paper? Is it that we live more in our heads than even in the "real" world, and somehow we want to bring the real world into that place?

Why do YOU write? What do you love about writing fic or your own novels?

Let's chat about it here!
hugs, d

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Island Breeze
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Postby Island Breeze » Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:24 am

Is it a vision, so real and driving in our minds that we can't help but put the vision to paper?


That's part of it, for me. But I have a vivid imagination, too (So my wife tells me :lol: ). Creating is another part of it. I like to create... whether it's building something, writing a song or poem, writing a fantasy or sci-fi story, photography, or something else. Creating gives me a sense of accomplishment. And if others like what I create, that's the crowning joy. I never understood the destroyers, those who want to tear down something or someone to secure their place in the world or in history. I want to create.

Going back to the quote above, one story I wrote was a direct result of a dream I had that was so visual that I simply had to work it into a story so that it could be put down on paper. One poem I wrote while in college was also the direct result of an intense dream. I started writing Roswell simply because I loved the show and wanted it to go beyond where they took it, but the show got canceled. So I took it there myself... where I wanted it to go. Nothing before Roswell ever made me leap into fanfic, but Roswell did it. Actually, I was totally unfamiliar with fanfic until after I wrote Altered Time - Destiny In The Stars. It was only after I wrote that first story that I started going on the boards and posted it. Since then, I haven't been able to stop. When a story is over, I start feeling the longing to write again. It's like a vacuum, and something's missing in my life now when I'm not writing or something. There are so many reasons to write!

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Spiletta42
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Postby Spiletta42 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:44 am

Island Breeze wrote:When a story is over, I start feeling the longing to write again. It's like a vacuum, and something's missing in my life now when I'm not writing or something.


That is exactly it. A day when other things prevent writing is a day lost, stolen even. A few in a row really get me down, and when my writing production drops I just feel empty.

There are times when I don't enjoy the writing process, but the benefit of having written is always worth it.
Phasers on stun and don't forget your towel.

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Postby RosDeidre » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:37 pm

Spiletta42 wrote:
Island Breeze wrote:When a story is over, I start feeling the longing to write again. It's like a vacuum, and something's missing in my life now when I'm not writing or something.


That is exactly it. A day when other things prevent writing is a day lost, stolen even. A few in a row really get me down, and when my writing production drops I just feel empty.

There are times when I don't enjoy the writing process, but the benefit of having written is always worth it.


And what both of you have just said is why, at least for me, anytime I can be in the company of fellow writers, I am among friends. I don't even have to know anything about either of you, but you have just expressed my own feelings about the vaccuum that occurs when I'm NOT writing. But I also relate to the idea of wanting to have written, rather to be writing. The highs are few and far between for writers, but the mountaintops are what keep me always coming back. Those days when everything falls into line and works like a dream.

I wrote, quite literally, all night long last night. I have a big deadline and so am having to dig in deep, and it's not always easy, but that's why I posed this question. We all have the up times and not so up times, but we love what we do, or we wouldn't be here talking about it. :)
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D

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Postby Ti88 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:19 pm

for me i don't even finish half the things i start. but at that moment, i have to get them out and put them somewhere. a lot of time i just talk to myself outloud...but as you can imagine i get a lot of funny looks. so i've taken to carying pieces of paper with me.

and what i love about it is that sense of terrifying freedom. i can be anyone or anything, do anything, go anywhere, say anything...as long as it makes sense on paper. and since i'm making it up i can make it make sense. or i can correct things that have happened. as in fanfic or in real life.
Roselle

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Spiletta42
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Postby Spiletta42 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:28 pm

Ti88 wrote:. . . a lot of time i just talk to myself outloud...but as you can imagine i get a lot of funny looks. so i've taken to carying pieces of paper with me.


I have two words for you: tape recorder. It adds a shred of sanity to your appearance, anyway.
Phasers on stun and don't forget your towel.

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Postby Heavenli24 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:52 pm

I don't really know what it is that makes me want to write. When I was a kid, my 'what I want to be when I grow up' answer was always a writer or a journalist...and where am I now? I have a masters degree in Physics :roll: .

I never had any desire to learn how to write - the thought of attending a creative writing course and being told when and what to write literally made me cringe; but one day last year, after several years of reading fanfic, I just to try writing something myself...and now i can't seem to stop.

I think what keeps me writing is the restlessness that I feel when I'm not doing it. Like, right now, even though I'm struggling to write new parts for my current WIP's, I've got this itching feeling that I need to write something, and it feels like if I don't do it soon, I'm going to burst - which is why I've just taken on a short challenge fic. I need to write something new, even if it's only a short story, just to get rid of the urge to write and to actually get my ideas down on paper.


Spiletta42 wrote:
Island Breeze wrote:When a story is over, I start feeling the longing to write again. It's like a vacuum, and something's missing in my life now when I'm not writing or something.



That is exactly it. A day when other things prevent writing is a day lost, stolen even. A few in a row really get me down, and when my writing production drops I just feel empty.

There are times when I don't enjoy the writing process, but the benefit of having written is always worth it.


I find that with some stories, I just don't have the inspiration or even the enthusiasm I should have for it, and even though I'm still writing and posting new parts, I know something's missing...and I think it shows. The thing is, with those stories, I don't mind so much if I don't get much feedback, because I know they aren't my best pieces of work.

But sometimes, I manage to get in 'the zone' and I find myself writing all the time - the story just flows and it's so easy to write. That's when I feel anxious if other things take up my time and I can't write. Also, I think the enthusiasm shows in both the story and the feedback - the stories that the readers seem to enjoy the most are the ones that, as an author, I enjoy writing the most and with them, I don't have to think about what I'm writing, it just happens.

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Spiletta42
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Postby Spiletta42 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:18 pm

Heavenli24 wrote: I don't really know what it is that makes me want to write. When I was a kid, my 'what I want to be when I grow up' answer was always a writer or a journalist...and where am I now? I have a masters degree in Physics


I have a bachelor's in literature and work as an accountant. Go figure.

Heavenli24 wrote:I find that with some stories, I just don't have the inspiration or even the enthusiasm I should have for it, and even though I'm still writing and posting new parts, I know something's missing...and I think it shows. The thing is, with those stories, I don't mind so much if I don't get much feedback, because I know they aren't my best pieces of work.


That's why I don't post wips. I don't want to feel obligated to push forward with a story that's not working, and more importantly I like the freedom to edit the entire thing before any of it sees the light of day. If something isn't working, often a change in an earlier section makes things click better. Posting a wip eliminates that freedom.

I've only ever posted one work in chapters, and that was a work completed on paper before I ever started typing it. That particular piece still has more feedback than anything else I've written, but even so, I prefer the all or nothing approach to posting.

Maybe it's partly because of my obsessive tendencies, but I have this fear that if I only post part of a story, then I'll get run over by a truck before posting the rest. I'm a completionist -- when it's done I want the whole thing online immediately.

This is why the Roswell section on my site is so pathetic right now -- when I work on Roswell, I generally work on my post-Graduation wip, and it's a long way from finished.

Okay, end ramble.
Phasers on stun and don't forget your towel.

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Heavenli24
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Postby Heavenli24 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:51 am

Spiletta42 wrote:
Heavenli24 wrote:I find that with some stories, I just don't have the inspiration or even the enthusiasm I should have for it, and even though I'm still writing and posting new parts, I know something's missing...and I think it shows. The thing is, with those stories, I don't mind so much if I don't get much feedback, because I know they aren't my best pieces of work.


That's why I don't post wips. I don't want to feel obligated to push forward with a story that's not working, and more importantly I like the freedom to edit the entire thing before any of it sees the light of day. If something isn't working, often a change in an earlier section makes things click better. Posting a wip eliminates that freedom.

I've only ever posted one work in chapters, and that was a work completed on paper before I ever started typing it. That particular piece still has more feedback than anything else I've written, but even so, I prefer the all or nothing approach to posting.


I don't like the idea of leaving stories incomplete either, and I swore that I wouldn't be one of those people who starts a fic and never finishes it, so I try not to start posting a story until I have at least 5 or 6 parts written for it. This way, the idea is that I can be 2 or 3 parts ahead and can post regularly. This worked fine for one of the fics, because I was writing almost a part a day. But for another one, I wrote 12 parts in a week, started posting, so I ran out of parts to post.

For the next story I basically had it completed before I started posting, and managed to keep regular updates, but somehow it ended up with about 7 more parts than I'd originally written - I kept thinking of new ideas and scenes to add to it!

I do like to post in chapters instead of all in one go, because that way, I can find out what the readers think of each part, in more detail than if their feedback was only for one long piece.

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Spiletta42
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Postby Spiletta42 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:48 am

Heavenli24 wrote:I do like to post in chapters instead of all in one go, because that way, I can find out what the readers think of each part, in more detail than if their feedback was only for one long piece.


That's a good point, but at the same time that's one of the reasons to use multiple beta readers, ask them specific questions as they read, and if possible beta 'live' in chat. By the time we're done with that, I'm generally pretty clear on potential reader reactions.

Maybe I'll give the posting by chapter thing another try when I finish my Roswell wip, though, because that seems to be the norm in this fandom.

Beta readers, the option to post by chapters, and instant feedback are the benefits of writing fanfiction as opposed to original fiction for publication. That probably explains the dreadfully unfinished status of my original novel.
Phasers on stun and don't forget your towel.


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