seerofbread: (2 damn pretty)
[personal profile] seerofbread
Whoops, it's a bit late. But today I'm supposed to talk about my writing process! (prompted by [personal profile] 100demons) It's, uh, it's all over the place. It depends a lot, based on what I'm writing and how I'm feeling and stuff, so I'm not sure I can really just say, "This is my writing process."


The planning stages mostly are affected by what I'm writing. If it's short or a prompted thing (which I usually plan to make short, at least in the beginning) it starts with a lot of bullet points. For example, all my Trope Bingo cards are kept in a document with the card and a bulleted list of my tropes, with results that look sort of like:
  • In vino veritas / drunkfic
    • I am so not qualified for this I am not going to do it if I can help it
  • Time travel
    • Dave Str
      • No. Everybody does Dave. I am so sick of angsty time travel Dave holy shit give someone else a goddamn turn
    • Aradia?
      • [no bullets despite how this is a good idea]
    • Aspectswap?
      • Maybe with the alpha kids?
        • [one method of aspect swapping]
          • [a dozen bullets talking about shipping]
          • [two bullets asking myself what the actual plot is going to be]
            • [commentary about a plot suggestion that turns into twenty bullets of actually OK plot]
        • [a different method]
          • [four bullets about powers]
            • [commentary about how OP some of these guys are holy shit]
        • [another one]
          • [comment about what someone's powers would make possible]
            • [comment about how that could result in something tragic]
              • [eight bullets going on about how sad that would be and how I should totally do it]
          • [forty bullets trying to put together a plot and worldbuilding and stuff]
    • MAYBE A FANDOM OTHER THAN FUCKING HOMESTUCK????
      • [listing a bunch of fandoms at random]
      • [one fandom that actually can be used]
        • [a handful of more bullets]
  • Magical Girls
    • Do I have to make it an AU
    • Most of the characters in the Emelan universe are already magical and girls? but what if?
      • But what about Briar?
      • [no more bullets because I'm stumped]
  • Genderswap
    • :) :) :) :)
      • [eight bullets complaining about how most people do genderswaps and going on monologues that sound like a villain]
      • I'll show them! I'll show them how it's really done! Those assholes have no idea the hell they've wrought on themselves!
    • [desperately listing every fandom and character in the hopes of deciding who I'm going to headcanon as which kind of trans]
    • [no mention of plot because this is a much better drawing prompt so this isn't really a great example]
  • Amnesia
    • I had an idea for this but I forgot it
    • [nothing else because I don't really care for this trope so this probably also isn't a great example]
  • Metafiction
    • [something about how I probably am Homestuck trash for doing Homestuck for so many things but Homestuck probably is objectively the best place for metafiction]

(Remind me to try cramming in a thing for Trope Bingo before the end of the year so I can sign up for next year.... and continue the cycle of cramming one thing in at the very end every year forever....)

For longer things, I usually think about them more before I even write anything down at all, for some reason. You'd think it'd be the other way around? But no, no it isn't. It's the stupid way around.

I usually will eventually start a Scrivener file and throw a lot of random wordbuilding documents up in folders that I never really know how to do it. Scrivener files don't come with dedicated "wordbuilding" folders with the cool special icon like characters and plot, which is too bad. There really isn't a point to using Scrivener if you don't need things on file to answer questions like, "But how do the aliens keep time if their home planet does not experience night or day?" and, "What fake names from fake languages have I made up for fake places so far?" and, "Are there any rules about magical girl uniforms or is it literally 100% free-for-all?"

Despite really liking a lot of Scrivener's utilities, I usually write pretty linearly. But I've really been enjoying using it for long-term plotting; for my current project (the magical girls one) most of the original concept was for characters, so a lot of the plot was planned on those super cool index cards and then outlined in better detail on the text parts. It's really handy for continuity. (It'd be a bit more handy if it were easier to search the whole document....)

Uh, as for like, sitting down and writing? Lately it's been a lot of banging my head against the table for the 25 minutes I have Strict Pomodoro running, then playing Tidal Trouble for another 25 because I "forget" to start the site-blocking again. This is probably because I've been in a bit of a depressive episode lately. When that's not happening, usually I can just fix a non-alcoholic drink and sit down and write for an hour or two without stopping? Man I miss that. That was really nice and super fun. Lately writing is such a chore.

Then there's editing? I'm relatively new to doing that--I've gotten used to being able to do it for shorter things, but if it's longer than 5K words then I have about a 50% chance for entering this endless cycle of nit-picking until I can't find the motivation to keep doing it because it's so terrible, ignoring it for a while, revisiting it, deciding to rewrite the whole thing (sometimes just large chunks but sometimes literally rebooting the entire premise and everything), getting tired of writing and deciding to go back to edit it, nit-picking again and so on. By the time a work is about 10K words, the chances are nearly 100% of entering that cycle. (There's an embarrassing Homestuck chapterfic that managed to get posted on my AO3, and do you know how that happened? That happened by never looking back, not even once. There are not a lot of consistencies, it's terrible don't look at it. I should consider orphaning it some time.)

This might be why I like editing other people's works? It helps me practice the process of editing, but I can get around the double-standards I hold against myself. And even if I really hate it (though I can't remember the last time I couldn't find SOMETHING nice) I can't literally rewrite it. And when it's someone else I can't say, "This is pretty good, but have you considered rewriting the best scene twenty more times?" or, "I really like this story, but I think you should try using different characters, who do different things at a different point in the alternate timeline, who live in a different setting. Also, change the aliens, destroy the romantic arc, and stop having superpowers be a thing. It's a great idea, you just have to change everything." So basically I just have to learn how to edit my own works like I edit other people's, then maybe I could do literally anything I wanted with my writing.

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