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So I am attempting to write a book, the first I have attempted yet.

My current method has been to just write scenes that come into my mind and I have over 40 pages of 'scenes' so far and have developed 4 characters. It is spontaneous but I do write everyday.

I go back to each scene after a while and find new inspiration, and add to them as well as edit them and they are always evolving.

Is this a method others use? I know everybody is different and have different approaches.

I am not a professional writer by any standard but enjoy writing very much and have read thousands of books! But I haven't had specific creative writing training so am wondering if this is how most books are intially formed or if you guys have any advice on structuring the book and how to develop it further?!

Thank you :)

  • That's what I've done and I have hundreds of pages. I'm beginning to question the effectiveness of my writing xD. But it's a good way to get your thoughts onto the page. If you haven't already, maybe look into the pantsing vs. plotting concept. Different writers do things very differently. – Tasch Feb 17 at 3:45
  • Hundreds of pages! Wow that's amazing :) I've just started this venture from end of Dec 2019..and thanks I appreciate that insight. I guess it is a good way to practice writing and creating dramatic scenes wether they will end up in the final product or not. I am learning more each day and will definitely be checking out that concept :) – Tricia Feb 17 at 4:07
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    Well I've been toying with my ideas for years. You're probably moving faster than I was! And yeah - I've written multiple scenes that can't exist on the same timeline. They serve the same purpose and they can't both happen. But the cool thing about writing random scenes is that you discover your characters in an open area. So even if it isn't progressing any set plot forward, it can help sort out ideas, right? – Tasch Feb 17 at 4:52
  • Welcome to writing SE. This question isn't really on topic. writing.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask – levininja Feb 19 at 20:18
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Look for the difference between pantser and plotter, it should teach you a lot.

Is this a method others use?

Yes! As I understand it, you are a pantser. You're basically planting seeds and watching them grow into a beautiful story. Some planning won't hurt your writing, but since it's your first attempt I wouldn't recommend it yet. Changing your habits is great to become better, but if you explore something that is not natural to you, there is a risk that you'll struggle with Writer's Block. What I would suggest is to keep going in the way that works best for you, and finish your first draft. From there, you can start experimenting and go about restructuring and plotting.

About structure, you can find the typical three act structure and many of its variations like the hero's journey.

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The answer to your question depends heavily on how you learn. There are hundreds of books on how to write fiction. Podcasts, blogs, and YouTube videos round out the resources. As a retired engineer, I like lots of structure and, thus, focus on outlining, planning, and world building. Others, and from the contents of your question you might be one of them, write into the darkness. Then they revise, revise, and revise again until what is left meets their standards of excellence.

I am pretty sure that every writer, successful or just hoping for success, goes about their craft in a way that is their own. If it works, just keep doing it.

Because of that wide variation, I hesitate to impose my particular world view on your process. But I will offer three suggestions:

First, look for resources that deal with "story structure" for works of fiction. Sample them. Do not fasten onto the first resource that you come to. There are many theories, often contradictory. Keep looking until you find one (or a set of) resources that makes sense to you. Try it out. Adapt it to your needs.

Second, go back to those books that you have read that stayed with you over the years. Read them again. Apply some of the story structure ideas to what you have read. Try to understand what the authors of these books are doing that makes you like them so much.

Finally, keep writing. Everyday. Most of it will be less than stellar, but that is true of most creative activities. But, some of it will stand out. Learn how to tell the difference. Reflect on what you did as a writer that made a difference. Learn from everything that you do, no matter how painful the process may be.

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