Questions tagged [process]

This tag should be used for questions about the process of writing a certain work.

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52
votes
7answers
7k views

How do I go from 300 unfinished/half written blog posts, to published posts?

Goal: To publish a blogpost 2 times/month (from once in 4 months) Currently: 300 blog posts in drafts/unfinished. I even have three 20k word unfinished novellas gathering dust. (Over 5 years of ...
36
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12answers
7k views

Are there advantages in writing by hand over typing out a story?

I'm a member of a Discord server for people interested in completing an entire novel during NaNoWriMo (and Camp sessions). At one point, a discussion arose around writing by hand vs. typing out your ...
30
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6answers
4k views

Writing a novel, can I do [this or that]?

I want to write a novel about [something or other] and now I wonder if it is possible to do [this or that].
22
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10answers
7k views

Act 3 totally broken…keep writing?

I'm ready to enter the final act, Act 3, of my (first big) story and by now I'm pretty sure I'll have to rewrite 50-70% in ACT 1 and 2. I outlined the whole story but it is clear that my main hero ...
20
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10answers
4k views

Is genre ever relevant to the writing process?

I'm a strong believer in genre being largely a thing that's used for marketing, an easy shorthand for book stores to know where to place your book and sell it better. It's also, unfortunately, a ...
19
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5answers
5k views

Why do professional authors make “consistency” mistakes? And how to avoid them?

I'm currently reading a sci-fi book that has over a dozen characters. The author had written dialog for two different characters using the same odd idiom in two separate chapters so far. I cannot see ...
17
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7answers
4k views

How to survive editing

I am currently trying to edit a one my most recent novel. Trying is the keyword. I asked a few people to read my book as beta readers, but all of them have been busy, so no progress on that front. I ...
17
votes
7answers
6k views

What are the signs of accidental self insertion?

I am currently writing a novel where the main character will be far more powerful than most of the people in the world and I am worried that I will end up losing sight of what I am writing and start ...
17
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8answers
2k views

What's a good way to backup your writing?

One of the most important things for writers to do is to back up their work so that in the event of a computer failure, their work isn't lost. But where's a good place to do that? A lot of storage ...
17
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5answers
589 views

What can one do to get the most from limited writing time?

I do make an effort to write every day, and usually succeed, but I just have too much going on in my life right now to give my writing the time it would like to have. When I do have time, blog posts, ...
16
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4answers
2k views

Overcoming “Possibility Paralysis”?

I don't often experience writer's block these days. Instead I struggle with a different sort of impediment in my writing: I call it Possibility Paralysis. I have to quickly acknowledge that this is ...
15
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7answers
2k views

What techniques do you use to maintain your writing focus and maximise your productivity?

How do you keep writing no matter what’s going on around you? How do you avoid the distractions of social media, that dishwasher that needs unloading, that wash that needs putting on, that cup of tea ...
14
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10answers
3k views

Dealing with inability to sustain interest in an idea

I frequently have the problem of starting a story with an idea—either one recently conceived or one held in mind for months, even years—only to find it bland or boring after a day or so and abandoning ...
14
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8answers
4k views

Should I write scared?

Is it better to push yourself in your writing? To attempt bigger and deeper stories than you've done before? K.M. Weiland says so. But then there's this thread (which is talking about music ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Rules about breaking the rules. How do I do it well?

There are rules to writing and we often talk about them here. But sometimes a good writer will break the rules. And to be honest some of my favorite pieces of writing are from when this is done well. ...
13
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6answers
1k views

Injecting creativity into a cookbook

I'm a chef. I'm also a writer. It's inevitable that I would want to write a cookbook. In fact I've probably started a dozen that I just never got around to finishing. Partly because I'm not sure how ...
13
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5answers
708 views

How to juggle work and NaNoWriMo?

I love to participate in NaNoWriMo, but this year for the first time I'll have a full-time job during November. Is it feasible to write less on weekdays and "make up" for it on the weekend? Should I ...
13
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4answers
625 views

What other kinds of writers are there besides plotters and pantsers?

In a comment to an answer of mine Mark Baker has suggested that the common, dichotomous view of writers as either "plotters" or "pantsers" or something of both might not be complete and that there are ...
12
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5answers
674 views

How to write from the middle?

My biggest problem as a writer is that I always get inspired and then start writing from the middle, in particular scenes or moments which I think will be crucial. Climaxes. These scenes turn out ...
12
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3answers
1k views

How can I create my own deadline?

I'm very responsible when I'm writing a tech book or article under contract. I have a deadline, my editor is expecting my work, and I turn it in on time. Sometimes I put it off a bit, but I pride ...
11
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10answers
3k views

I'm not enjoying my attempt at a science-fiction novella; should I continue?

I'm only 12, and I've been writing seriously since last year. I tried writing a novel before (I wrote only 5 chapters; I gave up later due to time constraints). I've written a couple of short stories, ...
11
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6answers
1k views

Picking a theme as a discovery writer

When I write I often don't have any great meaningful moral to share. I don't have a message that I want to convey to the reader. I often don't write about the nature of the battle between good and ...
11
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4answers
413 views

How can I write a panicked scene without it feeling like it was written in haste?

I normally try to place myself in my character's shoes and I think to myself, "how would I react if I were in this situation?" Well one of my beta-readers commented on my work, and he said the chapter ...
11
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4answers
1k views

How long should it take to Revise/Edit to get to Good Enough?

Editing, to focus my question a bit. My goal is to turn a book around from concept to publishable in a 2 year time period. Currently the plan is to write a draft in a year and revise the following, ...
11
votes
4answers
314 views

How can I deal with an overload of writing projects?

I'm formulating a habit where I create too many writing projects. I'll work on a project, and things will go fine, until I have this incredible idea and I start writing on it. This continues overtime ...
11
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3answers
312 views

How do you track dependencies for your co-authors?

I and one or more co-authors, sometimes geographically distributed, are working on a set of related documents. Sometimes I will make a change in my part that affects someone else's part; this could ...
10
votes
1answer
156 views

How to write a Stack Exchange comment?

We all do it. We do it quite often. Some of us too often, to the chagrin of the mods who have to clean up after us. Many people out there have autocomments but I try not to. I find them impersonal and ...
9
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5answers
1k views

Where in the writing process do you work in subtext?

In the BBC Sherlock fandom there are many lively discussions about how a lot of the story takes place in subtext: Person C is a "mirror" for Protagonist A, water symbolizes emotions, drinking tea ...
9
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2answers
331 views

Motivation - or how can I get myself to do the work I know I need to?

There is worldbuilding and/or writing that I know I need to do, and even want to do on some level, but I keep not doing it. I don't have what I think of as traditional writers block, because I'm not ...
9
votes
2answers
364 views

Delivering sarcasm

Most of us who have spent more than a few days reading things and interacting with people on the internet know how difficult it is to convey sarcasm. There is no tone there is only the words on our ...
8
votes
2answers
293 views

Is it important to consider tone, melody, and musical form while writing a song?

Be it Mowgli and balu singing Bare Necessities or Enrique singing Somebody's Me, each song (or poem) has their way of being sung. Were such songs written after selection of musical note, tone, and ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How to organize ideas to start writing a novel?

Beginner here. So, I have tons of ideas for a novel, and in fact I want to write one (even a series), but I'm struggling a lot in actually starting writing the story. I have ideas for characters and ...
7
votes
1answer
267 views

How do I approach rewriting an entire user guide in an agile environment?

I'm tasked with rewriting an entire user guide that hasn't been updated for years at a company and I am the only technical writer on the team. Only release notes were sent out all these years. The ...
7
votes
3answers
167 views

Should authors write books anticipating audiobook narrations?

With the surge of audiobooks popularity and the dramatization of fiction and non-fiction recitations, do authors plan for their books to publish their work as audiobooks too? Additionally, if an ...
7
votes
6answers
5k views

Where can I find co-authors willing to share writing duties for a fiction novel?

Writing has turned out to be lonely profession. After a successful career of working with collaborative teams on technology projects, I have just completed the story development for my first fiction ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

How can I make my 'first draft' good enough to be published?

One of my bugbears about writing is the editing process. I'd much rather get it right first time, rather than chop this and change that afterwards. Other industries would not tolerate the rather ...
6
votes
6answers
228 views

Re-reading and making changes to current work that makes everything worse?

I constantly re-read my work before writing again. It helps me get in the proper mind set. But my biggest problem is that I make more changes on what's already there that I don't get further along in ...
6
votes
5answers
492 views

How can I work more efficiently when writing multiple pieces of fiction at the same time?

I'm working on multiple pieces of fiction at the same time, and finding it very difficult. When writing one piece at a time, I'm able to devote my passing time to thinking about the one subject I ...
6
votes
4answers
435 views

How to get over writer's block related to revising?

I'm a PhD Student in the social sciences. When I do focused free-writing on a topic, my thoughts just fly out and I can easily generate 600-800 words an hour of relatively high quality text. However, ...
6
votes
3answers
448 views

What steps to follow in thinking through the writing of a conclusion?

I am teaching some students how to write a 5-paragraph essay. Their writing is coming together, but when it comes to conclusions, they get lost. They have difficulty assembling the ideas for a ...
6
votes
4answers
151 views

Writing about oneself objectively

I was recently updating some of my Stack Exchange profiles and I remembered how much I hate writing about myself. It isn't just Stack Exchange profiles either. It's resume cover letters. It's college ...
6
votes
4answers
110 views

How to avoid becoming frustrated while writing

Very often when I start writing something, mainly notes for my work (I'm a researcher) but other times personal thoughts, I feel that my writing speed can't keep up with my stream of consciousness. ...
6
votes
4answers
756 views

How can we make compiling release notes less chaotic?

Each of our software releases is accompanied by a set of release notes, which include short descriptions of the following: new features, important or breaking changes to old features, and important ...
6
votes
1answer
175 views

Assessing what writing skills are missing

I recently wrote an answer on Parenting.SE about the process of learning how to read. There are distinct sets of skills that need to be mastered before people become proficient readers, and often ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Motivation Reaction Units?

In tightening up some chapters, I began to question some of the structure of my chapters. Has anyone ever come across the method of writing scenes as breaking them down to Scenes and Sequals, and ...
5
votes
7answers
237 views

How to keep track of characters' location, within a longer narrative?

I'm currently working on a piece which has characters coming and going. Basically, sometimes a side character is near the main (also point-of-view) character, and sometimes that same side character is ...
5
votes
3answers
203 views

Write for an audience or find an audience for your writing?

I've never written for anything other than personal enjoyment or for a predefined context before. I have ideas and partial drafts for several books and want to finish at least one this year. My ...
5
votes
3answers
268 views

Are readers tolerant of unique and bizarre character Names? [closed]

I'm trying to refine a name for my main character and characters in general but I will be focusing on my MC for the example of this question. My question is: What criteria would make a name hard for ...
5
votes
3answers
171 views

Revision Process Order

What would be the best/most fluid/easiest way to revise your manuscript? I've read A LOT up on this and have 2 pages of stuff to revise and check for. Fixing the following things: Main Plot Holes, ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

Habits and routines for my first tech writing job

A Japanese company has offered me a gig helping translate an Android1 business application + documentation into English. Their staff will do a rough translation, and I will polish it into something ...