Sunday, February 6, 2011

How Do You Write?

Do you sit down and just... write?
Do the ideas come to you magically?
Or is there a method to how you get things on paper?

I recently read On Writing by Stephen King and I found it very interesting. In it, King described his own writing methods, which included setting aside specific time to write everyday. He also talked about how some of his ideas initially came about, and then how he brought them to life.

It's funny how we think the writing process is mysterious... how the story unfolded miraculously, sort of like being channeled from above, until it was all typed out and sent to the publisher.

But it's not quite so grand as we all think, at least in most cases. For King, he talks about using an idea for a situation (eventually a plot in other words) and then using characters .... he follows them and sees where they go. He figures out who these characters really are and lets them drive him through the story. Interesting eh?

Obviously there is some inborn talent there-- I think so many writers are talented in different ways. You can usually tell if a writer has a gift. But as King professes, every writer should go beyond that and write purposefully, regularly, and master writing techniques.

In essence, I think he's telling us to use our talents but to also work really hard. Good advice.

How do you write? When you sit down at the computer, notepad, or whatever, where do you start? Chapter 1? Or do you write the ending first? Perhaps you have an outline figured out before you even write any dialogue or look up any sources.

Inquiring minds want to know.

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