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Thread: How Do You Write?

  1. #1
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    How Do You Write?

    How Do You Write?



    Working on the assumption, (whether correct or not), that most Lit Netters are not only avid readers, but writers as well; I was wondering regards the various personal routines or self-imposed disciplines.

    Hemingway apparently had a rigid time schedule; writing standing up and remorseless revisions, even for his sparse style. “Sweating blood” he termed it on occasion.

    I can of course only speak for myself. I start the kind of stories, sometimes short, but other times comprising a number of chapters from an initial idea; but have zero planning of where they will lead.

    Once the first chapter is thrown to the wolves as it were, I discipline myself to another chapter every Sunday. The time in-between is for looking at the options and turning ideas around.

    When I actually start a draft, it is invariably accompanied with a good stiff drink or two: Jack & coke, or Stolinichya and tonic.

    I endeavour, (Dear Lord how I try), to create an original style; but am only too aware of the influence of what I have read over the years. Thus, in a recent foray into an espionage piece I found myself “a la Ian Fleming”, embellishing details of Lebanese cuisine courses being consumed by two of the main characters. Is it plagiarism or just an influence that has crept in and been unconsciously adopted?

  2. #2
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
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    This phenom is called "the anxiety of influence," a term and a theory once coined by Harold Bloom. (Just substitute "writer" for "poet.") T.S. Eliot offered earlier and similar notions in his essay, "Tradition and Individual Talent."

    Even at this "advanced age," I still get qualms about unconscious plagiarism or its euphemistic synonym, "derivative."

    All one can hope to do (in whatever time yours fooly has left) is to plow on and hope for the best.





    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anxiety_of_Influence

  3. #3
    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    This is how I write! (Do NOT read this if you have a problem with obscenity.)

    I just ejaculate on the page whatever occurs in my brains. You just need to ejaculate & ejaculate & ejaculate & ejaculate! (I mean words of course.)
    Do not self-censorship. When you are writing, you should not give a **** how people are going to react to it. That's how you get writers block.
    As far as I'm concerned there's only two kinds of writers block. I think the most common is that you're afraid to put something down on the page, because you're afraid that a bunch of prudes or whatever are going to object. If you're writing anything decent, then a million people will object. Closed minded individuals who are stuck in the past, and don't want literature to advance, are going to attack you & your writing. That's because you're doing something right. So press on ahead with ejaculating & pissing & bleeding your words all over the page.
    If we are going to beat artificial intelligence at the writing game, we humans are going to have to be way more original about writing. Because artificial intelligent robots are going to start writing books.
    Just write anything! You can go back and edit it, because you have a word processor, which lets you go back in edit more easily than writers of the past.
    There is no excuse not to experiment. There is no excuse not to throw all the piss & **** that's in your brains and in your guts and in your bowels all over the page.
    Be bold. Whatever occurs in your head, throw it on the page. Let your thoughts be a tidal wave smashing through everything in the way of your self-expression.
    As a writer, it's you against the repressive society. You as a writer are a threat to the repressive society that you live in. That's why they're always trying to censor you one way or another. That's why you got to write whatever's in your head. Otherwise you get writers block.
    The other cause of writers block is laziness. I don't have that problem.
    Writing is like being David fighting Goliath. Being a writer is like being a short guy on the south side of Chicago, who has to beat up tall guys in self-defense. It's you against forces that are bigger than you. You have to have the balls. You have to have balls to write what you want to write.
    And if your writing is the same as everybody else's, why do you even bother? If you're not contributing something to the literary world by writing something original, than you're just wasting everybody's time, including your own.
    That's why you gotta have the balls to throw onto the page whatever the hell is in your mind.
    Unless it's white supremacy. I have no patience for white supremacists. On the south side of Chicago we dealt with white supremacists with baseball bats. I wasn't no member of no organization at the time, so I could do whatever I wanted. In other words, whatever insanity is in that brain of yours, (and everybody is insane whether they admit it or not), you should just write it, as long as it is not white supremacy.
    If you're having white supremacist thoughts all the time, then do everybody a favor and just hang yourself from a tree. You'll make the world a better place.
    But if you're not a white supremacist than I think you should just ejaculate whatever the hell you want to all over the page. Go ahead and do it! That's the way to write!
    As for the process, look to Mozart for inspiration. My understanding, Mozart would be in the whore house or the gambling den or whatever, he would have some spare moments, and then he would write.
    My advice is to sin sin sin and sin some more, and write as well. And don't quit the day job. You got to eat and pay the rent.
    When you're sinning, you shouldn't sin so much that you're not taking care of your health. You can't drink so much that you can't function the next day. You have to know how drunk you can get at night, and still be able to function the next day. For writing or for working or for ****ing or whatever.
    ****ing is real important for writing. The more you **** the better you write. If you don't have someone to ****, then **** your right hand, or a battery-operated toy. I've had perhaps 60,000 orgasms in my life, and that's not including the ones I have on a page. Every poem is an orgasm! Sex and writing are twins.
    Me, I ain't short where it matters. I'm better than the tall guy. And that is also part of what motivates me to be a better writer, to be a better lover, to be a better everything.
    If you want to be a good writer, you should also try doing stand-up comedy. There's amateur places with open mike comedy. Try doing that. It'll give you some balls. You need balls. The bigger your balls are, the better your writing will be.
    Also, in open mic comedy the audiences are often hard. Your set has to be tight. You can't waste words! Your set have to be as tight as a virgin's pussy. And just as your comedy has to be tight, your writing has to be tight. Don't waste words! And don't bore the reader!
    Hemingway was onto something. He didn't waste words. You know who is better than Hemingway? Jean Toomer! He's better than Hemingway. Hemingway is good, but Jean Toomer is better. Jean Toomer punches better than Hemingway. Hemingway punches good in his writing, but Jean Toomer punches better. Read Jean Toomer. He says more in fewer words than Hemingway. Jean Toomer says so much in so few words, you might as well just worship Jean Toomer.
    But don't be Jean Toomer. Be somebody else. Be you. And then change all the time if you can. Try not to write the same damn story over and over again. People will get sick of that.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry, plays, novels, & other stuff on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr...or=Wolf Larsen

  4. #4
    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    oops! I posted same thing twice.
    Last edited by WolfLarsen; 01-21-2021 at 09:27 PM.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry, plays, novels, & other stuff on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr...or=Wolf Larsen

  5. #5
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    Eh, okay

  6. #6
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    I pick up a pen and start writing.

    I usually write round and round in circles - gibberish, or sketching of what is going on around me. I'll observe a couple at a table, and note the body language, maybe some lines of dialogue - what is it that tells me where they are and what their relationship is like? That detail might make it into a book at some point.

    Eventually an idea comes for a longer project - and when I start I like to have an outline of where it is going before I start. I'm not tied to it and will digress - but I aim to write 500 words a day.

    The digressions are important, I think because sometimes you don't necessarily know where it is going, but as you write your brain is trying to work it out and solve the problem or whatever it is. Thinking is abstract - writing whilst thinking is a more practical task of problem solving.

    After the draft is done - I reread it and start to redraft -the redraft is tighter and slower. It's about eliminating the things that don't need to be there and elaborating upon what should be there. But again, there is no form commitment.

    I tried a Bond novel for NaNoWriMo. It was great fun. I sent Bond to Singapore and Malaysia. Trying to write like Fleming was the most fun. I found myself looking at photos of the Raffles Bar from the late 50's and breezily describing the cocktails Bond & Leiter had as they tried to work out what the baddies were up to.

  7. #7
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    I guess I am lazier than others, because I let the characters do as they wish and record what they do and say. That works well when the characters are clear enough to me, and I think it results in decent prose, but I mostly trust myself on that, because I love my recent writing when I reread after months or years. In earlier times, my writing would have turned to wet cardboard after a few months. But it helps that I like my main characters, and one reader said that she would like to meet the model for the femaale lead.

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