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A study of writing, or more accurately, writers.

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Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:52 pm
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melkor says...


Hello and good day to you..or, if the sleeping patterns of writers are to be brought into this greeting, hello and goodnight/very early morning tomorrow to you.

The basic premise of this topic, is that you're all interested in aiding Melkors understanding of the world.

Though it may be an incredibly false premise, I am going to hug it like I hug my delusion teddies.


First of all.

I've noticed in the ten or so years that I've made pathetic attempts at reaching out through pen and ink,(or in some cases screen and keyboard), that writing isn't really quite as simple as primary school teachers make out.

For one, every writer writes differently, for their own reasons, and with their own style.

Now, I'm quite interested in psychology and personality typing myself.
(MBTI anyone? I'm an INTP, not surprisingly)


Basically dear reader...ermm writer...I simply ask for you to give some simple information regarding your writing, which I will use to define or 'flesh out' the types which will fit into the writers spectrum.

Please feel free to add anything else you find important, as this is a constantly evolving peice of rubbish.
First of all, I thought I shoudl analyse myself, mostly because it's easy, but also to give an example, and perhaps begin a mould.

So, I began to wonder, having met and engaged with various writers,
Could there be a system established for anaylsing various writers and their styles?

I of course refuse to ignore rhetorical questions, and thus I leapt up and answered

Sadly, the man across the table had just asked me to marry him, and I hadn't been listening, and it got awkward.



here goes:

I've identified four main areas.

reason for writing:My reason for writing is entirely selfish.

Yes I'm bad.

I don't actually write for anyone, or with a target audience in mind.
I write simply to keep myself happy, and to empty my mind.

Method of writing:

I writer quite haphazrdly.
Here and there, never really dedicated or structured.

I usually write it out, and then type it up.



My inspiration comes from all areas, anywhere, anyone, anytime.

Like if I sit down and drink tea, i might suddenly decide to make a charcter sit down and drink tea while pondering magnificently.
Also from reading, watching, or listening.

in fact, my inspiration is so much greater than my output of work, that I rrely get anything done.


Rate of conception:
Ha..that sounds like a medical term for gestation peroids!



this oner refers to how fast you get ideas, and then process them.
it also takes into account the time you take to finish something.

for example, I only write out a chapter once the whoel story is in my mind, usually.

I'm guessing others writer bits as they come, and then fill in the blanks.
Others might only write when they have the whole story finalised.


thats all for now.

If you could be so kind as to fill in your own four factors, and suggest others.

After all, I like studying people, but not really communicating with them.0-0

Oh..and thanks in advance.

Ergghh sincerity..


"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it. "
"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."
~Douglas Adams

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Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:22 am
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Angels-Symphony says...

First to post ^^

Reason for writing: I write because writing affects a large mass of people and I think the world, at this rate, is going in the wrong direction. With writing I can show people how selfish, greedy, inconsiderate, thoughtless, narrow-minded, and ignorant they're being. With writing, I can inspire them and teach them.

I also write because I enjoy it and I like creating my own world and characters, and actually getting it down on print. It's like excercising the imagination and it keeps me from seeing in black and white like adults. I want to see in color forever, so I have to dream, I have to write, and I have to create.

Third reason for writing is because it's the way I express myself and I think of it as a way to tell the story of my life, just in a different way, through fiction and fantasy and imagination.

Method of writing:

I come up with a good idea that could become a good story, write it down, and then get an idea of the type of conflict and get a feel of the plot. Then I make the characters, give them some traits and an appearance, plan a few more things out, and then step in their shoes and start writing.

I type in a word document, but I write down bits, pieces, and notes in a notebook.

I usually know my foundation, know where the ending could be, and have an idea of the middle.


My inspiration comes from what I'm doing while I'm writing. I get my best ideas when I'm in school, like if I'm reading something in english class or if my friends and I have a scavenger hunt at school or explore the wood shop room's "castle". I also get inspiration from other books, movies, TV, when I travel, or random things like frozen yogurt or pie.

Rate of conception:

I come up with ideas on the spot. I don't wait for them to come, I make them come. I usually search through magazines, books, TV, or what's around me (which usually is pretty crazy or unusual) and then get the idea.

I write out chapters knowing my foundation and the direction I want to go in, and then I make scenes and dialogue accordingly.

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself into one.

The writer, when he is also an artist, is someone who admits what others don't dare reveal.

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Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:22 pm
Breezy says...

I'm an INTP too ;D


I'm bored. That's the long and short of it. I write because my reality bores me. Within that, my main reason is people. Characters. I love characters because I love people, I love individuality and all the little things that make us all different, and I love showing how much we can learn from observing the choices others make. My writing can be seen, in a sense, as a sandbox.

I often use my writing to duke out issues I'm having trouble settling myself on - hot topics like abortion or stem cell research sneak their way into my works until I decide how I feel about them, and can then put them to bed.

I also use writing to make myself laugh. Not to be arrogant, but I'm pretty dang funny. :-)


Disjointed. I start and stop whenever, usually with nothing in mind for the future. It usually starts with an interesting character, or an interesting idea for a character, and then I go off with that - Sometimes it starts with a theme or an idea I want to project, a moral, like, "working hard is it's own reward". I have a lot of trouble continuing something once I've started; I need to finish a chapter in one sitting or I will have problems finishing it at all.

I write in Microsoft Word. I'm an artist, as well; often when I'm drawing a character I'm starting to figure out, one liners show up... Things like, "After he was released from prison, Elijah sank quietly back into Lousiana" or "She blinded him with a cloth, tying it behind his eyes, called him by his name, and asked him what he saw." Random one-liners that somehow have a whole story in them, if I can find it; The characters do not come from the stories, the stories come from the characters.


Music. As someone who's not nessecarily emotional, I learn a lot from music. A lot of what I write is very emotionally based because I want you to get involved and feel what's going on; My stories are not statements of fact. Often it'll be one liners in songs that'll spark something. For example, the line in The Killers song, Tranquilize: "As it rained, Abel looked up at Cain; He began weeping and wailing" inspired a whole disjointed short story based on the love/hate relationship of two best friends, in which several elements presented themselves; girls, family, circus', all this stuff you wouldn't get from that line... unless you happened to be crazy as I am and made some random associations.

I want you to relate and learn how to apply the things the characters show and act and say, to walk away from this book or these poems and stories feeling more connected to other people and to the truths of life.

I get a lot stylistically from other books. After I read East of Eden, I tried to pay more attention to the settings. After I read the Montmorency series, I figured I needed to shave down my action scenes.

It's important to note I am a pointy stick. I antagonize people to see how they'll react; I like pushing people to show their true colors, mainly by playing devil's advocate or just ticking them off in general. My sense of humor is dark anyway: So when I write about a guy who's in love with a corpse and dresses her up to go out on the town with him, it's partially for my own laughter and enjoyment, but also because I know that'll definately make mass amounts of people extremely uncomfortable.

Lastly, I sometimes find inspiration in other writings I've seen online. I'll look at someones poem, scoff, and say, "I can do that better." And I will. I see a poem about a woman whose house has burnt down, hate it, and make something original from that. Hate motivated my rewrite of Across The Universe into an actually GOOD Beatles musical, which I keep in my private vault for my own personal entertainment ;)


Once I get into it, I'm off. I usually finish a chapter or a whole scene in one sitting because I have trouble picking back up.

Hope that makes sense xD I have trouble explaining my thought processes I guess.
Winchester Cathedral - You're bringin' me down...
You stood and you watched as my baby left town.

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Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:39 pm
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MagnusBane says...

Reason for writing: I'm really not sure. I write because... I don't know. Maybe it's because I feel that if I take the time to make up all of my characters, I might as well put them to use. Maybe it's because I'm sick of my plain, boring world, so I plunge into a place where magical things happen and nothing's what it seems, a world where fantastic things can happen to ordinary people. Maybe I'm just hoping that somewhere a dragon is pacing in it's cave and someone's reading a spell book. Maybe I just have an overactive imagination that I spill onto the paper. I really don't know.

Method: I write out the first few pages, reread it, get all disgusted, shred the papers, and start over again. I'll repeat that a couple times until I'm thoroughly sick of the story, shove it into a drawer, and forget about it for the next few months.

Inspiration: I usually start by thinking of an interesting character. I find all their flaws and strengths, their quirks, flesh them out, put them into different situations. Then, my muse finally gets ticked off, pulls out the chain saw, and forces me to write a story with the character in it.

Rate of Conception: ... Not very good. I'm lucky if I get a few pages down every month or so. Don't get me wrong, I like to write, I'm not too shabby at it, if I do say so myself, but I am the queen of procrastionation. I just can never find the time to write.
“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov

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Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:14 am
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Sixteen Candles says...

Reason for writing: I don't really know why I write. When I'm bored I'll just open Microsoft Word and work on something, but it's not really boredom that makes me write. If I think of a good idea (for fanfictions or a story using characters I actually bother to make up myself) I'll write it down and attempt to make a story out of it. If I don't know of a book that uses that idea, I just kind of want to write it down so I can read it back to myself, if that makes any sense? Probably not, so apologies if it doesn't :wink:

Method: I write from the start. I'll basically get a scenario in my mind, and that's my inspiration to start a story, but I'll just keep it in my mind and try to figure out how it could get up to that point. The, when I've written up to that point I decide an ending that I like and do the same thing (that is, remember it and figure out how events can lead up to that) until the story ends.

Inspiration: Well, I get a hell of a lot of ideas from song lyrics, like you. For example, one day I was listening to a song called Love Only Hurts (by a relatively unknown band called Blanche DuBois) and from the line, 'She tells me I'll always have this, see it on the horizon' I got a story about two girls who fall in love but one isn't sure about what she's doing as she was brought up to believe that being gay is wrong and evil, and she has to decide between love and belief.

I also get inspiration from movies - no where near as often, but on a rare occasion.

Rate of Conception: Very poor, actually. I can never seem to balance my interests. I'm horrible, and usually only get about 1000 to 2000 words down every week. Though, that being said, when I'm supposed to be doing homework I'll probably be typing up a story instead. If it give myself a deadline I'll do even worse though.

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Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:20 pm
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WaterVyper says...

Reason for writing: I write because it's fun to write. There's little reason for me to do something that I don't want to do, unless it's a school assignment but that's besides the point. If I'm getting tired of seeing the real world as it is, I write. I pass it through a haze of fiction and write.

Method: I jot down a few pieces of dialogue, some ideas and character sketches at first. Then, I expand stuff using a mini version of the snowflake method. I'll jump back and forth between scenes, and only do the parts I like the best. After that, I'll flesh everything out later. Plot holes are everywhere, but I'll look over them later.

Inspiration: I'm usually inspired by dialogue or words. If a word sounds interesting, I look for its meaning. If I hear a quote somewhere, I'll usually take it completely out of context and create my own situation. Song lyrics, exchanges in movies, just about everywhere. Images, not so much. Other times, it's when I see an interesting character trait, such as impossible chivalry, telepathic and insane, etcetera. It's very fun.

Rate of Conception: Horrible. I average only about a couple hundred words a sitting. I find it difficult to focus on any one thing for too long, because things start spiralling horribly out of control. Plots can change completely, characters can disappear and everything in between. I usually write around a thousand words, then go do something for an hour or so then come back. It's difficult for me to finish anything.
There once was a cat.
He wasn’t particularly fat.
Fuzzy was his favorite mat.
And really, that was that.

Oh, but did you really think so?
Keep reading, it’s just the start of the show!
And as for how far this tale will go…
Well, even the cat doesn’t know.

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Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:16 pm
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KailaMarie says...

Reason for Writing: I like the idea of my words and characters reaching other people. I want to make my mark on the world, or at least be able to go back in the future and see what I was thinking and feeling at the time. And it's just kind of fun. I love having characters, and inventing things. It's a challenge to have to invent an entire world, and I like that.

Method: I usually get a general idea, for plot or a character or a scene and then I think through the rest of it. Like if I think of an idea for a character, I'll think Ok, now who would this person be friends with? Want to date? Do for a job? etc. Once I have a general idea of the people involved and a few plot points, I begin to write, and whatever comes out, does. Sometimes I sort of write it in my mind first, and then I actually type it.

Inspiration: That's tough. Sometimes things just come to me, sometimes I steal ideas from things people have told me, or I've seen (changing it, at least a little, of course). Music changes what I write a lot, though. Like sometimes I'll write something out, then think about the song I was just listening to, and realizing I basically wrote a story version of that.

Rate of Conception: It depends mostly on how much homework I have. The more I have, the more I want to procrastinate, thus more stories. Haha. So over the summer not much. But I'm usually thinking about possibilities, even when I'm not actually writing it.
... :D ...

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Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:37 pm
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billie says...

Reason for Writing: I write because I have an overactive imagination, and I was a pathological liar before I started. Also, I like praise, and everyone always said I was good at it. (Now, of course, I love writing and it's a hugely important part of my life, but it started out very shallow.)

Method: I think out the idea, flesh out the characters a little, plan out the first couple chapters, then get started writing. Once I've written out the chapters, I plan another few ahead, and repeat this cycle until I'm finished.

Inspiration: A little bit of mental obsession with the plot, and generally my imagination. I usually feel more tempted to write after watching a good movie, too. But I write whether inspired or not, so it doesn't matter, really.

Rate of Conception: Around 2500 words a day on breaks, and 1000 during the school days. I used to write more when I was attending high school, because I would write during class, but you can't exactly do that in college.
There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue.
The truth is I've always been a fool.

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Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:58 pm
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Chloe(: says...

Reason for Writing:
Because I like it? I just love words and the excitement I get from writing? Plus there's the fact that I'd like to make a difference in the world, and I want people to feel entertained/joy/terror/persuasion/happiness/sadness through my writing. Yeah...gotta work on that...

I have an outline with a brief summary of each scene included, I have fully fleshed out characters, and a pretty 3D world. Then I can get to the writing process.

Really, I get my inspiration from random things. I got the idea for the novel that I'm working on in my science class on the way out, I got the idea for a short story that I'm working on a couple of days ago from a conversation I had with my friend a couple of years ago...

Rate of Conception:
Agh, the thing is that it's hard for me to get into the special writing/brainstorming momentum. But when I'm in it, I can write thousands of words in a sitting.
Formerly known as Vivacious.

Full of Cliches:a challenge to see who can write a piece with the most cliches.

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Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:39 pm
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Krupp says...

I should've taken this survey or whatever earlier, but it slipped my mind up until now.

REASON FOR WRITING: Because I feel a strong urge to tell stories, or present to others images and conversations between fictionary people in my imagination. I do it to entertain, with the hopes of also revealing some wise truths eventually, as I grow older and observe more about life.

METHOD: I start out with a basic scene or picture in my head of a struggle or something that a character is undergoing. It's a frozen shot, essentially, with the character just standing there, nothing happening around him. And then I'll put together why he's standing there, what he's seeing, or what he's thinking about. I also start with basic concepts, such as one I came up with when walking the streets of New York City during spring break, where two men are disenfranchised with everything they see in America and decide to nuke New York City. Once I have a concept or image, i start writing. From there on out, I improvise scenes on the spot, or take a little bit of time to come up with something, but I rarely ever have a full plan set for a novel.

INSPIRATION: I am inspired by the scenery around me, when I take long walks through forests, or travel the world and see big cities, deserts, markets, etc. I also am influeced by what's goingon with the world today, especially what's going on with America, and what's happening to my particular generation, and how pathetic we are. Finally, a lot of my inspiration is drawn from the music I listen to. I explore heavily in many, many different kinds of music in the hopes that by branching out, a new story will come to me.

RATE OF CONCEPTION: Sometimes, I can write a thousand or two thousand a words a day, especially when I was younger. Now, I'm older and have a lot of thigns to do. I hardly churn crap out anymore. Somedays I don't write at all. I'm not one of those guys who's absolutely desparate to write every day. The words will come when they come, and that's not something you can rush.
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Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:04 pm
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Tally says...

Reason for writing: I write because I have to otherwise I'd go insane. I'm the sort of person who can be themselves more on the page than anywhere else. I also believe in the power of the written word and stories and how they can reach and help people. Books have always been my saviour so maybe now it's time to give something back ;)

Method I have a basic idea or a feeling I want to express, always begin with a sketchy outline. Then I write fragments of the story and eventually I take the time to copy and paste all the fragments into one document in some sort of order and work on stringing them together, then I keep writing until it's complete and I can begin the tedious task of editing. Sounds a lot like hard work really doesn't it?

Inspiration Other people's work. Great literature written by a brilliant author inspires me because it puts a fire in my belly and makes me want to write. Actual ideas for characters come from films or people in real life I know, or people I would like to know. i never get an idea for a plot from something else, I build that around the character.

Rate of conception I'm slightly neurotic and set myself deadlines which I strive to meet as if they were set by a publishing house/agent. If I don't meet my deadline I get really down on myself so it's a pretty good way of driving myself forwards and does mean I produce quite a lot in a sitting. But I'm not a robot and there are times when I simply can't get the words out.
"It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." - Orwell, 1984.

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Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:04 pm
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Maddyc says...

Reason for writing

It's a need really. I'm like you, right now I don't write for anyone but myself. One day I will write something intended for an audience that entails some kind of message, but essentially I do it all the time with number one in mind.


Get inspired, spend a couple of days working out the plot, another few on characters and then get stuck in. Then get stuck full stop. I have started about seven million first chapters, and only 3 have developed into something proper. When I'm writing something I love I'll write like a demon, then come back the next day and completely change what I wrote until I'm happy. For instance, Monday might be writing wildly so Tuesday and Wednesday would be tweaking and re-writing whatever I wrote on Monday. Thursday would be fun writing again etc.


Anything really. My first novel was inspired by that game The Sims because it comes with pre-made characters and I decided to write a story based on their situation. My second was inspired by a book I read at about the age of 13 and I made a near copy (foolish, but it doesn't matter at that age). My current was inspired by a TV documentary called 'Baby Bible Bashers'. So everywhere really.

Rate of conception

I aim for about 500 words a day. I know that sounds really robotic and uncreative, but when I get myself to work I find I enjoy it even if I didn't feel like doing it when I started. Usually I go through periods of doing 500 words a day for about 2 months, then I do it really irregularly for a while.

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Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:54 pm
Lucinda says...

Reason for writing:

Er...'cause I like it? Mostly it's just because I adore writing about my characters and because it's something I've gotten pretty good at. And I hope that one day my stories will be on the shelves of Borders, but that isn't the *reason* I write.
Also, I'm just learning this now: I recently finished draft two of my "pet" (translation: "nameless novel project") and now I have to let it cool for a while. I'm feeling like I'm useless in the evenings. xD


I write for about an hour and a half each day. I try to write about 2k words 'cause I'm hardcore like that. :lol: Very little keeps me from getting to my laptop, I even snuck away for half an hour at a church retreat to try and get what I could on paper. I write full manuscripts before editing, instead of the "write on Saturday, edit on Sunday" approach.


Usually, other stories. Not that I copy outright, but I'll look at something and say, "Ooh, maybe it'd be cool to write something of *this* genre, or with *that* sort of conflict."

Rate of conception:

Like I said, 2k words. ^^ I think the most I've written in one sitting is 4k, and the most I've written in a day is 6k. I was pretty exhausted that day. :thud:
The history of the world
My pet
Is learn forgiveness
And try to forget!

-Sweeney Todd

I'm a damsel...
I'm in distress...
I can handle it.
Have a nice day.


Paper faces on parade
Hide your face so the world can never find you.

-The Phantom of the Opera

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:52 am
asxz says...

Reason for Writing:
I write to make myself happy. I like reading what I write and being able to say 'I did that!'. I also like getting my friends ro read it, and hearing their praise. I know, that's totally selfish... but it's true! I also enter competitions, to see if I can win. I like prizes. The first writing competition I entered I got shortlisted for, and now I'm entering more. I haven't got the results back from the first one though, I think it should be at the end of the wee or something!
I get an idea, procrastinate a lot, then try and write it. I always write in order, or if I have short flashes of inspiration I'll make a little paragraph after a few line breaks and then continue where I left off, trying to work my inspirtion into the story somewhere. I don't really keep a notebook or anything, just think about it a lot. I write in order more than 98% of the time though. That way it heps if I change plot; I don't have to work anything in, or get rid of my previous work.
I don't know? I was playing chess on hockey tournament a few weeks ago, and when I got home I just thought: 'Why not make a story about chess? You could pretend that the battle was real, then put checkmate in there.' Still going on that idea... turned out harder than I thought.
Rate of Conception:
Uhhh? I just start writing and when I'm done, I'm done! I probebly don't write 6 out of seven days a week. I might not write for two weeks, then go on a writing spree and get like... 4 chapters, 12k words done in a few days. I'm very varied, abnd I hit writers block a lot.

GENERATION 29: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

Writing is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the internet

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Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:08 am
empressoftheuniverse says...

Reason for writing:
Selfishness and mind control. You ever read a book where you felt so swayed by the characters' philosophies you actually woke up the next morning and changed, maybe very slightly, maybe not?
I want my stories to move people like that, someday. I want people to read my work and go "Huh. I never thought of the world from a sociopath's perspective. How enlightening."
Rate Of Conception
I try to write once a week; usually a fifteen hundred to two thousand words. Lame, I know, but you got to start somewhere, right? on a good week I can pound out more, but I'm new to this game. I don't want to rush anything.
Inspiration comes from everything; but I receive the best ones in the forms of either a) a premise for a short story or b) the climax of a novel novella.
I've never tried to write out the whole novel/novella; I just write the climax and file it away. Hopefully that will end this November.
I try to mix it up: short stories are organic; longer pieces are written with an outline; usually backwards; sometimes I start at a point of tension and work outward; other days I have a tragic ending that I need to build to.
A little bit of everything makes the writing process a lot of fun.
Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart.
*Le Bible
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