Okay, I’m not going to give you writing rules (because anyone who tells you there are rules is lying) but this is what I’ve found works for me.
Write what you love and care about. Seriously. People will tell you that real writing with literary merit doesn’t have fairies and unicorns and spaceships. Screw that. If you try to write the next great novel and it’s not what you want to write, it is going to suck a lot. If you try to write like someone else because you think they’re better, or write in a tone that doesn’t suit you, it is going to suck a lot. You do you. You’ll get flak for it but you’ll be happy, and your work will be better for it.
That being said, if you feel most comfortable writing one thing, write another thing. I went to college for creative writing and my classes didn’t accept fantasy/sci-fi. It was outlawed in the syllabus. I had to change gears. It was hard, but it made me a better writer. When I couldn’t write about fantasy, I wasn’t able to hide a flimsy narrative behind cool mythology and epic battles. I was forced to really focus on the elements of storytelling instead of what the story was about.
I’ve heard mixed things about this, but have some kind of a road map. You can have a detailed play-by-play or a general outline, but know where you’re going. Otherwise you’ll probably wander all over the place.
Don’t let the story happen to your characters. Make the characters happen to the story. They’re not in a train taking them to a destination, they’re in a car and they’re driving. Otherwise it’s going to be obvious that you, the writer, are sloppily pulling the strings and your characters will fall flat. For instance, Dean and Sam get zapped back by the weeping angels because I needed them to, but the story’s in their hands from there. They chop up a whole bunch of angels, steal a car and hunt down the doctor. They’re moving the story forward now. Or think in terms of Supernatural. I think Singer said season 6 and 7 were flimsy because the Winchesters were reactive instead of active. If no one was attacking them, the story wouldn’t move forward. Season 8 is active because they’ve taken the offensive, going after Kevin and the tablets and trying to close the gates.
Rewriting is your friend. Your first draft sucks. It does. And that’s awesome. Because you can chop it to tiny little bits and rearrange everything and tweak characters and situations and suddenly it will be AWESOME. 
Music helps. I don’t know if it helps everyone, but I usually have playlists for certain stories/characters/situations that get me in the mood to write them. There are some characters that I literally cannot write unless a certain playlist is on.
I don’t know if this is an option or if it’s one you’ve already taken, but college writing classes are a HUGE help. And so are workshops where you can share your writing and get feedback.
As for my general writing process, it’s kind of sort of this:
Come up with idea
Get INSANELY EXCITED about idea and draw tons of pictures and take tons of notes and stare at walls thinking about it and squeeing internally. Usually lasts a few weeks.
Don’t think about idea for a few weeks. Get distracted by something else.
Come back to idea and it’s serious time. Loosely plan the plot, pin down characters, figure out antagonists and relationships and themes. 
Write some little test blurbs to experiment with tone, character voice and perspective. Draw some pictures. (I do this for novels too).
Go back and REALLY plan down the plot as a bullet point list, sometimes chapter by chapter. (I haven’t done this for SWL because it’s been a more organic process)
Write a first draft. My process on this isn’t consistent, but I’ve started to like just blasting through and ignoring problems until I’m done. If I sense tension or resistance, like I might stop writing, I glaze over the moment and go back to it later.
Finish it and let it stew for a few months.
Go back and REVISE THE CRAP OUT OF IT. Drastically alter characters, squish scenes together for expediency, cut out things I don’t need, smooth out the language, and generally awesomify the story.
Revise again. And again. 
Hope that helped!

Okay, I’m not going to give you writing rules (because anyone who tells you there are rules is lying) but this is what I’ve found works for me.

  • Write what you love and care about. Seriously. People will tell you that real writing with literary merit doesn’t have fairies and unicorns and spaceships. Screw that. If you try to write the next great novel and it’s not what you want to write, it is going to suck a lot. If you try to write like someone else because you think they’re better, or write in a tone that doesn’t suit you, it is going to suck a lot. You do you. You’ll get flak for it but you’ll be happy, and your work will be better for it.
  • That being said, if you feel most comfortable writing one thing, write another thing. I went to college for creative writing and my classes didn’t accept fantasy/sci-fi. It was outlawed in the syllabus. I had to change gears. It was hard, but it made me a better writer. When I couldn’t write about fantasy, I wasn’t able to hide a flimsy narrative behind cool mythology and epic battles. I was forced to really focus on the elements of storytelling instead of what the story was about.
  • I’ve heard mixed things about this, but have some kind of a road map. You can have a detailed play-by-play or a general outline, but know where you’re going. Otherwise you’ll probably wander all over the place.
  • Don’t let the story happen to your characters. Make the characters happen to the story. They’re not in a train taking them to a destination, they’re in a car and they’re driving. Otherwise it’s going to be obvious that you, the writer, are sloppily pulling the strings and your characters will fall flat. For instance, Dean and Sam get zapped back by the weeping angels because I needed them to, but the story’s in their hands from there. They chop up a whole bunch of angels, steal a car and hunt down the doctor. They’re moving the story forward now. Or think in terms of Supernatural. I think Singer said season 6 and 7 were flimsy because the Winchesters were reactive instead of active. If no one was attacking them, the story wouldn’t move forward. Season 8 is active because they’ve taken the offensive, going after Kevin and the tablets and trying to close the gates.
  • Rewriting is your friend. Your first draft sucks. It does. And that’s awesome. Because you can chop it to tiny little bits and rearrange everything and tweak characters and situations and suddenly it will be AWESOME. 
  • Music helps. I don’t know if it helps everyone, but I usually have playlists for certain stories/characters/situations that get me in the mood to write them. There are some characters that I literally cannot write unless a certain playlist is on.
  • I don’t know if this is an option or if it’s one you’ve already taken, but college writing classes are a HUGE help. And so are workshops where you can share your writing and get feedback.

As for my general writing process, it’s kind of sort of this:

  1. Come up with idea
  2. Get INSANELY EXCITED about idea and draw tons of pictures and take tons of notes and stare at walls thinking about it and squeeing internally. Usually lasts a few weeks.
  3. Don’t think about idea for a few weeks. Get distracted by something else.
  4. Come back to idea and it’s serious time. Loosely plan the plot, pin down characters, figure out antagonists and relationships and themes. 
  5. Write some little test blurbs to experiment with tone, character voice and perspective. Draw some pictures. (I do this for novels too).
  6. Go back and REALLY plan down the plot as a bullet point list, sometimes chapter by chapter. (I haven’t done this for SWL because it’s been a more organic process)
  7. Write a first draft. My process on this isn’t consistent, but I’ve started to like just blasting through and ignoring problems until I’m done. If I sense tension or resistance, like I might stop writing, I glaze over the moment and go back to it later.
  8. Finish it and let it stew for a few months.
  9. Go back and REVISE THE CRAP OUT OF IT. Drastically alter characters, squish scenes together for expediency, cut out things I don’t need, smooth out the language, and generally awesomify the story.
  10. Revise again. And again. 

Hope that helped!

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Posted on Sunday, 24 March
Tagged as: writing tips superwholock writing creative writing rebloggable by request
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