Discussing the creative process

A place for help and advice on your writing, and finding beta readers and editors.

Discussing the creative process

Postby GraceFairway6 » Thu Jul 07, 2022 9:55 am

In my job, I've been lucky enough to speak with a lot of creative people about their work and their inspirations. What I often find the most interesting, though, is the description of their creative processes - where ideas come from, how ideas evolve, demos and ideas that get dropped, their approaches to work.

I've read a lot of different stories on this website, and I've had my own dilemmas when writing, and I wondered if anyone felt the same way? I'd love to discuss the actual art of writing, but I don't know if that's a shared interest among you guys?
GraceFairway6
Transformation Master
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Discussing the creative process

Postby Sculpted » Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:16 pm

For me, a story tends to start with a really basic concept that pops in my head and bugs me for a year or so until I finally cave and start to flesh it out. Hard to say where the original ideas come from, though. Perk if not doing it professionally, I suppose, is not being forced to come up with ideas.

Beyond that first little idea spark, I really only think hard about how things should end up. Character jobs and lifestyle tend to mold themselves in a way that lends to interesting and realistic interactions. With very basic plot points and characters, I like to just have them interact in my head, and in paper, until they run into plot points. As things unfold naturally it's easy to toss in an event that makes sense while adding to the intrigue of the story.

The biggest downside to that method seems to be stories that become perhaps unwieldy and too long.
Sculpted
Transformation Master
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 11:40 am

Re: Discussing the creative process

Postby GraceFairway6 » Fri Jul 15, 2022 9:44 am

Sculpted wrote:For me, a story tends to start with a really basic concept that pops in my head and bugs me for a year or so until I finally cave and start to flesh it out. Hard to say where the original ideas come from, though. Perk if not doing it professionally, I suppose, is not being forced to come up with ideas.

Beyond that first little idea spark, I really only think hard about how things should end up. Character jobs and lifestyle tend to mold themselves in a way that lends to interesting and realistic interactions. With very basic plot points and characters, I like to just have them interact in my head, and in paper, until they run into plot points. As things unfold naturally it's easy to toss in an event that makes sense while adding to the intrigue of the story.

The biggest downside to that method seems to be stories that become perhaps unwieldy and too long.


That's so interesting - thank you for sharing this with us, Sculpted!
GraceFairway6
Transformation Master
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Discussing the creative process

Postby YellowKnight » Sat Aug 13, 2022 3:23 am

I have so many ideas and even started writing some into stories but I always feel like I have to get it all written down in one go and if I stop I won’t be able to pick it up again… and then I delete the whole thing and ask myself why bother trying at all haha.
Does anyone have any advice with following through with an idea? And keeping the motivation to see it through.
YellowKnight
Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2022 3:17 am

Re: Discussing the creative process

Postby fragmenter » Sun Aug 14, 2022 7:02 am

This is a really interesting subject.

I’d suggest it’s best not to overthink writing, everyone has their own way of working.

Most important is to write about what you enjoy, and what you want to read, even if it’s just small scenes.
You never know when you might be able to use a scene you have already written in a full story. Nothing written is ever wasted.

When you have a story idea, write a framework to guide you, no more than a page, with the arc of the story, make sure it has a beginning, middle and end. The arc of the story is what keeps your enthusiasm for finishing the whole thing. It stops you getting lost.

This is the framework that was used for my Party Girl Story. ( the original outline came from BigMystique and full credit is due to them)


• Abigail is a master's student and comes home after an afternoon studying and finds her boyfriend on the couch watching TV
• He asks how her day was and she complains about these girls in the library who were being loud and talking about going clubbing the whole time
• She says that when she left there was a woman outside giving out perfume samples so she grabbed one
• They decide to just stay at home tonight and chill
• She decides to go for a shower
• Meanwhile Kevin is on snapchat watching all the stories of girls getting ready to go
clubbing that night, he wishes Abigail was a bit more like them sometimes
• She comes out of the shower and puts on some pyjamas, she tries on some of the
perfume "Party Girl" the name definitely wasn't for her and neither was the smell, too
sweet
• She cuddles up with Kevin on the couch and they put on a nature documentary
• Ten minutes into the doc she starts scratching her hand where she prayed the
perfume
• her hand to see that is all a brown orange colour and continues growing
down her arm
• "Is that... fake tan?"
• Soon her full body, face included, looked like it had taken a recent visit to the salon
• "The bottle, where is it?"

• Abigail tells him and Kevin runs to the room to grab it
• While he's in there Abigail notices her hair growing and turning blonde
• Kevin walks in "all it has on it is a link to a website- oh my god you're blonde"
• "What's happening to me?!"
• Kevin searches up the website on his phone
• "It's just a video"
• He screens shares it to the TV
• A woman appears looking like some sort of mystic
• "That's the woman who gave it to me!"
• The woman explains that the perfume is the first step to your new life and says it will
change for the better, "no more worrying about silly things like grades or careers, start thinking about the important things like looking good, boys and partying, isn't that right, Abigail"
• The couple are freaked out by the mentioning of her name and as if on cue another change begins
• The pyjamas she was wearing turned bright pink and merged into a dress, turning into a tight latex material that hugged her non-existent curves, her slippers turned into a lair of heels
• "I look ridiculous!"
• The dress than began to squeeze her body, she is unable to breathe and then her
body changes, she gains a bubble butt, her waste goes inwards and her breasts
expand, she grabs them
• "Oh my god, they're fake!"
• Soon her nails grow and turn into false ones and makeup adorns her face
• Her lips swell, clearly fillers
• Her hair ties itself up into a high ponytail showing off its long length
• The video starts again on the tv
• "I hope you enjoy your new look, your sexy body will attract all the club hunks"
• "But we're not finished yet, you need to become someone who will truly appreciate
what you are"
• The apartment begins to change, Abigail runs to her room to find her desk replaced
with a vanity table, all her text books replaced with fashion and gossip magazines,
her wardrobe once filled with practical outfits now filled with dresses for any occasion
• Even worse the framed pictures they had had started to change, gone were Abigail
and Kevin at the top of a mountain, now it was Abigail on a beach with some other
big titted girl. In fact, there were no pictures of Kevin left.
• Kevin pointed this out and asked her about one of the pictures, it was of her with a
group, she was in the middle hugging some guy, she remembered it as a trip on Ibiza
where she- oh god she didn't want to think about that
• They ran back into the living room and looked at the tv
• "Abi does have some adventures doesn't she" the woman says
• "Whatever you're doing to her stop it now!" Shouts Kevin
• "Oh Kevin, but I thought you'd enjoy this, she's becoming your dream girl"
• "My what?"
• "Oh don't play dumb with me, this is what you wanted, you hated that Abigail never
wanted to party and now she's not going to do anything but"
• "Kevin, is this true"
• "Well, I know you wanted to focus on your course but I thought that maybe we could
go out sometimes"

• Abigail looks betrayed
• "Oh Abi, don't look so sad, you're not going to remember any of this when we're
done"
• "Wait- what?!"
• "It's almost time for my favourite part! But first, you've got a call"
• Abigail's phone starts to ring, she picks it up and struggles to operate it with her new
nails but eventually she does
• She has a call with two girls who are telling her they're on their way to hers now to
pick her up and to be ready in ten minutes, she is confused "gawd Abi, you are such
a ditz" they hang up
• "Ten minutes, ten minutes and it'll all be over"
• Abigail runs to the bathroom and locks herself inside
• "Kevin, if you want to learn more about Abigail perhaps you should check out her
Facebook page"
• Whole Kevin does that Abigail struggles through her contacts to get to her mum's
number and phones her for help
• Kevin looks up Abigail Williamson on his friends list and finds no results
• "She isn't there"
• "Try Abi Williams"
• He searches and finds her profile
• He finds out that she didn't do well in school, attended beauty college and got a job
as an assistant at a hairdresser, something Abigail would never do
• "This isn't her"
• "No, this is the new her"
• Abigail phones up her mum to see if anything has changed, her mum asks her about
work, she says she's at university but her mum interrupts and says school was never her strong suit and said her sister was the book smart one, you're more 'social'. Her mum tells her to have a good night and hangs up
• Abigail starts to cry and comes out the bathroom, she hugs kevin, she hears something playing over her shoulder and it's a video on his laptop from Abi Williams social media page of her at a rave snogging some random guy
• Abigail shakes her head and says "that isn't me" but the memory starts to attack her, "I have never been to a rave!"
• "Oh Abi, you love em"
• "I don't like raves and I'm not dumb, why does my mum think I'm an idiot?!"
• "Do you know what the nerds used to call you in school behind your back... Abi the
Airhead"
• Suddenly she was pummelled by visions of her past, of her struggling in school, of
her partying instead of studying
• Her iq starts to decrease turning her into a ditzy airhead
• This was all becoming too much for her "I need some gum"
• Abi goes up to her purse and pulls out a stick of gum and puts it in her mouth
• "Abi, you hate gum"
• "No i don't" she says while she smacks the gum in her mouth
• "Perhaps Kevin, you should ask her a few questions, see if the real Abigail is still in
there"
• He asks her questions like what is her favourite show (Abigail answer: Succession,
Abi answer: Love Island)
• She manages to fight back with some of the answers

• But soon enough the bell rings, "times up"
• Abigail opens up the door, it is the two girls from the library, this shocks her back into
her old personality for a second
• The two girls keep trying to convince her to go and she keeps trying to decline
• The woman then announces that if Abigail declines once more then it shows she
really doesn't want this life and everything can go back to normal but if she says yes
then her fate is sealed and she'll be a party bimbo forever
• Abigail pulls out the pack of gum from her purse and puts in another piece
• Kevin sees the name of the gum but it is too late, 'Bimbo Bubble'
• Abigail unable to control herself starts to blow a bubble; her eyes widen knowing
what's about to happen as what's left of her iq fills the bubble
• Her eyes turn from brown to a vacant blue
• POP
• They all stand in silence for a second until one of the girls asks "Abi, are you coming"
• "I can't" Abi responds
• Kevin breathes a sigh of relief
• "I don't wanna ruin my tan!"
• Kevin's eyes shoot open
• "Oh my gawd you bimbo, I have an umbrella"
• The gaggle of girls all laugh as they huddle under the umbrella and walk to the taxi
• Kevin watches his once studious girlfriend leave and begin her new life as a vain,
airheaded party girl
• Kevin is in student accommodation watching snapchat stories of a ditzy blonde
partying
• Abi becomes famous when she appears on the reality tv show Love Island and is
branded the dumbest contestant ever

You can see how the story developed, but also see how the framework was used to ensure that the overall story stayed on track.

Don’t publish until you have finished the story, I think it’s too stressful to publish as you write and it doesn’t allow you to go back and change scenes you’ve already created for the better. You can see how writing the whole story of Party Girl before publication allowed me to go back and create a better back story for the characters that wasn’t In the original draft.

Have fun, I hope these ideas help.
Moll x
User avatar
fragmenter
Member
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:23 am
Location: USA & UK

Re: Discussing the creative process

Postby GeneGenie » Fri Aug 19, 2022 12:29 pm

Thanks for the insight into your work Fragmenter! It's really nice to see how just bullets points can make such an excellent story!

I've tried the same with mine, but I get to distracted by little tangents sometimes, but i've got a few big bullet points that i try to hit to make sure the arc of the story progresses.

With longer stories with multiple characters, does anyone find making character sheets helpful? I haven't done it for my story yet but the longer it goes on I feel I want to, just to make sure characters retain the same personality and motivations as the story grows.

Thanks for all the advice, and I hope this thread inspires lots of new writers to get their ideas out there too!
GeneGenie
Member
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:59 pm

Re: Discussing the creative process

Postby GraceFairway6 » Sun Aug 21, 2022 1:24 am

Thanks everyone for replying, and for sharing your thoughts and processes - it's fantastic to read, and so useful!

YellowKnight wrote:I have so many ideas and even started writing some into stories but I always feel like I have to get it all written down in one go and if I stop I won’t be able to pick it up again… and then I delete the whole thing and ask myself why bother trying at all haha.
Does anyone have any advice with following through with an idea? And keeping the motivation to see it through.


On a personal level, when I'm at a sticking place or a little fed up of an idea, I just leave it there - I put it in the drawer, and come back to it a little time later. Generally, I find that if the promise is there, I'll see that and be able to pick it up. Sometimes the flow is there and, as you say, you have to get it written down - if you feel like that, go for it and get it out. If you're stuck, take a break, and then see what happens.

As for motivation, the best thing any writer can do is keep writing. Not necessarily a particular story, but just something - once you develop a flow, once you have a routine for writing, the motivation is a lot easier to find, I promise you!

(I will reply to the other comments and ideas too, but things are rammed a little with work, so I'm trying to fit everything in before I'm sent abroad!)
GraceFairway6
Transformation Master
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:21 am


Return to Writing Advice

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest