I absolutely love to write. Putting stories or thoughts into words for others to read is such a joy to me, and something I always try to ensure is that what I write is enjoyable for the reader. This generally means I take a slightly less formal form, meaning I’d be happy to write “don’t” rather than “do not” or “I’m” rather than I am. Of course this depends on what I am writing for, and in some cases I must not, and do not, use informal language to convey my points. Most of the time however, I’m trying to write something so it’s easy to read.
What I’m not sure about is the source of my creativity. Am I a natural writer? (As a reader you can answer that question for me!). Is it a God-given gift? Do I have an overactive imagination? I don’t know the answer, what I do know, is that I am constantly going through scenarios in my head thinking, wouldn’t it be cool/weird/scary if that happened? Then I wonder is that something worth writing down to include in a short story, screenplay or novel.
That’s the main reason I started Games, Movies, ETC, to have a platform to articulately write a story for people to read, to have somewhere to splurge my random musings on life and existence, or to simply share my thoughts on topics that fit neatly into one of the three chosen categories. I believe however that this is a universal desire, and social media is the place that proves it. People are constantly sharing and hopefully learning from each other, or just finding some entertainment. The difference with this site however is that something shared will have more thought than just, “that popped into my head, everyone must know!” That’s what Twitter is for!
In terms of wiring a story or an article, I tend to like to start writing and see where things go. Usually this leads to a first draft, which is then revised and edited, but the point is I never like to sit down and think something through from start to finish, make notes and then go with that structure. The main reason for that is for my own enjoyment, and to be fair, that is also why I started the site. I do hope that people enjoy reading my articles as much as I enjoy writing them, but if not, that’s cool. I realise that sounds kind of selfish or self-seeking, and I don’t mean that to be the case. To prove that this isn’t just a site for my writing – there are other contributors with their own reasons for being part of this.
Writing without a plan is definitely more fun when you are writing a novel, screenplay, treatment, etc. You get into your characters more, and every time a scenario is finished you throw a new one at them and think, how would they react to this, rather than where do I want this to go? Obviously this method can lead to writing yourself into a dead end, causing you to come up with some Shyamalan twist to get out of it. OK, that’s unfair, his twists are obviously well thought out, regardless of whether they are rubbish or not. Fortunately in all my writing I have never found myself getting into a dead end, and like I said, my characters further and shape the story more than I do.
[Just happened to find this quote from Shyamalan In a BirthDeathMovies (contains Split spoilers) article! – “What I like is the unknown, when I don’t know what I’m
writing.” It looks like M. Night and I may have more in common than I thought!!]
The things that tend to change from my input is the motivations or redemption of the characters. Although it’s a valid and realistic outcome, I prefer if my characters aren’t the same at the end of my story as they were at the start. I want them to have learnt something, to have grown, or to have been completely stripped of their pre- or misconceptions.
A good example of when this didn’t happen was 127 Hours (check the link if you are unfamiliar with the story, and skip this paragraph if you don’t want it ruined!).
It was a great movie, so well put together in order that it is still engaging considering the scenario, and had an exhilarating ending. My problem with it was at the very end, when it said Ralston still goes off by himself. He leaves a note so people know where to look for him, but it still felt like he hadn’t learnt anything from his previous ordeal. In the end it’s him managing to escape that saves his life, not someone finding him. If he left a note saying, I off cycling in this remote place, it could still have taken too long to find him. He was down a random crack in the ground! The fact that he seemingly hadn’t learnt anything even after losing an arm really bothered me! So the last thing I want is my own charters to annoy me in a similar way!
So for all you writers out there, what’s your preferred method of writing? And what are the merits of that method? Also am I the only one constantly coming up with scenarios as I go about my day to day life or are others doing it to? I’m sure there are, but how many of you? Is it common to everyone!? Please let me know so I don’t lose sleep thinking about this!