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16 February 2005 @ 02:32 am
I have work to do, so obviously now is the right time for a meme.  
From pearl_o: Ask me one question - any one - about my writing, then post this in your LJ so I can satisfy my curiosity about yours.
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: Redemption Song-Bob Marley
dolimir_k on February 17th, 2005 09:47 pm (UTC)
How do you approach a story?

(Not real questions. Just clarification questions. -- Do you start with an idea, a situation, a locale, the characters involved? Do you think most of it out before you commit to paper? Or do you decide to write something, sit down and have it spring from your head?)
pure FORESHADOWING: broken supermannifra_idril on February 17th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
Honestly, and this is going to sound like a cop out, but it really varies from story to story. Often, I'll have an image in my head -- or just a metaphor -- and a story will spring up from that. A lot of the time, I'll sort of have an image and a tone/feeling that I'm going for. A lot of what I write is really atmospheric, so the tone is an important thing for me to have nailed down before I start writing, and sometimes it can be hard to articulate what I mean in terms of tone/atmosphere.

For example, my Yuletide story started from a tone and an image. I wanted to somehow recall the feeling of a Vermeer - the sort of vulnerability that his models had, the pale feeling you get when you look at people he paints, and the dark edging in around them, and the fading light. The image was of the Romeo-shaped-door, opening and closing. Which, I have to tell you, seemed pretty cracked out when I thought about it, because in my head it was really weirdly literal. *grins* Thank God I downplayed the literalism of that, right?

More often than not, though, I don't know precisely where I'm going when I sit down to write. Sometimes I have a vague idea, but that vague idea can change and usually does. This is going to sound unbearably pretentious, but I like to let the story take me where I'm going. I feel like if I know too much -- or am too rigid in what I expect of a story -- it stops being true to me. I had a writing prof who told me that 'writing is a discovery', and I think that's very, very accurate to the way that I write. If I know down to every last detail what I want to have happen in a story, and don't allow it to take on a life of it's own, I loose interest.

Which can get really annoying, because I'll get these ideas that are fully formed, and then kaput. Nothing. Becuase I don't have to write it, to learn about it -- I already know it. So it has ceased to interest me.

That doesn't mean that I don't usually turn a story idea over and over in my head before writing it; I do. It's -- I wrote a post sometime last year about how starting a story is like starting an orange, and that's the best metaphor I can give for it. I roll it around in my hands, and get the shape of it before diving in.

*grins* I always feel like such a jackass when I talk about my writing; I seem to be unable to do so without being criminally pretentious. Please feel free to beat me up for it.
dolimir_k on February 21st, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
No, this was fascinating.

Thank you for answering the question.