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View Poll Results: What do you work towards?

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Thread: What kind of writer are you?

  1. #1
    upon the cheek of night

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    Breaker's Avatar

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    What kind of writer are you?

    I recently joined a fantasy writing group on facebook, and I'm already seeing a lot of good questions posted on there, with lots of good responses. This particular question struck me as interesting. The original poster phrased it in the following way:

    What kind of writer are you? Are you the type who goes back and adds in more detail, or do you find you usually have to edit and cut things out to get less?

    I paraphrased slightly, but that's about it. Personally I think this is more of a "what kind of editor are you?" but that wouldn't make as catchy a title. It's an interesting question though. Do you work towards MORE or LESS overall content?

    My answer, being me, is both.

    I decided to make it a poll just for fun, but what I'm really hoping for is some discussion. Don't be shy about sharing your process!
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  2. #2
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    Flamebird's Avatar

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    My first drafts are settingless skeletons. I usually am the kind of editor who goes back to add more xD

    Sometimes I have to go back and add less too. Usually in formal documents that are too wordy. I remember being really upset a long time ago because one paper was allowed a maximum 200 words. It was painful going back and chopping off the much higher word count I had.
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  3. #3
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    Lately less, because I can create imagery using dialogue and character interaction without having to hammerblow people with excessive setting. That said, as I'm sure some of you will remember not so fondly, this wasn't always the case. Looking back at my earlier content on Althanas I have to baulk a little at the amount of weighty description I used to think was the bread and butter of 'quality writing'. It took a lot of reading of young adult fantasy and comparing it in terms of enjoyment and readability to writers like Scott Lynch and Kevin J Anderson to find a balance between the two that made me comfortable. Most importantly, it made me want to keep writing.

    I don't think either approach is more or less better than the other. It's about how it makes you feel and wherever or not your approach is sustainable. Some of the writers that've come and gone over the years can write reams of quality text that doesn't leave you reaching for dictionary (George RR Martin on the other hand, cannot). I don't think the play by post format really helps either, because on the one hand you want to tell your story, but on the other you have to match the pace and style of the people you're collaborating with otherwise you're left with a disjointed mess.

  4. #4
    Apathy Elemental

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    I always find myself doing a bit of both. I hate editing in the first place, but when I go back and give it a once-over for pacing and mechanics and what not, I find myself occasionally adding or subtracting just a sentence here and there. I've never really overhauled complete posts, or chapters, or what have you. If it's not working, it gets scrapped entirely and I'll start from scratch until I feel like I've gotten it right.

    Also, screw excessive setting and description. Trust your reader's imagination.

  5. #5
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    I... Am the hated other. Because I very very infrequently go back and add in more detail, or edit out detail, unless for some reason or another I feel like I need to change up something I wrote. I almost never edit - I'm a one and done.

    Buy when I do feel a need to edit, like when I write something I intend to get feedback on, that's when I'll go in and both add stuff, and delete other stuff. I definitely need to work on adding in more setting - I usually rely heavily on character dialog and introspection to carry what I write, especially with Nevin. With Erik and Hunter I'm leaning more onto action stuff which I hope is helping.
    Last edited by Erik; 01-22-2018 at 06:02 PM.
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  6. #6
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    both, when I am writing more for fun I am less likely to be super stringent with details and adding things and taking things out and brevity (much like this run-on sentence!)


    But when I am writing for critique or feedback, or for a quest or something I really want to work on I find myself constantly editing and changing things up and around. Sometimes removing an entire post altogether

  7. #7
    upon the cheek of night

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    Breaker's Avatar

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    Lately less, because I can create imagery using dialogue and character interaction without having to hammerblow people with excessive setting.
    Also, screw excessive setting and description. Trust your reader's imagination.
    Interesting points raised here. I used to write pretty thick setting descriptions, but lately I've been erring much more on the side of only giving details of what my character immediately notices and does. It seems I've yet to find the right balance, because I have recently been criticized for not having enough setting description in my work. I wonder if it's possible that Althanas as a whole has a bit too much love for lengthy setting descriptions. More and more, I feel like big chunks of setting are just big chunks of time in which the plot isn't advancing and nothing interesting is happening.

    I always find myself doing a bit of both. I hate editing in the first place, but when I go back and give it a once-over for pacing and mechanics and what not, I find myself occasionally adding or subtracting just a sentence here and there.
    This basically describes my process as well, but I think it's worth mentioning that it hasn't always been that way. I had to spend hours and hours practicing editing to get to the point where I can catch all (or most) errors with a quick once-over. For more experienced writers/editors I think this can be enough, especially if you have someone else proofing your work, but I also think that for greener writers there is a ton to be learned by actively re-reading and editing content. IMHO putting a little extra effort into re-reading and editing is one of the best ways to find flaws and improve upon them.
    Last edited by Breaker; 01-23-2018 at 08:30 AM.
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  8. #8
    Ride The Lightning

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    Always more for me. I'm almost always too concise and have to breathe some life into a post to add any level of depth to it.

  9. #9
    Apathy Elemental

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    Briarheart's Avatar

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    I wonder if it's possible that Althanas as a whole has a bit too much love for lengthy setting descriptions. More and more, I feel like big chunks of setting are just big chunks of time in which the plot isn't advancing and nothing interesting is happening.
    I feel like Althanas's big problem is that the rubric is forcing us to write these big, sweeping paragraphs about what kind of lighting and wall decorations are in this new tavern our characters have stepped foot in, just so we can bump our Setting up from a 6 to a 7 at the expense of the story's flow. With how much we pride ourselves on the stupid thing and how much focus we put on it, it hinders our development as writers and prevents us from finding and honing our individual, unique writing voices.

  10. #10
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    Ebivoulya's Avatar

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    I tend to write too much detail the first time, so I end up cutting things to keep the pacing smooth. Like Breaker mentioned, blocks of setting are usually just roadbumps for pacing. I think the way description is included is more important than what description is included, or what amount of it.


    Quote Originally Posted by My Kingdom For An Adjective
    I feel like Althanas's big problem is that the rubric is forcing us to write these big, sweeping paragraphs about what kind of lighting and wall decorations are in this new tavern our characters have stepped foot in, just so we can bump our Setting up from a 6 to a 7 at the expense of the story's flow.

    I don't know if I'd agree with the 'forcing' part, but you're not wrong that it incentivizes that. I think that's because most people seem to take 'Setting' as literal, and only applying to environments. At least, that's usually what criticism in that category is limited to. It might not hurt to change the name of that category to 'Description,' to more obviously include character descriptions as well.


    ...it hinders our development as writers and prevents us from finding and honing our individual, unique writing voices.

    Description is part of the process. Just because some styles work better with less description doesn't mean the category itself is a hinderance, just that criticism of it needs to take style into account.
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