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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

This is always interesting to me.

junaras and burmeaclue are both talking about the need to not talk about stories while they're writing them, lest they kill them.

And I'm the exact opposite. If I can't talk about them I can't write them. I discover my stories in the process of talking to other people about this cool fact or that cool character.

I love listening to people talk about their processes.

Processes are cool


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I find it impossible NOT to talk about what I'm working on. Somehow the act of verbalizing(or journalizing) helps me focus and work through things.

Re: Ditto

*nod* It only makes sense when I try to explain it.
I got trained by the glazed eyes of resentful boredom or lip-curled scorn not to talk about my writing, ever, ever, ever, so in my real life I don't. Not a word. Which is one of the things that drove me on-line, and to find to my profound relief others who like to talk it all through. Even if their process is not my process, any process is interesting to me.
That's one think I love about collaborating (with the right person) because the story becomes this giant obsession, and you can fangirl each other forward.

It's good.

And I'm sorry you encountered that scorn and dismissal. I'm also proud of you for proving them wrong. *g*
I find I need to talk about -- or write about -- whatever I'm working on in order to articulate things about it in ways that would make the story suffer if I articulated them there (there are a growing number of novels that read like the author telling you about the novel he'd like to write; they aren't good, even when they're critical darlings). It's a form of brainstorming, in a way, or at least planning, and I'm usually not talking to anyone, but I still need to articulate it somewhere other than my own head, or even my own notebook.

That's only really true of novels, though; short stories, I can talk about what I have in mind ahead of time or what I'd intended when it's done, but in-between it's all on the page.
I need to talk about what I'm doing, but I can't talk about the story itself. If I talk about the story, I don't want to write the damn thing afterward. It's already done.

Talking about what I'm doing and what I'm thinking and bouncing ideas off people, that I need.
Bingo. I'm exactly like that. For me, it's related to not outlining. If I outline beyond knowing in a certain minimal way where the story is going (and even that's dangerous) I lose the reason to tell the story in the first place: to find the story.

I find that once I talk about or journal about a story, I cannot then write the story because I find myself going through a different mental process - remembering and transcribing a previously known story, rather than creating a new story - and the story loses its immediacy and becomes a pale imitation of itself.
For me, the story is better when I have the feeling that I'm remembering and transcribing a previously-known story.

And sometimes, when I sit down to revise, my imperfect memory of what I wrote before is better than what's actually on the page. I've revised it in my head, and forgotten I haven't made the changes at the keyboard.
I'm a compulsive book-talker. Verbalizing my thoughts and problems helps clarify things for me like nothing else. I should say, verbalizing to an audience that might respond--the cats aren't particularly helpful. Even if someone else doesn't have the answers, just talking about the issue usually helps me a lot. This often makes the boy want to curl up and die, I suspect. My finding the zoo may be the only thing that's saved his fragile sanity.
What I can't do -- and by can't, I mean "am not mentally able," not "really oughtn't" -- is talk coherently about a story. Before or after it's done. Synopses are hell, because I don't talk about my stories so much as rattle on about the details: "And then he doesn't have the magical torch any more, and it's all because of her machinations, but they're subtle machinations, because the other kind just aren't any good...." I'm surprised anyone who's heard me talk about a story wants to read it at all.
I'm like you, but I have friends who are the opposite, too.

On the other hand, there's nothing more obnoxious than a writer talking about his/her story to people who have absolutely no interest.

One reason to find a comfortable writing community who are on the same wavelength and like to share.
I'll talk about an individual scene, but not the whole story. After real life pulled me out of my WIP, I made the mistake of jotting down notes on each scene needed to complete the story (as close as I've ever come to transferring an outline from my head to paper) -- and it almost killed it for me. I became a list-ticker until one of the main characters saved me by stepping forward and demanding a scene that wasn't on the list (which I then chose to ignore).
You TALK ABOUT THEM? Jesus. I wouldn't breathe a word to anyone until I have a draft for my writing group and Chief Reader (aka my hubby), and even then only to them. Wow.
Not just talk about them. *have* to talk about them. Otherwise the little bastards are stillborn.
This discussion is suggesting an idea. With our host's indulgence, I'd like to do a survey.

For writers who know, if you could post whether you are a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, and whether you must talk, cannot talk, or are neutral about talking about stories in progress, I'd be interested to hear.

Myself, I'm visual with a small kinesthetic component, and cannot talk about MIPs.

I have no idea what those other things are, I'm afraid, other than what I could cold-logic out of them, but I generally learn better when I tackle practical examples and then extrapolate them into theory, rather than attempting to internalize a theory and then make sense of the practical applications.

In other words, I move from specific to general.

I'm abstract sequential, is that helps any, and IN(F/P T/J) (the last two seem to be random, depending on the specific test and my mood, but I always hover near the median on both.)

My best friend is concrete random. We drive each other nuts when we try to teach each other stuff.
I'm with you on this one, Bear. Talking about a story allows me to cut through the staring-blankly-at-the-keyboard stage to the place where the story actually *is*. I don't know if it makes the story better as such, but it saves time and rewrites.
What? You mean there are people out there who don't constantly trap unsuspecting friends with, "Well, how about this..." , or blog any notes that pop into their heads, or whinge about characters, world, plot, scenes, and so on?

Poor things. *g*


I can't talk about my stories either, at least not to the point of laying out the plot in progress for someone. First, if I tell someone I'm writing 'x' and tell someone that, I then feel obligated even if 'y' comes along and looks better. Also, it seems to tarnish my own excitement for the story, somehow. It becomes told before I even finish it.

This doesn't apply to talking with other writers, though, for some reason. That counts as work.

Kenneth Rapp

Just a data point in a red jumpsuit


Can talk about my story a little while writing it. Don't think it hurts. Don't know yet whether it helps.

In RL, I have zero people to talk to about writing anyway, so the point is moot.
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