How do you write?
Friday, June 15, 2007

I want to know how other people write. Whether you have the entire story mapped out, either in your head or on paper, before you even begin, or whether you have a vague idea of A to Z, and then fill in the rest as you go. And do you have the whole story written before you upload, or do comments influence you into changing things?

For myself, I tend to fall into the latter two categories. I always have a number of stories waiting, even if it’s only a paragraph or two, or half a page of dialogue, or (in one instance coming up a little way down the line) the entire second half! But I upload as I write, usually only a chapter or two ahead.

You may have noticed I do take note of comments – sometimes they make me think again about my work, see things I hadn’t noticed – and a lot of the time they give me plot bunnies for later stories (BEB, there’s one coming up you inspired!), but so much of my writing changes as I write.

For instance, one of the characters in my current arc THE BEQUEST was mentioned in passing, with a name. It was going to be a man, but when I chose the name it occurred to me that it would be good as a woman. So that’s what I made her. Then, after I’d uploaded that chapter, the idea came to me that if I made her like this, then she could be part of that, and then … the whole thing began to flow and change, and although the essential story remains the same, the characters took over.

Actually, does anyone else find that? The canon characters, hopefully, stay true, but they seem to go out and bring their friends in, people you find yourself writing but don’t know how? Or is it just me waiting for the guy with the cute white jacket that does up at the back?


Thursday, June 21, 2007 8:16 AM


Cool questions! :)

I'm currently writing a fanfic story in another fandom and haven't posted any Firefly fics on this site yet. I have however some ideas to a couple of Firefly stories brewing in my head. I want to make a try even though I'm very intimidated by the genius of Joss Whedon - it's hard to make fanfiction from something that is so perfectly written and executed. But after the unfair cancellation fanfiction is all we have now...

As for my future Firefly fic I will, wise from all my mistakes from my first fic, not publish anything until half the story is written. Not so much because of feedback from people who read the story, it has more to do with the fact that I update seldom - the story I'm currently writing has taken two years so far... (yeah I know, I write slooooooooooow). Even though I appreciate comments I don't think I would change my story by request from readers unless I have committed some terrible continuity crime, character assassination or a Mary Sue atrocity.

The outlined plots I have planned are just vague blueprints, if a character does something completely unexpected all I can do is follow and see where it leads and try to take from there - usually that's when I have the most fun writing.

Monday, June 18, 2007 8:15 PM


Ya know...a guy could get a swelled head at the lovin' he gets 'round here;D

And this is definitely a fabulous question to be asking, Jane0904...if only to trick the big dogs into revealing their secrets of literary greatness (not like you need assistance in being one of the bid dogs around here, mind you) ;D

While I haven't posted anything yet, I thought I would add my $0.02 to the palaver going on. Personally, I am the type to get scenes percolating in my head, along with Very Big Ideas that would drive the overall story while leaving the details to the moment and potential insight from feedback.

For example, I have this scene running through my head where Inara is attempting to be friendly with an OC I would introduce as a close friend of Wssh's and a Unification War vet, but the OC politely tells her that he would be happy to get to know her...once she had turned off the charm, so to speak. Would lead into a discussion about how, if he had been in Mal's position when the shuttle needed renting out, there would have been a healthy case of paranoia present due to Inara's presence from the fact he would be waiting for the other shoe to drop (cue questions about Inara's reasons for leaving House Madrassa and Sihon for Serenity and the Black). It's a big ole idea that needs a good setup to get to this conversation and an aftermath where Inara is strangely intrigued by this person who has Mal's forthright perspective coupled with a Core person's polite restraint;D


Monday, June 18, 2007 6:54 AM


Glad you asked this question about how folks write, as the responses have been illuminating! Personally, I start with an outline of the story (it's my anal retentive nature!) and have at least half the arc written before I start posting. I pay great attention to the comments I receive, but they very rarely change the story for me. Some of them give me interesting ideas for future fics, but I'm pretty well set into the tale before I tell it publicly. That's probably why I don't use a beta too. I have rewritten a few scenes in response to someone's question or request, but only if I think it brings greater clarity to the story as a whole. I am in complete awe of your continuing storyline, by the way! Whatever it is that you do, you're doing it very well!

Sunday, June 17, 2007 5:15 PM


I make it up as I go. I have the big picture, sort of, but the details I'm still determining.
If this were my job, I would have a detailed outline, charactor summeries, and a bible, but this is just fun. So, that's what I do. Have fun.
I've painted myself into a corner a few times by not planning, but I find a way to paint myself out of the corner. It's good practice. And fun.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 12:52 PM


How do I write - sometimes it starts as a little idea and I just need to write it down to get it out of my head.

Sometimes, larger and more complex stories, I'l write a little outline. Or a brief description of what each scene should contain. Almost always, in the course of writing, things change as I get into it, or start thinking about the direction. Then my beta gets a hold of it and a lot changes again.

I almost never post a story without having completed it first. I used to, I don't anymore.

Saturday, June 16, 2007 12:38 PM



I have about 30 stories that I’ve written. I believe they all still can be found on my personal FFfan.net page. Now let me say right here that I ain’t no writer. My stories are all full of mistakes. Both spelling and grammar but I do get ideas that I find interesting and they finally eat at me long enough so that I jot them down. Most of the time they are usually 2 or 3 ideas that are familiar to a main story and find their place somewhere in the middle. That means that I usually have to come up with a beginning, an end and some filler stuff in-between. It’s fun and most of the time I can get into a rhythm or flow so that the story goes along fairly easily. Anyway I haven’t written anything in a long time I’ve mainly just been doing a little artwork to satisfy my creative hunger. I haven’t closed the door to writing more stories. I think in time I will again. Right now most of the ideas I’m getting are in visual form.

Many of my fellow browncoat brothers and sisters have shared their comments with me and I do like getting them. Both good and bad. Fellow browncoat BEB has been a big inspiration and there were quite a few stories written because of his uplifting posts. I do enjoy the comments from everybody and they have great insight. That’s about it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007 2:22 AM


I have an 'organic' approach to writing. My first ever Firefly story on this site was the result of writer's block. I was frustrated that I couldn't put together another fic that I'd started, so I wrote a wee one shot fic for Halloween.

The one shot fan fic (that ran for a page), wasn't intended to be a full series, but it spawned a further four chapters and a spin off. My writing got stronger and the chapters longer the more that I wrote.

With all my stories, I never really plan out anything on paper or in my head. I approach each story indivually, try to find a theme to work from and run with it. The story connects and makes sense along the way.

I wrote the first chapter of a comedy, which dealt with the idea of Mal feeling ill and unable to command. That was my only theme, and the story ran from there. I had no preconceived ideas other than that one..

That techniwue allows me to keep things fresh and to keep the reader's guessing..


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