How do you gather/process ideas? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Nephilim
05-10-2006, 14:37
When I have an idea, I usually write it down on a 3x5 card... I keep a few in my wallet. I throw them all in a small box on my desk and when I feel like writing I pull out a card.

What processes do you have for your ideas?

AC37
05-10-2006, 17:51
I used to write them down on paper, but now I've gotten in the habit of inputting them directly into my PDA in MS Word format. It takes just a bit longer initially, but it seems to be so much more efficient in the long run. :)

I don't know about you, but I've found if I don't take an idea down immediately, there's a good chance I'll lose it forever. It almost assuredly won't get committed to paper/data in its original form.

GlockChuck23
05-12-2006, 17:42
Originally posted by AC37
I used to write them down on paper, but now I've gotten in the habit of inputting them directly into my PDA in MS Word format. It takes just a bit longer initially, but it seems to be so much more efficient in the long run. :)

I don't know about you, but I've found if I don't take an idea down immediately, there's a good chance I'll lose it forever. It almost assuredly won't get committed to paper/data in its original form.

+1 about the lost thought that wasn't written down in time. Whenever I write down something when I go back and read it I'm always thinking that that idea has been done before.

It is said that there are no original ideas in fiction. Only so many archetypes and so many plot lines. The hard part is putting a twist on an old idea.

I also like to doodle maps and clip out pics of interesting faces (not necessarily beautiful) from magazines. That way if I need to describe a character I have a baseline to start with.

Miss Maggie
05-13-2006, 06:11
I have a huge file I call my "story starter" file. I've been collecting into it for years. Every time I have an idea, it goes into this file. Eventually several of these ideas will fit together to form the basis for a complete story.

I agree that if an idea is not written down when it comes, the main essence of it will be lost when trying to think back to remember it. I've seen this for sure when I've written down notes, misplaced them, and then tried to duplicate them from memory. When I chanced to find the original notes, they've been much more vivid and powerful than the ones I tried to rebuild from memory later.

Main thought here: Write it down! Quick, as it comes!

manonmars
06-02-2006, 12:18
Excuse the interruption, but just what is this forum about???

Seems to be alot about nothing......

Is this about actually writing something, or about "thinking about starting to think about maybe working up to actually maybe beginning to write something.....?"

I wrote and self published a book.....and checked this forum a year ago to see what it is about....

Seems today it's the same old BS..............maybe that is why it hasn't gone anywhere.

I don't suggest you post "writing exercises".

I suggest you post real, actual, helpful, honest, real, real, real, helpful information about how to become a SUCCESSFUL writer.

I've been involved briefly with writers groups, and they are mostly filled with "wana'be writers" who will never actually PRINT, let alone publish anything.

They just join to be around others who fantasize about becoming a successful writer....

Writing a bunch of descriptive words to describe a certain idea or event only means you looked in a Thesarus, not that what you are writing is interesting or makes sense to anyone else but yourself................

I've met many "writers" who lose my attention after the second "descriptive" sentence.

SORRY, but as a SUCCESSFUL WRITER, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

PS.....one of the actual best ways to NOT forget a thought is to always have a portable recorder with you...that way you can make notes to yourself while driving, walking, waking up in the middle of the night, etc.

But that's not "High Tech" enough for some.........

OK, I'll shut up now.....

Miss Maggie
06-02-2006, 20:59
Originally posted by manonmars
Excuse the interruption, but just what is this forum about???

Seems to be alot about nothing......

Is this about actually writing something, or about "thinking about starting to think about maybe working up to actually maybe beginning to write something.....?"

I wrote and self published a book.....and checked this forum a year ago to see what it is about....

Seems today it's the same old BS..............maybe that is why it hasn't gone anywhere.

I don't suggest you post "writing exercises".

I suggest you post real, actual, helpful, honest, real, real, real, helpful information about how to become a SUCCESSFUL writer.

I've been involved briefly with writers groups, and they are mostly filled with "wana'be writers" who will never actually PRINT, let alone publish anything.

They just join to be around others who fantasize about becoming a successful writer....

Writing a bunch of descriptive words to describe a certain idea or event only means you looked in a Thesarus, not that what you are writing is interesting or makes sense to anyone else but yourself................

I've met many "writers" who lose my attention after the second "descriptive" sentence.

SORRY, but as a SUCCESSFUL WRITER, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

PS.....one of the actual best ways to NOT forget a thought is to always have a portable recorder with you...that way you can make notes to yourself while driving, walking, waking up in the middle of the night, etc.

But that's not "High Tech" enough for some.........

OK, I'll shut up now.....

Anyone can self-publish. All it takes is a stack of printed pages and enough money to back the check.:) That does not necessarily mean the writer has turned out a quality manuscript any more than using a thesarus makes a piece of writing an interesting work of art. It can sometimes even mean the writer has been rejected by publishers so many times he's given up on the idea of selling his work and has taken the only other available route. I do know several people who have self published successfully.

Every writer has to start somewhere. Some make it to having others publish their work. Some never do. Some just sit back and criticize what other's do.

manonmars
06-02-2006, 22:14
I agree..............

I didn't self publish.........

Green_Manelishi
06-03-2006, 15:50
Originally posted by Nephilim
When I have an idea, I usually write it down on a 3x5 card... I keep a few in my wallet. I throw them all in a small box on my desk and when I feel like writing I pull out a card.

What processes do you have for your ideas?

I've been told that writers write. They don't stash ideas until they "feel like writing". It's a discipline. Even if you are never published, you write. Perhaps not well, but you write.

Green_Manelishi
06-03-2006, 15:51
Originally posted by manonmars
I agree..............

I didn't self publish.........

Does your book also address speling mustakes? :upeyes:

manonmars
06-03-2006, 16:26
I don't have any spelling mis-steakes.

I do have some T-Bone steaks though.

manonmars
06-03-2006, 16:47
Originally posted by Miss Maggie
Anyone can self-publish. All it takes is a stack of printed pages and enough money to back the check.:) That does not necessarily mean the writer has turned out a quality manuscript any more than using a thesarus makes a piece of writing an interesting work of art. It can sometimes even mean the writer has been rejected by publishers so many times he's given up on the idea of selling his work and has taken the only other available route. I do know several people who have self published successfully.

Every writer has to start somewhere. Some make it to having others publish their work. Some never do. Some just sit back and criticize what other's do.

P.S. I know of NO WRITER who writes WITHOUT hoping to be published.......the sooner the better.

If you do know someone who claims anyhthing else, they are lying to you.....

Define "Successfully"......as in ".....who have self published successfully."

I define it as "earning enough income from one's writing that one does not have to secure outside employment to live the lifestyle one chooses"....the lifestyle beginning at "middle class".

And THAT seems to be every writers dream.....if it isn't, you're kidding yourself......

....It is NOT to "write because it is a release", or because "it feels good" or some Kosmic mumbo-jumbo, airy-fairy crap.....

I criticize only because it is easy to do so. MOST writers don't have the GUTTS to write something worth publishing....THAT takes alot of WORK!

But then again, maybe I'm wrong...maybe the writers forum is for "closet writers".

Maybe I should take more lessons in "airy-fairy-ness so I don't "Upset anyone".

Green_Manelishi
06-03-2006, 17:01
Originally posted by manonmars
I don't have any spelling mis-steakes.

I do have some T-Bone steaks though.

Thanks for the clarification.

AC37
06-04-2006, 07:40
I think it's well worth pointing out that being published does not automatically equate to good writing, nor does being unpublished mean it isn't any good. Plenty of crap gets published that few, if any, will ever read, and plenty of stories that probably should be published aren't. I've read tons of published works that were crap, and a good bit of my friends' work that, while not published, was far superior to much of the published work out there.

The only categories publishers currently quantify success on is total sales and number of books in print, but is a book's success or lack thereof fairly defined solely by the contemporary readers' ability, or inability, to comprehend, integrate, and appreciate the subject matter at hand? Is success defined only by financial gain, or is it also defined by something far less tangible?

Something perceived as "crap" may simply be a subject sufficiently narrowly targeted enough as to appear completely obtuse to the uninitiated reader...someone who understands it may see it as pure literary gold, while anyone else would find it utterly worthless. Many writers and other artists are not fully appreciated until well after their passing for a variety of reasons, including being way ahead of their time or at significant odds with their contemporaries, including Picasso, Leonardo De Vinci, and too many others to name. It all depends on your point of view and definition of what exactly constitutes success and what does not, if it's defined purely by financial gain via blockbuster sales and name recognition, or something that moves the entire genre, an entire country, or even the entire planet's perceptions of an idea, concept, or belief forward, even while the writer's name fades into oblivion....

How many people are familiar with or have read Stephen King's works? Now, how many know significant portions of the U.S. Constitution and exactly what rights it does and does not guarantee by comparision? How many know why the Constitution was created, who actually penned it, when it was penned, when it was officially adopted, and who helped draft it in the first place? I'd venture most would be far better acquainted with Stephen King than the Constitution, sadly, but does that make Stephen King's works more important that the basic framework that has helped govern our country for well over two centuries now? Stephen King may be an excellent writer, yes, but he is primarily an entertainer and as such will never attain the level of importance as those who helped draft the Constitution, even though most of their names are ill-remembered today. Again, it all goes back to a matter of perspective as to what constitutes success and what does not. Personally, I'm of the opinion that there's far more to the definition of success than pure financial gain, name recognition, and number of readers. :)

Miss Maggie
06-04-2006, 08:30
Originally posted by AC37
I think it's well worth pointing out that being published does not automatically equate to good writing, nor does being unpublished mean it isn't any good. Plenty of crap gets published that few, if any, will ever read, and plenty of stories that probably should be published aren't. I've read tons of published works that were crap, and a good bit of my friends' work that, while not published, was far superior to much of the published work out there.

The only categories publishers currently quantify success on is total sales and number of books in print, but is a book's success or lack thereof fairly defined solely by the contemporary readers' ability, or inability, to comprehend, integrate, and appreciate the subject matter at hand? Is success defined only by financial gain, or is it also defined by something far less tangible?

Something perceived as "crap" may simply be a subject sufficiently narrowly targeted enough as to appear completely obtuse to the uninitiated reader...someone who understands it may see it as pure literary gold, while anyone else would find it utterly worthless. Many writers and other artists are not fully appreciated until well after their passing for a variety of reasons, including being way ahead of their time or at significant odds with their contemporaries, including Picasso, Leonardo De Vinci, and too many others to name. It all depends on your point of view and definition of what exactly constitutes success and what does not, if it's defined purely by financial gain via blockbuster sales and name recognition, or something that moves the entire genre, an entire country, or even the entire planet's perceptions of an idea, concept, or belief forward, even while the writer's name fades into oblivion....

How many people are familiar with or have read Stephen King's works? Now, how many know significant portions of the U.S. Constitution and exactly what rights it does and does not guarantee by comparision? How many know why the Constitution was created, who actually penned it, when it was penned, when it was officially adopted, and who helped draft it in the first place? I'd venture most would be far better acquainted with Stephen King than the Constitution, sadly, but does that make Stephen King's works more important that the basic framework that has helped govern our country for well over two centuries now? Stephen King may be an excellent writer, yes, but he is primarily an entertainer and as such will never attain the level of importance as those who helped draft the Constitution, even though most of their names are ill-remembered today. Again, it all goes back to a matter of perspective as to what constitutes success and what does not. Personally, I'm of the opinion that there's far more to the definition of success than pure financial gain, name recognition, and number of readers. :)

Great post! You've hit the nail on the head. I, too, have friends who've turned out literature far better than the majority of what's being printed today. Often publication depends on sheer luck, on having your work land in the right hands at the right time.

A large majority of books published today are aimed at the mindless mass market, with the sole purpose of using shock value to entice people to read. These works have their five minutes of fame and then they land in the bargain bin.

Too many money-oriented people, publishers included, use financial gain as their only measuring stick. Publishing is a business though, and the bottom line has to count.

Miss Maggie
06-04-2006, 08:34
Originally posted by manonmars
P.S. I know of NO WRITER who writes WITHOUT hoping to be published.......the sooner the better.

If you do know someone who claims anyhthing else, they are lying to you.....

Define "Successfully"......as in ".....who have self published successfully."

I define it as "earning enough income from one's writing that one does not have to secure outside employment to live the lifestyle one chooses"....the lifestyle beginning at "middle class".

And THAT seems to be every writers dream.....if it isn't, you're kidding yourself......

....It is NOT to "write because it is a release", or because "it feels good" or some Kosmic mumbo-jumbo, airy-fairy crap.....

I criticize only because it is easy to do so. MOST writers don't have the GUTTS to write something worth publishing....THAT takes alot of WORK!

But then again, maybe I'm wrong...maybe the writers forum is for "closet writers".

Maybe I should take more lessons in "airy-fairy-ness so I don't "Upset anyone".

I'm not sure exactly where you intended on going with this post. Maybe you should edit and clarify.:)

Kill Bill
06-09-2006, 22:25
i carry one of those "moleskine" journals around with me. i keep a nice cross pen in the back pocket so i always have something that feels good in my hand to write with.

i got my start by doing nanowrimo (www.nanowrimo.org) last year. i submitted 68,000 words on about the 25th of oct. that 68,000 is now over 90,000 and my first novel is almost complete.

i'm 51 and i just found out that i can write really well.

i have a couple of things written on the inside front cover on my journal. one of them is, "a writer is someone who wrote today". just in case i need a litle push to actually sit down and do it.

Arizona
06-12-2006, 06:27
Originally posted by manonmars
I wrote and self published a book.....
I didn't self publish.........

Which is it?

manonmars
06-12-2006, 09:31
BOTH.