• Member Since 15th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Jan 31st, 2017

SilentBelle


I'm a fantasy enthusiast who loves to write, and I'm aiming to be a professional fantasy writer eventually. I love to help out other authors when I can. Feel free to PM me or drop by and say 'hi'.

More Blog Posts114

  • 150 weeks
    One Neat Thing That I Did Get to Do Last Summer

    During August of 2016, my friends and I visited South Korea. When I went there, there were three things in particular that I wanted to do: I wanted to get some good hiking in, I wanted to see some live Starcraft games, and I wanted to do some karaoke. It turns out I got to do all those things and more. If you want to see that Starcraft bit,

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    9 comments · 639 views
  • 150 weeks
    I'm Back, After an Age

    Hey folks,

    It sure has been quite a while since I was last on here. I just want to say that I am back to jump back into A Heart of Change and to bring it to its conclusion, and that's the gist of what this blog is about. If you want to hear a rambling story explaining my absence, by all means keep reading.

    Read More

    26 comments · 959 views
  • 239 weeks
    EFNW

    Heya folks,

    Read More

    3 comments · 509 views
  • 246 weeks
    I Happened to Stumble Upon a Beautiful Treasure

    So I just happened to click on the stats button for AHoC because I hadn't done that in quite a while, and suddenly I noticed that I had gotten a few hits from EqD since I had last looked, which I thought was quite strange. So I clicked on the link and ended up on this page which showed the results of an event that

    Read More

    2 comments · 537 views
  • 247 weeks
    Chapter 24 is Done and Going Through the Final Stages of Editing.

    And I aim to publish it sometime tomorrow. Thank you for your considerable patience and continued readership. I'll definitely get the next chapter out in a more timely fashion. I am tentatively aiming to wrap this story up by sometime around August or so.

    Now I'm going to go straight into planning and writing the next chapter.

    Cheers,
    ~SilentBelle

    5 comments · 321 views
Mar
27th
2013

The Creative Process · 5:38am Mar 27th, 2013

So here I am siting at my laptop. It's nearly midnight. I'm thinking of the SoC universe and how to proceed with the next chapter, wondering at how it will all unfold. I'm at 500 words written so far in the second chapter, and I plan on writing more before I go to sleep. But before I do that, I want to pose a question to you. How do you folks go about writing? What's your creative process?

Here's what I do: When writing a story, I first decide who the story is going to be about and give them a starting point, which is often easy enough given that the show offers a robust world to start off in and you can usually connect the dots to find the characters in a neat situation.

Then once I have that starting point established, I make sure to have an end point picked out. A location, a particular action, or just a certain frame of mind. It can be very vague, but I keep that on the back burner as a goal to reach for.

Then the third part is (if it's a one shot) to fill it in from the starting point to the ending point. I gently nudge the character in the direction of that end point and write it out step by step. If it's a multi-chapter story, well, then I leave the end point on back burner to stew for a long time. I just focus on the present stuff. The chapter I'm working on. I ask myself: "What does this chapter want to accomplish?"

The answer to that question is particularly important for a first chapter of any series. I stress that in particular. In a first chapter you are trying to accomplish a number of goals:
1) Set the tone of the story, if there is going to be comedy then have some comical parts, if it's supposed to be sad then include some sad moments where the character feels unhappy, and if it's going to be an adventure give a hint of adventure to come.
2) Set up the characters in the story. In the first chapter it should become fairly obvious who your protagonists are. And with every action they take, ask yourself, 'would that character actually do that? Why? Why not do something else?' If it changes our character's actions... well then you should probably change their actions (Example: In 'A Heart of Change', I was going to have AB and SB chase after Scootaloo in the hot air balloon, when I thought, 'Why wouldn't SB have a Featherfall spell?' So I back-tracked slightly and included that particular action. It changed the confrontation to a 1 on 1, but it seemed to fit the character better.)
3) Introduce the conflict. Maybe just a portion of it, it can be subtle through the use of foreshadowing, or very blatant, but it's nice to give the readers something to anticipate and wonder at how the protagonist will face it and try to overcome it.

In chapters past the first one 'What does this chapter want to accomplish?' becomes answered usually based on what is lacking most in the story. Character growth, exposition, action, a single concept and it's interpretation. Regardless of the focus (or foci), each chapter usually varies from one to the next and usually serves to take a step towards that end goal.

The fourth part is editing and proofread. Very important. We all make mistakes... so very many mistakes. First I read through it looking for errors particularly in the dialogue (and usually catch at least 30 different instances of problematic wording and punctuation). Then I go through and hopefully no one else is around, I'll read it aloud. Reading it aloud produces amazing results for a proofread. Then once that's done I usually go through it one more time casually. Do a ctr + F, type in the word 'it's', change the twenty improper instances of the word, then send it to my actual proofreader and editor (my brother). He then comes back an hour or two later and we go over all the highlighted portions and discuss what's wrong and where. (Editing is important folks)

Then the fifth and final step, after writing a chapter, I assess if the story can still reach that initial endpoint. If it can't, then I'll need to stop and think of a new endpoint. Otherwise it's all good.

That's kind of how I look at my writing formula, though it's probably a little more cloudy than that in reality. As for the act of writing, I usually do it in 1 hour sessions and I listen to primarily orchestral or piano music in the background, very quietly. Any music with words begins to interfere with my writing.

So... Do you folks have any neat writing techniques? I'd love to hear about them.

~SilentBelle

P.S Ahh, that's over 40 minutes of not writing my story... now I'm rather tired. I guess I'll get some writing done later!

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Comments ( 14 )

Ooh, that's some good advice. Admittedly, my process goes something along the lines of 'Wait for SilentBelle to do all of the above, then read it!' :pinkiehappy:

Well, that or the folks I edit for. But that's more work. :twilightsheepish:

I like to write out my first chapter without thinking, put it up on the site without reading it aloud, or getting it edited, then actually spending more than an hour on the two subsequent chapters, I really regret not trying with the first one. So, I spend the next few weeks thinking about how I can fix it, and how the story will continue. Then, I procrastinate on actually writing anything, until it's time to go to work. I then spend the rest of the day wishing I had just written something, and just thinking about what I'm going to write when, and if, I ever get the time. In fact, thinking about the story at work is probably the biggest part of my writing process. I've been at that stage in the current chapter for nine months now. :pinkiehappy::derpyderp1:

crap.

I actually look for a scene I want to create first. This usually happens while listening to music, not pop or dubstep or any of that, I mean epic orchestral/symphony/rock hybrid stuff! Many times they remain there in my head, for whenever the song comes up again. But a lot of the story i've been (attempting to) writing has come from a playlist I made on my ipod.

Good example is a song I recently found : Les Friction World on Fire, just put that in youtube and you'll find it. That song made me immediately think of some sort of huge battle, ending with a decisive strike that wipes out the enemy army at the very end. I imagine some sort of magic user (unicorn or otherwise) who casts the enchantment. Starting with calling back the fallen soldiers for one more strike, then a storm forming overhead. Then at the final climax if the song all the power in a full tempest comes down on the enemy army in an instant, obliterating them.

The only problem have with my method is the build up! Steps include: find epic scene(general), create/use characters in scene, then create a buildup/backstory to the event, THEN write it down.

And it gets frustrating when I can't just go and do the epic part. But! Ramblings and all! That is how I write!

Can't wait for next chapter btw

Mine is kind of bad! It's along the lines of:

1—Have ideas for story concepts at random, write them down.
2—Take list of concepts and cram several together until there's a premise, conflict, and climax.
3—Have ideas for specific story moments at random, write them down in chronological order.
4—Take this rough outline and write the story or chapter from beginning to end, filling in the blanks and making a proper story out of it.
5—Reread story for context, GOTO 3.
6—???
7—Profit Fame!

I'm rather lousy at the whole separation of writing and editing thing and will endlessly tweak things until they have just the right wording. I grew up with art, so yeah, rather than making a checklist of things to do, it's pretty much just "write until it's right." :facehoof:

The last time I wrote, I converted a poem into a story. Each part of the poem became the seed for a chapter. I took notes on ideas and moments i wanted to include in the story, and over time came up with notes and a sort of outline. When I had enough to work with, I would weave those moments together into a full chapter within the framework of the story. Haphazard, yes. Imperfect, very. And inspiration generally came to me when I was trying to get some sleep. But it worked, and I was pleased with the result. One notable effect was the story was story-driven rather than character-driven, since I was choosing the events for the characters rather than having the characters choose what they would do by personality. It was a structured weave of ideas and dreams, but it said what I wanted to say, and said it well.

I almost forgot. I painted portraits with words. That was very important in drawing the readers into the world of my characters.

Daydream concepts until something just seems right, play with it, imagine what the characters would do in various cases. Eventually I get a shape that seems good, and try to put down an outline that flows from one place to another.

Eventually I flesh the outline out into a chapter. Then I sleep (this is important:twilightoops:)

The next day I look at what I cobbled together previously. Half of it gets deleted or edited to unrecognizability, and the other half I simply tweak. If it doesn't seem good enough, or if I get stuck for too long, I treat the text as a new outline and rewrite the whole thing - no mercy. (Rewrites require another sleep cycle, no exceptions :flutterrage:)

Lather, rinse, and repeat as necessary (six times is my current record, I really hope I never top it:pinkiesick:)

The important thing is to write character-driven scenarios, I need to know why somepony would act a given way. It's not uncommon for a character to explain to me why they wouldn't do what I have scripted, and what they would do instead. That's when I really enjoy storytelling, because I have to figure out the consequences of that change, what events flow from it, and where that leaves whatever plot I was trying to follow, and the results are always better than what I originally planned.

Basically, I come up with some neat idea for a scene out of the blue and start expanding on it. Asking questions like:
What could reasonably cause this to happen?
What other cool things could be happening at the same time?
What might the results of all of these things end up being?
and I work my way out from there.
So yes, I essentially have the climax down first, and write the rest of the story second.:rainbowdetermined2:

I sit down and write. Look at what I wrote, then publish it as is if it meets my very low standards.

this actually helps me greatly. my creative process is essentially crap.

first i think of a story idea
then i change it
and again
that goes on for about 2 years before being put on the back burner for 4 years
i get introduced to a show about ponies which fixes one of my main problems with my story
i start writing bios of characters
i think of a new civilization
i think of ONE main point plot
back burner for a few months
decide to remove 2 important character and civilization
decide to change point of view of the story

i have trouble with decision making
i cant even choose an ice cream most of the time...

First think of a situation, or at least a setting and some characters that might create interesting interactions. With MLP the characters usually come first, and sometimes it's a mix, like Pinkie is with the seaponies, then I add Octavia and Dash to make it better. Then I write and see what happens. Sometimes I have some end scene in mind, but not all the time. As I write I usually have a better idea where I'm going, but by time I actually start putting words to paper (or typing it into the word processor more likely) I at least have one scene I want to write out, and everything else flows from there.

Then it's just write, rewrite/edit/spellcheck, and write some more until done. Then publish and hope it isn't too awful.

Although Dissonance is my first, and still in the works, this is definitely how I'll write all of my fics.

I start with the message. What is something I want to say to my readers, something I've learned recently, or just a powerful message in general? Take it, and first form a character around it, somebody (somepony) that also must learn it. Think of some accompanying themes to the message, and form some characters around those as well. Finally, mold a story around both the message, and how you expect your characters to react, to collide with each other. Imagine something powerful, and think of a plot line that shows the entire carrying-out of your message, not just a wink at the end.

Once I have a story, I write a vague outline and some character bios to give the story more definition. After that, I start writing. The challenge is to put as much feeling and meaning into the story, while still adhering to the main idea.

Basically, my entire process is centered on meaning.

952434 Hah, yeah. That's why we proof read stories. I don't bother to do it with blogs.

952443
I know that feel. I just had to comment on how the sentence about proofing had two mistakes. Irony is always fun, and the stars align only every so often.

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