ForumHobbies ► The writing process
We’ve got a lot of threads about writing, but I’m curious about how people here who write write. I write poetry and short stories. I find myself alternating between two things: spending a lot of time with a couple lines or sentences in my head with planning and then just flat out writing whatever comes to my head. So what do you tend to do?
For poems, it's often just like word vomit, but make it rhyme. I've been writing music for a while, so rhyme and meter come very naturally to me at this point. Like, to the point that when I get too high everything rhymes and I can't make it stop haha. Which makes for interesting poems, prose poems, or hybrid works. However, I tend to rhyme when I'm sober as well, if I'm trying to. My poems tend to match that sort of stream of consciousness style because of the way that I write. I used to focus more on the sounds of words and the rhythm, but writing classes have taught me not to stray so far into abstraction. I'm always a contrarian, so I still argue for the abstract at times (22, A Million and Kid A are both very good arguments for the power of abstraction), but I think conditioning and experience has kept me closer to the journaling kind of writing, and now I write more about an experience or my thoughts on something in my life or something going on in the larger world.

When I'm writing prose, I again am focused on the journaling, first person, writing my thoughts, kind of style. Again, I think it's from my experience. One thing that's different in how I write stories, though, is that I focus very, very heavily on dialogue, which has gotten some flack sometimes. I tend to write autofiction, which is from experience, but letting it take some liberties. I like to explore the grays between fiction and nonfiction in all my work. So, I tend to write a lot of dialogue. Some of it is from memory, whereas some of it is just how the conversation I'm writing just naturally flows. I think dialogue also just grabs my attention as a reader, so I write it a lot. To me, I feel very engrossed in a story when they're having a conversation.
I have a harder time the more fictionalized the world becomes. I take the "life inspires art" very literally I guess, and the farther the story is from my life, the harder it is to convey it. Plus creating a plot from nowhere gets into making it, like, bulletproof. Everything has to make sense, which is easier said than done. I also tend to forget to describe the scenes to the reader. I sort of take it for granted, I guess. Image to me feels secondary to the characters and the plot. However, my nonfiction teacher in senior year made a good point, which is that image is a way to signal to the reader what is important to pay attention to. A physical description of a character gives a mental image that stays.

I guess the last thing to talk about is music. I get very conceptual with music. Each album feels like its own world, its own atmosphere, its own story, which it is. I do appreciate a good album that is just good without being a concept album or rock opera, but when I write, it helps me a lot to write around a concept. It makes the album feel more cohesive and worth writing about to me. Within that album, I like to explore a lot of different sounds and approaches, but still center it around that theme. I have one EP out, two albums written, and one I'm writing now. The EP is called "Scattered Memories from a Fixed Point" and that's pretty much how it is. It's just meant to feel like looking though a photo book or just think about a time, I guess. "More" is written, but not really recorded. That was, like, my first passion project. Ongoing, I guess, because I still have to record it. But that one was really focused on me and what it felt like growing up in the closet. Definitely my most personal work. With "Another Time/Life/Universe", I took a different approach. That was when I started to parse myself from the narrator or the story, and started exploring those grays between fact and fiction. It's kind of like a series of stories that may or may not be connected, may or may not be true. I guess there's some truth and some falsehood to any given song on that album. Also, while More was more centered on the self, Another Time/Life/Universe was more centered around the connections and divisions between people.
Now I'm working on a new album, and again, I'm centering it around a theme. This one goes back to the personal, but this one is a lot darker. "More" had sort of a message of hope and growth, whereas this one is more focused on mental illness and trauma without the hopefulness... yet I guess. Haven't finished writing it yet, so idk where it'll go.
I hate being stuck on something and slogging through it. I love having that flash of a good idea and then suddenly all my creative energy is back and it's go go go. It even makes going back and revising what I wrote before enjoyable.
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