Scott Westerfeld Forum

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Author Topic: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?  (Read 17376 times)

ReineDeVampire

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 11:38:02 AM »

That's great! I do the same thing...I save everything and can go back to it later...I'm better at writing short stories though...I have trouble making stuff happen in the middle of a story to keep it going :(
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psychosomatic13

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 11:38:36 AM »

How do you begin writing your books?
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scott_himself

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2010, 11:39:07 AM »

I have this problem where i'll watch a movie or read a book, and i'll just end up adding my own characters who are,more often than not, close to the main characters.  They make up some really great stories of their own and i want to write those stories down, how can i find a way to do that without copywriting?

This is not a terrible thing. Taking someone else's characters and writing them into your own stories is a great way to learn the craft. To use a dorky simile, it's a bit like training wheels.

But here's the thing: You should do so much stuff to those characters (that is, make them change so much because of the intense story you put them through) that they become YOUR characters. Then you change the names and file the serial numbers off. And if that doesn't work, at least you've had some great writing practice.
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Pedestrian

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2010, 11:39:40 AM »

Also to do with characters...what is the process of characterization like while writing the book? Like...how does it work? Do different parts of a character's personality just sort of fall into place as you go? Or do you do character sketches before you start writing...? Or do the characters come talk to you in your dreams...? =P
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Team Toshi Banana

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2010, 11:40:22 AM »

I find it interesting that Uglies readers feel so strongly about the books that they can keep arguing and arguing about David vs. Zane, pretty vs. ugly, etc. How do you feel knowing that you've inspired all this?
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Team Toshi Banana

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2010, 11:42:17 AM »

Quote
Or do you do character sketches before you start writing...? Or do the characters come talk to you in your dreams...? =P
Tally Youngblood talks to me in my dreams a lot. (Is that a bad thing?)
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Beli-wa

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2010, 11:43:31 AM »

Quote
Or do you do character sketches before you start writing...? Or do the characters come talk to you in your dreams...? =P
Tally Youngblood talks to me in my dreams a lot. (Is that a bad thing?)

awww your so lucky!!
i dont dream
or at least i dont remember my dreams....
so i wouldn't know
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Melanie-Wa

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2010, 11:43:43 AM »

SCOTT: I Do something crazy for plotting my novels. I write all my plot points down on color coded sticky notes (purple-main plot, pink-romance, and green-subplot) and I place them in order on a huge white board. My question is this: Do you have any crazy plotting habits?
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Furu

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2010, 11:44:33 AM »


But here's the thing: You should do so much stuff to those characters (that is, make them change so much because of the intense story you put them through) that they become YOUR characters. Then you change the names and file the serial numbers off. And if that doesn't work, at least you've had some great writing practice.

Haha, I totally did that once, though it was only for a roleplaying game I was part of. I took a very very minor vampire character from an Anne Rice novel and added so much to him I eventually realized the only thing from the original was that he was a serious Greek vampire. So I just gave him a new name.
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ReineDeVampire

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2010, 11:45:48 AM »

Have your dreams ever helped to inspire your writing?

I remember reading an interview with Ray Bradbury where he said that he doesn't write his stories, his characters do. Like, he gives them "life" with their own personalities, and they react to things "on their own." Do you feel that that ever happens with your writing?
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scott_himself

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2010, 11:46:06 AM »

There are lots of questions about how to create characters: Hmm. I guess it's kind of like having an imaginary friend. I mean, you have to carry your characters around with you in your head for a while, figuring out their likes and dislikes, and wondering what they'd say in a certain situation. It's like when you travel somewhere, and imagine one of your close friends along with you, and what you'd want to show them that you KNOW they'd love.

The other key is, MAKE STUFF HAPPEN to your characters, stuff that makes them CHOOSE. If they have to choose between saving a stranger from a broken arm and getting a hundred thousand dollars, for example, you WILL get to know them better. (And so will the reader.)

Sorry for CAPITALIZING words at you all.
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lavinsane

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2010, 11:47:32 AM »


OH. MY. GOSH. I do the same thing, Scott, with stories. I set it aside until I forget what it's about and can read it as someone else's writing, so as to properly critique it. I did that with my only Midnighters Fanfic that actually came out SORT of good!
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scott_himself

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2010, 11:48:31 AM »

how do you feel about people (like me) spending so much time on this forum?

You are free to spend your time in any way you choose!

Besides, the internets are full of much worse places to hang out.
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Whateves

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2010, 11:48:48 AM »

There are lots of questions about how to create characters: Hmm. I guess it's kind of like having an imaginary friend. I mean, you have to carry your characters around with you in your head for a while, figuring out their likes and dislikes, and wondering what they'd say in a certain situation. It's like when you travel somewhere, and imagine one of your close friends along with you, and what you'd want to show them that you KNOW they'd love.

The other key is, MAKE STUFF HAPPEN to your characters, stuff that makes them CHOOSE. If they have to choose between saving a stranger from a broken arm and getting a hundred thousand dollars, for example, you WILL get to know them better. (And so will the reader.)

Sorry for CAPITALIZING words at you all.
I like to create a character and then draw them so i can get an even better idea for them, and i have something visual to go off of later...
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Pedestrian

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Re: Meet-Up : Scott, Will you answer our writing questions?
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2010, 11:50:01 AM »

Quote
I remember reading an interview with Ray Bradbury where he said that he doesn't write his stories, his characters do. Like, he gives them "life" with their own personalities, and they react to things "on their own."
That was actually exactly what I was thinking of. xD
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