Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Unleash the Beast

No I’m not talking about your husband or your little monsters at home. I’m talking about opening up your mind and letting your writing skills take over. Letting your subconscious allow for freedom to write whatever comes to mind.

Everyone has their own techniques while writing. Some are pansters and others are plotters.

I’m a punster and it gives you that sense of no boundaries. The place where you can write anything and everything that comes to mind. It may not pertain to the story but it might be an idea for story #2.

Sometimes it’s good to let go. Just let your freak flag fly and let any idea flow through your mind and straight to paper. You might be surprised at the awesome you produce.

I know a lot of people edit while they work, personally I commend them for it. The disaster I encounter after writing stream of consciousness is an absolute nightmare to control. However I also love that my voice is the same all throughout, I never lose my character relationship and in the end even if I see a disaster zone I can then become the plotter that I desire to be.

That’s right, I outline after the fact. For me it works. I already know the whole story, what my character is capable of, and how it ends. To me the post-it’s and index cards can be filled out immediately. No hidden blanks, no empty chapters, just a whole lot of fun.

How do you write? Have you unleashed the beast?

45 comments:

Sarah said...

I tend to do this during intensely emotional scenes, particularly when it's mostly inner thoughts. For the rest of it, I do plan and plot (though not with post--its and index cards, because I hate paper). I think everyone needs to unleash that creativity from time to time, though. Great post!

Laura Pauling said...

I outline but I have a lot of creativity in each scene so I'll go wherever the story takes me and adjust my storyline if need be!

upinthecosmos said...

Let your freak flag fly... yeah, I like that:-) Stop in & read U is for Uranus

J. L. Jackson said...

I have an outline for this WIP, but it's not working too well. My characters are taking it in a different direction.

Bish Denham said...

I'm a bit of both. I write a sentence or two or more for each chapter and that's about it. It gives me just enough of a map to get lost and find my way at the same time.

Francine Howarth said...

Hi,

I unleashed the subconscious freedom to roam years ago and chose an artistic route. Paintings, usually portraits stir the conscious mind as I ponder the image, the subconscious meanwhile stores info and goes to work at night: characters and their stories appear in overnight dream sequence. Hence, no need for plotting and pants not worn in literary sense, because my job is merely penning what I've seen in finite detail! ;)

best
F

Christina Lee said...

I'm in the middle! I do plot points for every chapter and go from there. But yeah the potential to go off on a tangent is high (and fun)!

Diane said...

I am all for the freak flag flying, but I think I do it in real life a little more than in my writing.... :O)

salarsenッ said...

I so need to let go, more. YES!! If I plan too much, I completely stifle my creativity. "I dry myself out." Bad. Very bad. I so needed this post, today. I'm in the middle of rewrites (but I think you already know that) and I'm adding a plot twist. This weekend I gave myself permission to read and suddenly the next chapter came to me. I wrote it in less than an hour and then edited for the next one. It felt so good. Hopefully, today will bring me the same. Thanks for the reminder.

Liz Fichera said...

"Let the freak flag fly..." Love that! I let me inner freak flag fly when I write. I don't outline, although I may jot down a note here and there to remind myself of something.

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

My freak flag has been flying. People try to catch it...but they can't.

Summer Frey said...

I write a broad outline with major plot points that need to be hit, and as I get further in, add more detail to what I want to happen. It's the only way I can stay on board and finish without letting myself get derailed. However, I still let myself exercise some creativity. If a better idea strikes than the one I outlined, all the better.

Joanne Brothwell said...

My first novel I totally pants'ed. Then I had to edit it and regretted unleashing the beast and the total lack of planning.

Now I plot. Nowhere near as fun, but it saves me a lot of frustration. That being said, there's lots of room for little beastie to roam within the parameters of my plot!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

The beat runs rampant on my computer screen LOL. No joke, I rarely plot. I know general direction, but an outline is usually impossible.

Lauracea said...

I'm glad I read this. I was a bit stuck about where I was going in my WIP - so I'll unleash the beast! Whatever happens is your fault LOL

Teenage Bride said...

I am still trying to learn that editing as I go saves a lot of time in the end hahaha

have a great Day!!!

lynnrush said...

I readily unleash the beast. If anyone would see my first rough draft, they'd probably deny knowing me in any writing circle.

But that's the fun. Just letting out all the emotion, raw dialogue and raw scenes. It feels so good to get the story out. To let it flow without any restraint.

Plenty of time to clean it up, get into an outline and flesh things out later. :)

Lucy Adams said...

Iwrite it all out as it flows. Then I go back and edit and re-edit and then edit some more. But first, I entertain all ideas and thoughts, even though many don't make the final cut.

Lucy

Amy Saia said...

If I edit while writing I lose the joy and end up with a lower word count. It's much more fun to let things flow and correct later. But I know what you mean, that editing can be a real pain!

Bekah Snow said...

Oh, I am so not that brave LOL

Laura Marcella said...

A lot of writers outline after the first draft. I think that's a great strategy. I outline before because I'm addicted to planning and organizing, heehee. I love getting all my ideas plotted and put together before I start writing. Often I veer away from my outline, which is awesome I love when that happens, so then I just outline whatever new ideas come to me during the writing process.

LTM said...

sort of... LOL! I mean, I unleash it once I point it in the general direction I want it to go... :D

good one~ <3

Ann said...

I'm a hesitator. A start and stopper.

Angela Felsted said...

I've written in more than one way. If I feel particularly confident, I play it by ear. But lately, I've been feeling anything but, so I cling to an outline as if it's a matter of life and death.

Laura said...

Hmmm, the beast has been sniffing at the bars for some time, think it may be time to let time out!
That was one of the most interesting things I learned about Talli - she writes her first draughts straight through with NO editing whatsoever - my moth was wide open when she said that - but what a way to get the story out there!
Lx

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I let my mind run first, then I outline, then I write.
However, there is no freaky flag flying...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Roger Zelazny, the writer who inspired me to be one as well, urged novice writers to trust their demons :

"Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing,

a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant -

you just don't know which.

You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you'd mapped out for yourself.

Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place.

Trust your demon."

Lydia K said...

Like Sarah, I tend to do this in emotional scenes. Later on I edit out the unnecessary drivel. There's usually plenty of it.

Cynthia Lee said...

I just write furiously and see what surfaces. I go back and fix it after I'm done with the first draft.

Jemi Fraser said...

I tend to just write and see what shows up on the page. This time around I'm trying a mini-outline for a story I want to start in the summer. Not sure how it's going to go yet :)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I hear ya, JEN.
I believe that only once did I ever write something that was authentically stream-of-consciousness: a letter to a girl who was living in Greece at the time.

I just kind of took the chains off my mind and let it loose one moment at a time. Truthfully, I was a little concerned that I might scare this girl away, because she was definitely getting to see a side of me she had never experienced before and didn't even know was there.

That was in 1983, and not only did it NOT scare the girl away, but in the final analysis, these decades later, that letter still remains one of my all-time favorite things I ever wrote.

There's definitely a place for stream-of-consciousness writing.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Ellie said...

I'm a panster - I start writing and see where the story takes me! I'm am partial to brown paper and post-it notes but, like you, they tend to arrive after the fact.

Ellie Garratt

The Golden Eagle said...

Sometimes I outline and sometimes I just write away--it depends on the kind of story.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I am definitely a pantster and my subconscious does a lot of writing for me. It always astonishes me when I discover that some random thing I wrote in the beginning is desperately needed for the climax to work -- and I had no idea.

Lately, I've been doubting my subconscious. Thanks for reminding me to trust the beast. Hey, I can always clean up the mess later, right?

Jennifer Hillier said...

I totally unleash the beast during a first draft, and then everything gets tamed in revisions! Ideally, anyway.

E. Elle said...

Anything goes in the first draft but I have an awful time turning off my inner editor who has to criticize every letter I put down. It's why I have so many false starts. But once I find my opening, I'm good to go for the duration.

Michelle Mach said...

Your post makes me feel a little better about not knowing my whole plot ahead of time. I just can't do it--it seems to kill the energy to have everything outlined ahead.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I need to unleash the beast more often! LOL Actually, that's exactly what I do when I'm struggling with voice (which can happen when I get all tangled up in the plot).

damyantiwrites said...

I'm constantly unleashing the beast, now I need to release a hunter to shoot all the bloopers and inconsistencies!

Nicki Elson said...

I am overdue for some solid unleashing! I'm being far too structured on my current WIP and it's taking foreeevveeeeer.

S. F. Roney said...

Beast mode is exactly how I tackle my writing projects. At most, I'll have a few notes assembled, but nothing at all close to an outline. You're right, raise the freak flag, go into beast mode, and create some fantastic writing!

Arlee Bird said...

Yeah, I'm with you on this. That's what I like about the NaNo Challenge just going wild and worrying about it later. Although I still can't help but do some editing as I go. That's the way I tend to write.


Hope you join us in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post on Monday May 2nd.
Lee

Sara B. Larson said...

I do some of both. That is very interesting that you outline after the fact. If it works for you, then that's great!

Donea Lee said...

I think I unleash my writing beast FAR too often! He likes to come in and trample on things occasionally... :)

But, I'm definitely a pantser. I aspire to plotting awesomeness! Maybe one day...

Stephsco said...

I edit as I go, but I had to command myself to stop or I'd never get anything done. So I go back and forth. Sometimes I just write a bunch, then take a break and go back to revise. It's a fine line for me; sometimes letting the beast show up produces a lot of text, but is it good? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It can result in some interesting directions for my stories so I think it's worth it!