So, it’s the month where we all desperately try to write daily! Let’s talk about how we write and how we come up with ideas and how we start working on a new piece.
These days, because I write IF games, I write in Atom, an app geared towards code, with some plugins to make it friendlier to prose/fiction. It does syntax highlighting so I can write in ink or CS and see where my code and where my prose are! I don’t have a special time or place for writing and I keep notes scattered all over various folders and whatnot, because I’m messy and have executive dysfunction.
Usually, I write in small chunks: I set myself a goal of 250 words, get that done, then take a break and then do 250 more words.
But I think a more interesting subject is how I come up with the things I write. Not because I think I’m special or whatever, but because I want to encourage other people to talk about that, because I find it interesting!
So, for a project, I usually come up with a universe and setting first, over years and years. The one my current WIP is set in, I’ve been chipping away at for around seven years. I need to know where my stories are set. Next, I need to know my characters.
I really, really need to know my characters well before I can come up with a story — I don’t really do “plot”, I like the story events to evolve naturally (more or less) from me putting characters into a setting and watching what happens over time. I way, way overdo character generation, in some ways. A lot of what I come up with never really comes up or comes up only fleetingly — but I need to know it for the whole to make sense.
… and all of this means I get ideas rarely and once I do get 'em, I am stuck on working on them for years.
So! What about you guys? What are your story-generation methods? How do you physically write? What are your favourite apps? Do you use any auxiliary apps to help you out? (I use a Pomodoro Method app sometimes, if I have to force myself to stick at writing and not get distracted and play games.)