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Fandom Snowflake Challenge Day 11


Day 11

In your own space, talk about your creative process(es) — anything from the initial inspiration to how you feel after something’s done. Do you struggle with motivation or is it a smooth process? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve to pull out when a fanwork isn’t cooperating? What is your level of planning to pantsing/winging it?


I wrote up a thing in response to a discussion on the fanfiction pfio comm last week that pretty much covers most of this. It was focused on writing longfic, but it's still relevant, so I'm just gonna stick that here:

It's taken me a long time to write longer fic. And honestly, most of my fic is still under 5k, much of it even under 1k, and my longest fic is only about 18k. Part of that has been finding out what works best for me for writing and outline. Which I think is something everyone has to experiment and figure out for themselves bc what works for one person isn't going to work for another.
Used to, I never outlined anything. Now, I outline almost everything if I expect it's going to be over a couple hundred words. It's really helped my writing overall and helped me do longer fic. Basically I start with an idea and then do a bullet point outline (on the first page of my doc so it's easy to reference) of where the fic is going to go. That doesn't always mean I know exactly what is going to happen, or even what the ending will be, but it gives me something to follow. Which I think is especially important for long fic and/or ones that I get bogged down in for whatever reason. That way I can take a break with something else (whether working on another fic or just going to do something that takes my mind off of it) and be able to come back and still know what I had planned for the fic. That used to be a big problem for me, that I'd get frustrated and go work on something else, then when I wanted to work on it again, I had no idea what to do next.
My bullet point outlines usually include just the big things (like Character A goes to the coffee shop and sees Character B), but if I have some more specific ideas or even actual lines in mind, I add them in so I don't forget them (like Character A says "Wow, that's beautiful!" when Character B shows new tattoo). Generally I can figure out how long a fic is going to be by how bullet points I have, though that sometimes varies by fic. Usually for me, though, each bullet point is a scene of a couple hundred words. So if I know I want something to be long, I can figure out if I need more scenes or which ones I'm going to need to expand on.
I have previously posted chapters of a fic before I've finished the whole thing, but I think I'm going to avoid doing that anymore. It hasn't worked well for me since almost every WIP I've posted has remained unfinished. I guess I lose my momentum when I'm trying to post as I'm writing. In any case, my goal is to finish long fics and then start posting them chapter by chapter. That way posting it can maybe work as my motivation to finish if I start getting bogged down by the length.
So yeah, that's what I do! I'm happy to show examples of my outlines if anyone would like to see :)

Comments

I have to admit, back in the day when I wrote A LOT of fanfiction I had REALLY long ones, even though they were in German. My longest is about 450k... And 500 word pages or something like that... so pretty long... I am even still considering turning it into Original Fic. I also have a "shorter" one with about 180k... I wrote those 2 fics about Daily Soap characters and the other one about 2 contestants on the German Version of "American Idol", so there's that ^^" But it had very little to do with their "original" story (for example it was kind of a "diverse reality" where the one character that DID move to Spain for a while stayed there and the best friend joined him later and they became a couple but then the "one true love" came back into his life), and such... but I haven't written fanfic THIS long in years... nowadays my fics are usually between 500 and... I don't know... 5000 words, I guess, depends on how inspired I am...

I usually DO have an "overall" idea, but sometimes the characters don't listen to me and do what they want and then some things happen that I DIDN'T plan... always fun that way :P
Oh wow, those are some long fics!! That's awesome that you wrote such long stuff, I'm always kind of in awe of someone who can do fics that long.

There's still definitely a lot of going off the outline... Usually its like oh this part will be a couple hundred words and then a character decides to be difficult and two thousand words later I'm still trying to get them back on task lol
I have never had an outline work out for me, for better and sometimes worse. My characters jump the track too often, though I've gotten some good surprises that way.

There have been fics where posting chapters helped me keep going on. Even the ones I didn't finish--*cough*--I got a lot further than I would have otherwise.
They never did when I started writing, but I guess I've just figured out how to make them work for me now? Since my outlines are pretty vague there's still plenty of room for surprises :D
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