Author Topic: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference  (Read 2764 times)

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Gerri Attrick

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 04:41:46 AM »
Aarggh! Video alert! Video alert!

Actually, I will watch this. Iíve read Deanís book by the same name and enjoyed it, even if, by and large, the method ainít for me.
 
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Eugene Lloyd MacRae

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Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 06:31:04 AM »
Aarggh! Video alert! Video alert!

Actually, I will watch this. Iíve read Deanís book by the same name and enjoyed it, even if, by and large, the method ainít for me.
Funny how different things work for different people - I have over 50 books now between my own & a pen name since I started this method in the spring of 2012. And itís the only method that works for me - I get bored with an outline when it comes to fiction. So do my cats - they tell me to stop it.
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Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 06:34:44 AM »
Brilliant. Thanks for posting this. I agree with him. Loved the salty questioners at the end too, would have been great to see a lengthier Q & A with Dean for sure. He ended it just when it was getting good.
 

munboy

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 06:36:30 AM »
There are a lot of problems using his method will cause, especially for new writers. But I guess if it works for, then that's great.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 08:45:58 AM »
Now I understand what he means by "writing into the dark." It's what I do. The joy of discovery as the story unfolds is the reason I'm willing to keep writing. If I knew what would come next, I'd be bored, and so would a reader. Cycling back to fix stuff after I've had a new idea is usually what I do once I reach the end, but I can see how doing it daily warms him up to keep on with the story and smooths out what has gone before. 
 

She-la-te-da

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2018, 11:47:15 PM »
There are a lot of problems using his method will cause, especially for new writers. But I guess if it works for, then that's great.

Like what? Because from what I read from all sorts of writers, every method has problems for someone. No one has said everyone has to do this, but it works for many of us. I've tried and tried to outline, and it causes a lot of problems for me. My feeling is, people should try any kind of way to write, find what works for them, and then be allowed to do it without people telling them it's wrong or it's going to ruin their writing, or whatever. It's sort of the same pointless argument about "fast" writing vs "slow" writing.
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

 
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sandree

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 05:54:28 AM »
Thanks for the video - I donít like videos either but this one was worth watching. This is pretty much how Iím writing, though Iím doing a lot more editing - my first novel and I had a steep learning curve so I needed to go back over the whole thing several times. But in principle, I think this method is what works best for me. It was nice to hear that validated and I like the idea of scribbling an outline after writing a chunk of it... Not sure I will ever get to the point of no rewrites but otherwise - great!

munboy

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 08:14:22 AM »
There are a lot of problems using his method will cause, especially for new writers. But I guess if it works for, then that's great.

Like what? Because from what I read from all sorts of writers, every method has problems for someone. No one has said everyone has to do this, but it works for many of us. I've tried and tried to outline, and it causes a lot of problems for me. My feeling is, people should try any kind of way to write, find what works for them, and then be allowed to do it without people telling them it's wrong or it's going to ruin their writing, or whatever. It's sort of the same pointless argument about "fast" writing vs "slow" writing.

Of course there's no perfect writing method because everybody works differently. But, the big suggest that stood out to me that I completely disagree with is "write the perfect first draft". For beginning writers, that's a huge trap to fall into. They could spend years writing and rewriting and rewriting the first part of their book and never actually finish. The best thing for a new writer to do is actually finish a book. If you've been writing for 30 years like him, that is a workable method, but I would never suggest a new writer to write a perfect first draft. I've only been writing to publish for 3 years but I've met a lot of beginning writers at cons who tell me they never finish anything because it's never good enough. I fell into that trap when I was writing the first book I intended to publish. It took me nearly 3 years to finish because i was never happy with it. I kept going back and rewriting the first quarter of the book over and over. It wasn't until I finished the first draft that everything became clearer. A light switched on and a few revisions cleaned up the book to the point I felt good enough to invest my own money into publishing it.

On that same idea, another thing he said that rubbed me the wrong way is to write that first draft, put it out there and forget about it because he doesn't care about them. That just...baffles me. It tells me he writes to make money and for no other reason. I write for the creative process and I want to put the best possible product that my skills allow out into the world. It usually takes a revision or two to fill in plot holes, build characters, foreshadow, and other things that really round out a story.

To be honest, I couldn't watch the whole thing. It just seemed like one person's rant against traditional publishing.  :dizzy
 

angelapepper

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2018, 08:34:29 AM »
The part about creating a reverse outline as you go is very sensible.

His method is not for me, but I may recommend his book to some of the people I know who have a hard time finishing books.

At a recent local meeting of writers, we shared our Meyers Briggs types, and it was hilarious how evenly we were divided, and how similar the approaches of people with the same types were. No wonder there is no single approach that works for everyone!

I loved what he said about not writing to the outline and not doing the rewrites and nobody noticing. LOL. I believe it. When I hear about people doing major rewrites on books at their agent's request and then not selling the book... ugh!
 

sandree

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2018, 09:26:13 AM »
Do you remember the breakdown of the Meyers Briggs types and writing styles? I would be interested in hearing about that. Iím an INFJ, I think - anyway - one of the less common types. I definitely write (and live) in a more intuitive way - so pantsing makes sense...

LilyBLily

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2018, 09:29:42 AM »
The part about creating a reverse outline as you go is very sensible.

His method is not for me, but I may recommend his book to some of the people I know who have a hard time finishing books.

At a recent local meeting of writers, we shared our Meyers Briggs types, and it was hilarious how evenly we were divided, and how similar the approaches of people with the same types were. No wonder there is no single approach that works for everyone!

I loved what he said about not writing to the outline and not doing the rewrites and nobody noticing. LOL. I believe it. When I hear about people doing major rewrites on books at their agent's request and then not selling the book... ugh!

Having been on the other side of that game as an editor, I might as well tell you that editors do notice when the changes haven't been made, just as we notice when the queries aren't answered. Editors are practical, though. We do our best to point you in the right direction to save yourself from embarrassment, but there comes a moment when an editor has to bag it and let the book stand or fall on whatever merit it has. Nobody reads a book and says, "The editor should have stopped the author from killing off that character," or whatever. The blame for substantive issues falls on the author. Typos can always be blamed on proofreaders, but malapropisms are the author's fault most of the time, too. If an author cannot be bothered to make a complete effort to produce the best quality product s/he possibly can, it's going to hurt the author and no one else.

I also think writing a book and forgetting it instantly is another way of saying you don't care about the story or the reader in the slightest. The authors whom readers love tend to bleed on the page, maybe a little, maybe a lot. They don't--okay, I won't go scatological. But you get the idea.

 
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123mlh

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2018, 10:55:21 AM »
Do you remember the breakdown of the Meyers Briggs types and writing styles? I would be interested in hearing about that. Iím an INFJ, I think - anyway - one of the less common types. I definitely write (and live) in a more intuitive way - so pantsing makes sense...

If you're interested in exploring how Meyers Briggs type impacts writing, editing, etc. then I'd highly recommend Becca Syme's Write Better-Faster class: https://app.ruzuku.com/courses/30186/about

It uses Meyers-Briggs and DISC to give advice on all aspects of writing. It was eye-opening for me. (And in that class when I took it about 80% of us were either INFP or INFJ. It seems to be a common type for writers.)
 
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angelapepper

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2018, 11:21:32 AM »
Do you remember the breakdown of the Meyers Briggs types and writing styles? I would be interested in hearing about that. Iím an INFJ, I think - anyway - one of the less common types. I definitely write (and live) in a more intuitive way - so pantsing makes sense...

Teehee! I do know how the types break down, but I didn't dare say it, lest I trigger the usual outrage of pantsers vs outliners.

INFJ is extremely common in groups of writers, unlike in the regular population. That's what I am, so it's practically a cliche that I'm a writer. My husband is INTJ, like the majority of sci-fi/fantasy writers.

I can write however I decide to write, so I'm a flexitarian. :-)  I think the real downfall of writers is when they don't do the 1-2 things that deep down they know they should be doing to augment their personal writing style. Whenever I talk to people who aren't meeting their goals, they know exactly why it isn't coming together.

There's a good book on Amazon about the INFJ writer that I've read a few times. It covers a couple of similar types as well.
ETA LINK: https://www.amazon.com/INFJ-Writer-Cracking-Creative-Genius-ebook/dp/B01FG8TQIW/
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 11:44:23 AM by angelapepper »
 
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sandree

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2018, 11:35:49 AM »
Cool! I bought the Amazon book - sounds fascinating...
 
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guest1038

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Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2018, 12:47:19 PM »
Do you remember the breakdown of the Meyers Briggs types and writing styles? I would be interested in hearing about that. Iím an INFJ, I think - anyway - one of the less common types. I definitely write (and live) in a more intuitive way - so pantsing makes sense...

Teehee! I do know how the types break down, but I didn't dare say it, lest I trigger the usual outrage of pantsers vs outliners.

INFJ is extremely common in groups of writers, unlike in the regular population. That's what I am, so it's practically a cliche that I'm a writer. My husband is INTJ, like the majority of sci-fi/fantasy writers.

I can write however I decide to write, so I'm a flexitarian. :-)  I think the real downfall of writers is when they don't do the 1-2 things that deep down they know they should be doing to augment their personal writing style. Whenever I talk to people who aren't meeting their goals, they know exactly why it isn't coming together.

There's a good book on Amazon about the INFJ writer that I've read a few times. It covers a couple of similar types as well.
ETA LINK: https://www.amazon.com/INFJ-Writer-Cracking-Creative-Genius-ebook/dp/B01FG8TQIW/

I'm INFP, is there a particular genre that type usually writes that you're aware of? You've got me curious.
 

Tom Wood

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Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2018, 01:10:35 PM »
Meyers Briggs
Astrology
I Ching
Feng Shui
Tarot
Religion

IMO, the value of these thought systems is based in an attempt to create an approach to the irrational with a mindful attitude. I think that the initial concept was to create a structured method that could be used to de-focus the rational mind and consider other possibilities. I think they are all attempts to induce intuitive thinking by bringing into focus a particular point of view. None of them have predictive abilities, IMO.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 01:13:04 PM by Tom Wood »
 

angelapepper

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2018, 02:08:19 PM »
I'm INFP, is there a particular genre that type usually writes that you're aware of? You've got me curious.

I'm sure that genre varies a lot by person, but the common theme I see is they have to believe strongly in a project to see it through. They might not be as oriented to writing to market as other types.

These are broad strokes, YMMV. I know a few ladies who are INFP, and they like writing literary women's fiction.

We could do some sort of survey here!

MB Type: INFJ
Genre: Mystery
Writing Method: Outline, 2 drafts
Annual novel output: 6
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 02:11:16 PM by angelapepper »
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2018, 02:48:48 PM »

We could do some sort of survey here!

MB Type: INFJ
Genre: Mystery
Writing Method: Outline, 2 drafts
Annual novel output: 6


INTJ here, according to the 16personalities website's test. 

Genre:  I write science fiction, but my first love is fantasy.
Method:  Outlining.  More like a detailed synopsis, actually.  Three drafts and a proofreading pass.
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guest1038

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Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2018, 07:43:58 PM »
Meyers Briggs
Astrology
I Ching
Feng Shui
Tarot
Religion

IMO, the value of these thought systems is based in an attempt to create an approach to the irrational with a mindful attitude. I think that the initial concept was to create a structured method that could be used to de-focus the rational mind and consider other possibilities. I think they are all attempts to induce intuitive thinking by bringing into focus a particular point of view. None of them have predictive abilities, IMO.

Yeah, but some of that stuff is fun. I don't take it too seriously, I just find it interesting to think about and play around with.

I'm INFP, is there a particular genre that type usually writes that you're aware of? You've got me curious.

I'm sure that genre varies a lot by person, but the common theme I see is they have to believe strongly in a project to see it through. They might not be as oriented to writing to market as other types.

These are broad strokes, YMMV. I know a few ladies who are INFP, and they like writing literary women's fiction.

We could do some sort of survey here!

MB Type: INFJ
Genre: Mystery
Writing Method: Outline, 2 drafts
Annual novel output: 6

Cool, I'll play...

MB Type: INFP
Genre: Crime, Adventure, Parody, and Post-Apoc
Method: Outline, 1 draft
Annual novel output: 6
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2018, 08:50:58 PM »
Of course there's no perfect writing method because everybody works differently. But, the big suggest that stood out to me that I completely disagree with is "write the perfect first draft". For beginning writers, that's a huge trap to fall into. They could spend years writing and rewriting and rewriting the first part of their book and never actually finish.

That isn't what that means.

Pantsing is about writing forwards all the time.

Writing the perfect first draft means you dont write a draft at all. You write a book. Its not a draft, because it is already perfect.

There is no rewriting, and rewriting, and rewriting. There is writing the book, then editing the book, then proofreading the book, and then launch. Nothing gets rewritten, and there are no years involved.

I would have said "Write a book in only one pass, edit it, proof it, and get it out there." That's what "write the perfect first draft" means. Using the word 'draft' at all is where people misinterpret the meaning.

Pantsers dont draft, we write books without looking back, then polish them when complete.

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sandree

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2018, 11:20:39 PM »
INFP-A now - according to the 16personalities website's test. I think when I took it years ago, it came up INFJ

Genre:  science fiction now, possibly fantasy in the future
Method:  Mostly pantsing, very intuitive - similar to writing into the dark except for more editing passes. This could change - Iím a newb.
Output:  just finishing my first novel - took about a year?

sandree

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2018, 11:32:00 PM »
I guess it depends on how you define rewriting and editing. In the video, it sounded like he never went back for an editing pass after the whole first draft was completed. This seems like something only an experienced writer can do. As a new writer, my learning curve was so steep, that I had to go back and bring the beginning of the book up to the standards of the later chapters - and do a lot of patching and reworking to get it all to hang together. Is that rewriting or editing? Not sure.

Maybe it doesnít matter - I get the general message of moving forward with the writing and writing into the dark. Both of those ideas make sense. Some of us might not be skilled enough in the craft not to do some heavy editing passes before it goes out into the world.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 11:35:02 PM by sandree »
 

JRTomlin

Re: Writing Into The Dark - Dean Wesley Smith - 20Books Vegas Conference
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2018, 01:06:55 AM »
There are a lot of problems using his method will cause, especially for new writers. But I guess if it works for, then that's great.

Like what? Because from what I read from all sorts of writers, every method has problems for someone. No one has said everyone has to do this, but it works for many of us. I've tried and tried to outline, and it causes a lot of problems for me. My feeling is, people should try any kind of way to write, find what works for them, and then be allowed to do it without people telling them it's wrong or it's going to ruin their writing, or whatever. It's sort of the same pointless argument about "fast" writing vs "slow" writing.

Of course there's no perfect writing method because everybody works differently. But, the big suggest that stood out to me that I completely disagree with is "write the perfect first draft". For beginning writers, that's a huge trap to fall into. They could spend years writing and rewriting and rewriting the first part of their book and never actually finish. The best thing for a new writer to do is actually finish a book. If you've been writing for 30 years like him, that is a workable method, but I would never suggest a new writer to write a perfect first draft. I've only been writing to publish for 3 years but I've met a lot of beginning writers at cons who tell me they never finish anything because it's never good enough. I fell into that trap when I was writing the first book I intended to publish. It took me nearly 3 years to finish because i was never happy with it. I kept going back and rewriting the first quarter of the book over and over. It wasn't until I finished the first draft that everything became clearer. A light switched on and a few revisions cleaned up the book to the point I felt good enough to invest my own money into publishing it.

On that same idea, another thing he said that rubbed me the wrong way is to write that first draft, put it out there and forget about it because he doesn't care about them. That just...baffles me. It tells me he writes to make money and for no other reason. I write for the creative process and I want to put the best possible product that my skills allow out into the world. It usually takes a revision or two to fill in plot holes, build characters, foreshadow, and other things that really round out a story.

To be honest, I couldn't watch the whole thing. It just seemed like one person's rant against traditional publishing.  :dizzy
Except he says NOT to rewrite. If you are re-writing, it is no longer a first draft. And no he does not say he does not care about the 'creative process." The Creative Process was writing it in the first place.

99% of that re-writing you think people should do is nothing but nit picking that does nothing to improve the novel. I can build characters, foreshadow and round out the story the first time through. It means actually thinking