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On Writing 3 — Notes

Aritiane August 25, 2014 User blog:Aritiane

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After two long years, I’m back, and so—Phantoms is back as well. I published the first scene of the fifth episode this weekend, refreshed the frontpage and typography of the fanon. It’s a real deal. With a new episode ongoing, my "On Writing" blog can get renewed as well.

Write everything down

Though it may seem funny, after such a long time, I don’t really remember what I wanted to write in the upcoming episodes. Of course, I’ve got the main premise of the story written down and I was able to reconstruct the basics from it. But the details—and every story’s sucess depends on the details—disappeared from my head over time. What didn’t disappear, however, is my notes.

This is what I managed to find in the darkest corners of my hard drive:

  • a synopsis of the whole story;
  • detailed descriptions of the main characters, as well as projected moments of character development in their subplots;
  • checklists of scenes for every episode (to-do lists generally tend to come handy);
  • loose quotes for not yet written dialogues;
  • names of the new episodes;
  • martial arts research for writing action scenes.

That’s how I was able to write the first scene of the fifth episode in just a day—even after a two-year break. Although the process is not all that easy (you still have to organize the story in your head from the scratch and replay all the subplots in your mind in order to write them down believably), it’s still better than trying to figure everything down from the chapters that have been already written. You’d read them as a reader, not a writer; and we all know that oftentimes writers like to misdirect their readers. And so, in an Inception-style level of nesting, your past-self might fool your current-self. (Well, that’s meta.)

Remember: proper notes are a foundation of a good story.

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