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I love books and reading with every fiber in my body and have so for as long as I can remember. I have a running, inarticulate commentary perpetually reeling in my head, but I simply cannot express it in words! Although I have a lot to say, I get a writers block whenever I try to write it down. I've tried journals , didn't help.

This has never really bothered me so much, but I have my English GCSEs coming up and I am desperate for some writing tips from you Literary geniuses. How do you create those amazing metaphors? How does the writing process work for you guys? Do you plan it, or is it spontaneous? Sharing anything that you do to help the writing flow would be of huge help.

Just to give you an idea, writing this post alone took me over 30 minutes. Pathetic!
 
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I can't speak for everyone in the room, but for me, the writing process begins with finding a topic which always begins with a question for me. If there's something I'm wondering about I'll do research on it and maybe begin formulating an essay or some other compilation of my findings. Fiction usually begins with a "what if...?" scenario. For instance, I'm writing a story that began with "What if someone believed they had the solution to all mankind's problems in a little box?"

As for the actual writing itself, I find the most important thing is to make it logical and think from a readers point of view, like "If I were reading this, what would I want to know?" For me, to a certain extent, in that I have a certain objective in mind as to the general ideas I want conveyed, but as to how I want to get there can vary, and I have been known to have sparks of inspiration, in the shower or some other place where I feel inspired and find a piece of paper and try to write verbatim this wonderful sentence or paragraph that just popped into my head. I find with writing, just like with being funny (something I kinda struggle with IRL) it helps to not try too hard, because when you try too hard you end up stifling the creative process. Once you have an idea as to what you want to write about, I find it helps to just find a space to write in stream of consciousness, just jot down everything you know in no particular order, try to practice creating a certain rhythm with sentences (which takes a lot of practice I find). I find it's good to just give yourself person to just write down everything that's in your mind as it pops into you mind for a while; you never know what sentences can be useful to the actual writing assignment.

As for other literary mechanisms, such as metaphors, etc. it helps to have in mind what you're going to say first and just write it out plainly, and I think the metaphors or similes come from if a subject reminds you of something else. I'm trying to think of an example, but nothing is coming to mind right now. Perhaps in a future post.
 

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I love books and reading with every fiber in my body and have so for as long as I can remember. I have a running, inarticulate commentary perpetually reeling in my head, but I simply cannot express it in words! Although I have a lot to say, I get a writers block whenever I try to write it down. I've tried journals , didn't help.

This has never really bothered me so much, but I have my English GCSEs coming up and I am desperate for some writing tips from you Literary geniuses. How do you create those amazing metaphors? How does the writing process work for you guys? Do you plan it, or is it spontaneous? Sharing anything that you do to help the writing flow would be of huge help.

Just to give you an idea, writing this post alone took me over 30 minutes. Pathetic!
The first thing I need to do is get away from everyone else in a dark room, where I know I'm private, secure. . . this is "my place".

Second thing I need is creative energy. And I only have creative energy when my brain is well-rested. . . in fact, I write best when my brain is a little restless.

Finally, you have to feel it.

Find some music that speaks to you that makes you feel. What aspect of yourself needs to find expression in words? Let it out.

I've written many a' story to this track.

 

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Maybe stop worrying so much about the first draft being perfect. Allow yourself to just write non stop for 5 minutes, letting the first thing on your mind to the surface as you're writing even if it's something as simple as, "my keyboard is black. I'm looking at the ceiling now. This is boring." Doing these exercises might help you feel less hindered.

As far as inspiration goes, well you have to find something that really inspires you enough to set your heart on fire and totally forget that there even is a writing process. Once you tap into that, the words just naturally flow and everything falls into place. I suppose it is a bit spontaneous but that's viewing it from the perspective that it's a gift and not a craft. You have to let go of control and let inspiration do the work for you. Let a story tell itself and let a character be who he wants to be.
 

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Writing for me is a continuous process that just rolls and rolls and rolls. I always try to have some paper and a pen handy for when a neat turn of phrase pops into my head. I do a lot of talking out loud while I write, often repeating things over and over with slight changes or reordering just to see which version flows better. Don't be afraid to transcribe your own stream of consciousness, if you can tap into it; that's where some of my cleverest lines have come from. (Also some of the most surreal - I genuinely one time came up with "making love is like playing electric guitar on an aircraft carrier made of rainbows.")

I think not over-thinking things would also be a good piece of advice. "Brevity is the soul of wit" - some awesome dude.
 
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Having intense visualizations of images, imagination , and digging down into your entire being. Having an above average vocabulary goes a long way too.
 
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I agree with @Vivid Melody that you should practice writing without worrying about first drafts being perfect. I would add that you need to practice writing often. If you challenge yourself with quality reading material and get yourself writing a few times a week, the language you pick up from reading will naturally seep into your mind over time and find its way into your writing. You will find yourself developing a vocabulary to help you express the formerly inarticulate thoughts in your head.

On planning vs spontaneity, I think most writing needs to start off as loosely focused as possible and gradually become more structured. So you might write three pages on a topic, and then go through and cull all but the best parts. Then add to that and do it again. As you cull, the main points of what you want to say become clearer, and you can begin to organize.
 

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let the writing flow and try not to analyze or stop and find the appropriate word choice...that is what editing and revising are for, a different process. Basically you need to check off all the checks and balances I would assume you are doing.
 

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Read some good poetic prose. It's inspiring and helps encourage good writing

I love Bradbury, for example

"And they came to a forest that had been like November all through the winter and now, reluctantly, was putting out green flags to welcome the season. Butterflies in great tosses of confetti leaped from the deeps of the forest to ramble drunkenly on the air, their thousand torn shadows following over grass and water."
 

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Definitely this:

If you challenge yourself with quality reading material and get yourself writing a few times a week, the language you pick up from reading will naturally seep into your mind over time and find its way into your writing. You will find yourself developing a vocabulary to help you express the formerly inarticulate thoughts in your head.
Also, try to keep your reading as varied as possible; various genres, fiction and non-fiction, etc. Though I am typically a voracious reader, I have been terribly lazy these last few years, something I intend to remedy in the very near future.

I am a planner. Though I begin with a spark of inspiration, or a main idea, I must then formulate an outline, else I am lost. In a larger, more involved work, such as for a short story or essay, this outline will be written out. For something short and sweet, such as a forum post, the outline is in my head. In either case, I may not write in a linear fashion, but instead hop from point to point as I feel inspired. This is more true with regards to fiction than nonfiction. I find that outlines keep my writing-, and, more importantly, the plot- tighter and more consistent. This is not to say that the actual writing process will not reveal new possibilities, that inspiration will not strike midway through a paragraph or scene, only that it helps me to marshal my thoughts and keep everything relatively consistent. The outline is more a guideline. It dictates where I am going, but not necessarily how I will get there.

I also tend to analyse certain main point or certain scenes, to consider all the possibilities based on the larger work, until the manner in which is should be expressed, or should unfold just sort of clicks.

Like @Btmangan, I also need a nice, quiet, isolated place if I wish to write anything worthwhile (or at least anything that I think is worthwhile). It must be a place free of the possibility of interruption, in which I can write for as long as necessary. Unlike him, I cannot really write actual prose to music, especially music with lyrics, though I it often helps when I am researching or forming an outline, or for general inspiration.

I read that Tom Robbins, a master of metaphor, has an interesting process. He treats writing as a 9-5 job. He writes for eight hours each day, then stops. Each sentence is painstakingly constructed, each word chosen with care.
 

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Btmangan, well...maybe for that *style* of writing. I am more concerned with the ideas/character development. Personally I'm not a fan of writing with too much adornment/imagery. Most of my writing works through other literary devices, particularly allusion/metaphor/tempo/foreshadowing/intensity which helps to develop the plot line underneath the surface. I mean some people don't like writing *without* those stylistic techniques/alliterations/imagery. It's also difficult for me to write in that style even if I want to, but not sure which is first, my distaste for it, or inability to relate to that more (MBTI Related) Sensory information. That whole line about butterflies and confetti made me cringe a bit.
Probably the reason I hate Harry Potter for instance so much, virtually every character and object in Rowling's writing is some form of alliteration...
The best way to describe this effect, is like I am chewing a big piece of caramel in my mouth that I want to spit out b/c I'm tired of it and my jaw is worn out, while it might taste delicious, it gets in the way.
 
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