By RazzaTazz 11 Comments
This blog is not fictional writing, but rather detailing a personal writing process. It doesn't really deal with fan fiction per se, rather writing in general. I kind of learned this in relation to my own attempt to write a story based on Adam Strange/John Carter, so it is somewhat comic related, though I am not sure how close it is to writing fan fiction, though some of the advice still applies. When I first started writing, I was often stuck getting words out because I was worried too much about getting it right. This is when a friend relayed on the advice of Neil Gaiman - "Just get the words out." Though I don't necessarily agree with this at all times, it is a good piece of advice, even if it is a bit obvious. To write a person basically needs three attributes - imagination, technique and dedication. This piece of advice would cover the dedication aspect. Getting the words out works if you are technically skilled at writing (and if not then that can be learned, the only part of writing which can be learned in a formal setting) and if you have imagined the story, or at least aspects of the story. "Getting the words out" is a lot easier said than done though. If you are writing a story about space pirates and all you can write about is waterfalls, then it is not going to work in the end. This is where I got my own personal method for if a writer gets stuck and that is what I call the Lucas method.
This method is named after George Lucas and basically boils down to this : if you can't think of anything original, then rip off something that is like what you want. Lucas is a self admitted practitioner of this method of writing, having ripped key elements of Star Wars from Japanese samurai films and basing large parts of his movies from what he read in "Hero of a Thousand Faces." If someone needs further evidence of how good he is at the Lucas method and not so good at actual writing, rewatch Star Wars episode II for the romance between Anakin and Padme.
When I was writing my epic I ripped the following: Treasure Island, The Call of the Wild, The Martian Chronicles, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (or Lawrence of Arabia as the movie is known), Bridge on the River Kwai, and two semi-famous paintings. It creates a bit of a patchwork, but it fulfilled the goal of getting the words out, and if a writer has to resort to such methods, then so be it. Most likely, your any story will require a rewrite (and another one and another one ...) so you can smooth things out then and make these parts either less prominent or disappear completely. In some cases those things never get smoothed out. Look at Shawshank Redemption, often considered to be one of the top movies ever made. It ripped directly from Birdman of Alcatraz and the Great Escape, but just left those parts in after everything (it probably ripped some other prison movies that I haven't seen.) Of course writing requires a lot of research, in fact there are things that I never thought I would research that I have looked at, and there is nothing to say that those cannot come from movies or others films.
In the end it is a bit of a brute force method, but for an aspiring writer, I would recommend it to get going and get momentum behind your writing.