I find the creative process fascinating in all its forms. But the thing that prompted me to start this thread was the completely bizarre way Tolkien, responsible for a pretty popular and influential work from a few years ago, wrote. It seems like the kind of thing this forum might dig.

On paper, it's a method I would have bet cash money would never produce a finished manuscript. You can read about in in the 4 volume History of The Lord of the Rings, itself confusingly contained withing the eleventy-billion volume History of Middle Earth.

It's sometimes a little boring because the odds are you don't care about all the stuff Tolkien thought was important...like the exact phases of the moon the different characters in different areas of his world would have seen at the same time, but I read it so you don't have to.

The dude never had an outline. He had no idea what story he was writing at any given point. He just sat down and started writing. And he kept writing, primarily working on keeping his characters physically moving. He saw his challenge as finding good and dramatic reasons to get his characters out of whatever comfortable Inn they were at tonight.

Whenever he got stuck, wrote himself into a corner, or otherwise couldn't come up with a good next bit, he stopped writing and thought. Sometimes for months! He'd open up the manuscript and write down notes. His thoughts. Ideas and solutions. What if this character was really a bad guy? What if there were three of these dudes instead of one? Maybe this giant is really a tree. Literally stuff like that (although not literally those words).

Then, when he had a solution, he started writing again. I mean he started writing again. From the beginning, the whole thing, like the previous draft never existed. He almost never picked up from where he left off. Stuff that was FINE before, stuff he liked! It all had to be rewritten.

And in this process you see ideas that he'd loved and lived with, suddenly change just because he apparently got sick of writing it. Strider is called Trotter for an alarmingly long period of time until as far as I can tell he just got bored with the name.

I bring this up because I find this incredibly inspiring. From where I sit, a ridiculous way to write anything. But holy crap look at the results. The whole thing, seeing Tolkien working out problems on paper, writing notes to himself about motivation and character and plot, is amazing.

Anyway, I'm new here. Might be something everyone's already knows about. In which case, ignore me!