1. Salt
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    Salt New Member

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    A Kind of Writer's Block

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Salt, Dec 3, 2011.

    I've been like this for as long as I remember.
    Basically, my ideas for writing are usually really, really specific, and don't seem to grow out like I feel that they should. For example, when at the River Nile, I had an idea that a character should kill himself by throwing himself into a similar river, and somebody would etch 'an optimist died here'. There's no more content to that idea. I don't understand the characters, much less have any ideas for a plot.
    Has anybody else had such minute ideas and found a way to develop and evolve them?
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    There's no need to develop them if you don't think it needs it. Not all writing needs to be a novel, or even a short story. Feel free to experiment with shorter forms, abstract forms, whatever you want, don't be tied to the idea that writing=writing for publication. There are plenty of art magazines and publishers and experimental literary journals and presses that cater to less conventional forms.
     
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  3. Salt
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    Salt New Member

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    Often they do turn into poems because that's the only way I know to make them work, but I'd really like to know how to develop them out for some long-distance novel-writing.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It looks like you might have good ideas for poetry. Have you thought about writing poetry? Specific images such as the one you mentioned are great for basing poems on.

    If you want to write prose fiction, start with one of these specific ideas of yours and just start writing, brainstorming as you go, making whatever free associations you want. The scene you write might not make any sense, but you'll probably find more ideas in it - ideas that just might be enough for a story. Give it a try.
     
  5. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I agree with everyone else when they say poetry may be the best route for you.

    But, if you are really set on short stories or novels you will have to dig deep into your imagination to fill out the rest. For the example you gave I would personally start out with figuring out who that character is and why he jumped. Then I would fill in the rest of the story. You may want to start an outline for yourself and just start plugging in information bit by bit. It may seem daunting at first to flesh out your ideas, but you will eventually get the hang of it and it will be much easier for you each time you do it. So for now, I like I said, I would start with your favorite idea and begin outlining it bit by bit (if you want to go the short story/novel route). Otherwise, start writing some poetry. :)
     
  6. je33ie
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    je33ie Member

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    This could be a perfect starting paragraph for a short story, where in the story you slowly let the reader know what caused this to be etched in the first place. You don't have to write in chronological order... and that might help give you motivation for the rest of the story if you start with the bit you know first.
     
  7. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    I agree.

    You have an excellent start. People will wonder who the person was, why he/she was an optimist and why did they decide to go the route of suicide.

    My advice - use it! Before some steals it HAHA.
     
  8. Salt
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    Salt New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, but, like I say, I already do write poetry, and don't want to be limited by it. I really like writing prose, more than I enjoy poetry, and it's really frustrating that I don't know how to get my ideas from concept to something write-able.
     
  9. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    A novel often rests on more than mere ideas or scenes, but requires an 'arc'. Often, a protagonist is often unbalanced by an inciting incident and has to regain balance. So you'll need to know why the protagonist is going on this particular journey.
     
  10. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    I have the same problem. Ideas ideas ideas ideas, tonnes of scenes of this and that, but nary a plot or story to weave them together. I've tried so hard to get to know my characters but ... I wonder if I'm more an 'ideas man'. Somebody in the thread suggested poetry. Is there a demand for Sci-Fi poetry?

    But anyway, OP, have you tried the software FreeMind to map your ideas. I found that as soon as I started using it, I ... was a bit lost, but I assure that after working out how to use it, many of my blocked ideas flourished.

    Sadly, still no stories. What's the prune juice for a blocked mind?
     
  11. Salt
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    Salt New Member

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  12. Foxe
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    Foxe Active Member

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    Salt, I am in exactly the same boat (no pun intended with your Nile reference).
    I have a ton of ideas, interesting thoughts or views or beliefs that my characters can have, but i can't create plots to insert them in (yet). Carry a notepad with you to jot down your ideas, committing them to memory won't work.
    Slowly, I've been noticing that I can form better ideas for stories. Very slowly though

    foxe
     
  13. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I actually kind of had the same thing happen to me a long time ago. I was about 16, I had never written anything in my life and I hadn't ever thought I would pick up writing as a major hobby. I remember reading a short story in school where a kid had gotten into a serious car accident and the other driver (in his 40s) had been seriously hurt and he blamed the kid. The kid swore up and down that it wasn't his fault, but because he's only 16 the police believed the 40 year old over him. And the whole story was his quest to prove that he was right.

    And because I was the same age as the person in the story I remember thinking what if I were in a situation like this? Maybe not a car accident, but something similar. Anyways, so for like 4-5 years I had this basic idea of a main character getting into a situation where he knows he's right but the evidence is stacked against him but didn't know what to do with it. I don't know if I have any advice for how to get out of it other than to just try things. Your first story is probably going to suck... mine did (although it was readable), but just keep at it and eventually you will have enough experience under your belt to write better stuff.

    And I would definitely suggest any kind of education you can find. While I can't speak specifically at the effectiveness of that class, it's rare for any class to be a waste if you are learning something you are interested in.
     

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