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  1. DanielLewis
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    DanielLewis New Member

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    Amuter with difficulties

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by DanielLewis, Feb 8, 2014.

    Hello,
    I began writing last year on a novel that I have in mind. I've spent hours researching about what elements could I use and other things that will make it better. I also made a detailed outline and it looks fantastic there but unfortunately, when it comes to writing it looks absolutely atrocious. I'm only 16 years old and as you can guess, my English isn't that good (I'll work on that later). I'm trying to make myself creative in a various of ways that contains smoke/take something, but it doesn't last forever.
    Any tips/suggestions?
    Thanks,
    -Daniel
     
  2. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Hi, Daniel.

    If I'm picking you up correctly, I think you need to have a serious rethink. You say that your English 'isn't that good.' Writing is an act of communication. No matter how creative an idea you have, if you can't communicate it in a way that others understand, that idea is rendered useless. Don't put off getting to grips with language. That should be a priority.

    Whilst I'm not anti-drugs, I actually think they are likely to do your writing more harm than good. There are plenty of younger writers on this site who write very well without resorting to their use. Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of people—your potential readership—who never touch them. An idea that might seem the bomb to you in your drug addled state, could fall flat on its face when presented to those with no experience of thinking that way.

    Drugs are not the magic wand to sort your problems. They are a lazy and ineffectual way to learn to be creative. Many of the famous writers who did use drugs and/or alcohol had considerably more life experience under their belts and many were decent writers to start with. It wasn't the drugs made them good writers, it was time and effort.

    There are so many ways to find inspiration that don't involve using drugs to alter your perception. Reading would be the top of my list. Read as much as you can. Even when a story doesn't pan out how you would wish it to, it can give rise to ideas on how, if you had written it, it might have turned out differently, and thoughts like these can make a good basis for writing a story of your own. Films, video games, even dreams can spawn ideas but these won't help improve your understanding of the language in the ways that reading can.

    It's also worth saying, especially when it comes to smoke, not only does it not last, it is a motivation killer. If I was you, I'd knock it on the head.

    So, in a nutshell, keep off the drugs, read more, and let your brain do what comes naturally.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  3. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Anything you take is dulling your senses, even if it makes the 'feel' heightened. I will occasionally enjoy a drink after work before writing, and found that I can't really focus like I can when I'm stone cold sober. Your creativity is inside you whether you take something or not. You just need to let it flow out naturally, which will be much more beneficial over the long haul. Plus, (and I know I'll sound like an old fogey) you're only 16...you may not have found your writing 'voice' yet. I could write, I could use words and I could create stories and characters when I was your age, but was I any good? Heck, no. My stories mostly sucked! Stuff I thought was pure genius then I wouldn't bother making a short story out of today. But, that's how you learn and progress. Think of it like playing an instrument: no one can play guitar like Eric Clapton the day they buy their first. The advantage you have at your age, though, is the ability to learn and improve faster. You can be a good writer much sooner than someone who never tried until they hit their 60s (notable exceptions aside). Use it to your advantage. Write frequently, don't worry about how good it is or if it will ever be published; doesn't matter. Most important thing: write for you, not some invisible market. Chances are, if you are really happy with it, someone else will be too.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Mind you, you COULD go for coffee! It helps concentration. Yes it does. Really.
     
  5. DanielLewis
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    DanielLewis New Member

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    I'll begin by explaining that my English isn't that good because I live outside the US. I'm also just at the draft and overtime I will improve my language and the book as well.
    I'm definitely searching for ways to improve it (one of them is a website called 'Thesaurus').

    I smoke marijuana occasionally and take Ritalin (legally) because I have ADHD, the effect of it usually lasts when I come back from school and I try to use it. I don't do 'hard-drugs' and I'm not addicted in any way. I'm actually aware and slightly depressed with the fact that I need to take drugs in order to be creative (I do not drink alcohol/smoke cigarets).

    Searching for inspirations is a good advice. It was actually one of the reasons I began writing a book because I felt so inspired by some video I saw on YouTube. Anyway- it's not the problem. I feel inspired and motivated to write everyday, but that does'nt come up well on the page.
    Reading books is a difficulty to me, because as I said, I have ADHD. But if you have any recommended short novels with an understandable English That would be really beneficial.

    Thanks for the advice, I hope to see your reply soon :)
    -Daniel

    Also David (ddavidv), thank you for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm curious... what does 'amuter' mean?... did you mean 'amateur'?
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    You're not curious - you just want an excuse to say that he spelled amateur incorrectly. :p
     
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  8. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    That you are trying is the important point. If you don't mind me asking, how does the ADHD affect your creativity? Lack of concentration? Impatience with the behaviour of others? You apparently have ideas, so where do you get stuck?
     
  9. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Fortunately, there is no "writer's drug". Although if one worked, maybe there would be more readers.
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Ah, when I replied earlier I didn't realise you are saddled with ADHD. That puts a different spin on things. I'm aware of how this condition can affect somebody, and I am totally impressed that you're making this effort. I know it's very difficult for ADHD people to concentrate on anything very long.

    However, have you thought of trying to write 'flash' fiction? It's apparently very popular these days. I'm not sure of the exact definition, but I know it consists of stories that are very short indeed. A page or so, I reckon. It might be just the thing to get you started and give you confidence. And there seems to be a market for it.

    I'll do a bit of googling for you (you can too) and see what you might look at.

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/may/14/how-to-write-flash-fiction

    That's a good link, especially the bit at the bottom that explains, very clearly, what flash fiction contains. It's actually better than I thought it would be.
     
  11. DanielLewis
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    DanielLewis New Member

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    Hmm, I'm not sure whether or not ADHD affects my level of creativity, but it most certainly doesn't let me read books in English although I can fully understand the language by hearing it. Getting ideas isn't the problem for me, the problem is putting the 'scene' or situation as I imagine it to paper, describing it good etc. I can't really put my finger on it, but it simply doesn't seem to be good enough and I'm thinking "Who the hell is going to read this?!"
     
  12. DanielLewis
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    DanielLewis New Member

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    Hey, Thank you for the idea! I actually thought about writing short stories yesterday. Hmm I agree that it might improve my writing and boost my confidence, and I think it will work out better than writing long novels. Thanks for the advice! I'll try that as soon as I get home.
     
  13. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    You're wasting your time. Ideas are the easiest part of writing. It's writing well that's a bitch, and must be learned and polished into perfection. What good does having the most creative and interesting idea ever conceived do if the reader closes the cover while reading the first page because the writing sucks?

    Stop looking for shortcuts. In writing there aren't any. The best you can dio irt avoid rthe pitfalls. And the answers don't live in a bottle, a needle, a pill, or burning vegetable matter. If your English sucks then write in your own language. But either way you cannot write fiction for the printed word with anything but the techniques specific to that medium. In your schooling, it it's like most, you're learning writing skills that produce results that help adults communicate well and meaningfully on-the-job. Writing fiction is a profession, and as such has unique methods of approach that are of little use outside the profession. Perhaps you might guess them, without help, but the odds are about the same as if you were guessing art technique any other profession's craft.

    I'm not trying to discourage you from writing. Just the opposite. But you should be aware that anything that interferes with the higher functions of the brain screws with your judgment, which means you will be making bad decisions but judging them to be sensible. And that courts disaster, not a writing career.

    If you truly want to please people with your writing you need to prepare yourself for it, just as much as were you want to be an actor, a mathematician, or an electrician. That doesn't mean you shouldn't write and enjoy it now. It means you need to look into the basics of what a story is at a nuts-and-bolts level. It means you need a good solid command of the medium and the tools used to construct that story, including punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary.
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    My uncle was an accomplished jazz/swing musician for many years. I once made a joke about being drunk making for a better musician (I was in my early teens at the time), and he said to me, deadly seriously, "It doesn't make you better. It only makes you think you're better."

    My son takes Adderall, so I am familiar with the issues of ADHD. Don't be tempted to use it as an excuse. It means you need to work a little harder to get where you want to go. Don't be afraid to ask your teachers for help.

    @JayG is exactly right. You need to learn what makes quality fiction writing, in English or any other language. And that means studying the great works in that language and looking for what makes quality writing. There is no magic drug. It will only serve to befuddle.

    Good luck.
     

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