1. Bongo Mongo
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    Bongo Mongo Member

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    And what if you get bored?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Bongo Mongo, May 13, 2010.

    A little background info: I'm not a very good writer, not in the sense that I'm bad at the actual writing part, but I have never finished a short story. I am a novice so far, and only really started four or five stories. The thing is, every time I try and write a short story I got bored half way through and scrapped it to start a new and more exciting story idea.

    Well, It's happening again. I am about 3/4 the way done with my current story, and it is really just a drag to write. I feel like my state of boredom is just seeping through my mind and into my writing, which makes me even less motivated to finish it. Pretty much a vicious cycle.

    I have three stories I really feel passion for, but they would be all very long, and without finishing at least one short story I feel like I wouldn't be able to finish them.

    What do I do??
     
  2. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    What do you get bored with? The setting? The characters? The plot? Sounds like it might be that you just don't have enough of a plot building to sustain a story arc. Have you tried writing from an outline? Or using one of the stock story arcs? (Something like: likable protagonist has obvious goal, tries and fails to get it, tries and fails again, and then tries and through their own power achieves the goal).

    I would say you should probably just make yourself finish something. But if you aren't passionate about it, don't write it. The things you are passionate about, write them. See if you can finish those projects. A lot of writers (especially on novel projects) get bogged down in the middle. Jim Butcher calls this "the great swampy middle" and has a post about it and some ideas for getting through it.

    Hope some of that helps :)
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Who says you have to get them done all in one go? If you're becoming bored with your current project and have other ideas, start one of them. You don't have to scrap your first project, just put it to one side for a little while. You might find more luck with it if you do this before you become utterly despondent with your first project. That way some time about it might reinvigorate your enthusiasm for it, and you can resume it in a little while.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, if it's a drag to write, then it'll probably be a drag for anyone to read...

    that aside, commitment and self-discipline are key requisites for anyone wanting to be a writer... if you don't already have them within yourself, no well-meant 'try this' tips are going to instill them in you...

    advice given above is valid, but only you can decide if you have what it takes to be a serious writer...
     
  5. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    actually, the experience of the writer while writing the story often has nothing to do with the experience of the reader who reads it. I've written stories that were hard to get down and dragged and there were parts that just sucked to write. No one reading them has ever been able to tell the difference between those parts and the parts that flowed easily and were a blast to write.

    I think it is probably more fear of some kind that is stopping the original poster from finishing stories. Fear of not being good enough maybe, or fear that somehow the story will be "used up" by putting it down on the page. Fear is a big killer of writing and finishing stories. I personally think the OP just needs to think about what the fear is and then let it go and finish some things.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know that that's my problem. I'm great at starting plots, but there always comes a point where I need to start my descent for a landing. That's the point where I get stage fright and want to start something new, because I don't trust myself to produce a decent complete plot.
     
  7. Eternity
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    Eternity Member

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    Maybe also you are writing about something that... well... you're bored with? If you're not particularly interested in whether abortion is wrong or write, then don't bother writing a story on it (that was the first example I thought of) ... ... say you've been fascinated by navy ships and war all your life... what are you waiting for?! Write about navy ships and war! Write things that get you interested.

    Also, you may have started out with the first part of your story strongly set in your mind, but now that you've written all that out, you've fallen in a heap because you don't know where to go next and it seems the story's just trailing off. Maybe go back a chapter or two from what you've last done, and start again from there, taking it in a completely different direction. Begin creating again! Don't try to keep the plot going as it is, because it's obviously not going anywhere. Throw a spanner in the works, create a conflict; introduce a character, or kill a character, etc etc - whatever you need to do that gets you interested again. YOU need to be interested and involved if you want your readers to be interested and involved. ("No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader" - Robert Frost)

    Just relax, don't be scared that it's not going to be good enough. Don't be scared that you're not going to finish it, or it's going to go too long. Don't be scared you're not going to finish it well enough. Don't think that far ahead! Think in the now! And just write!

    Your story is YOUR story. Maybe you're scared because other people won't think it's good enough? There is a quote, I'm not sure who originally said it, but it goes something like this: "The people who matter don't care and the people who care don't matter." So let your story go, and TRUST yourself, trust your story. Don't get caught up in the brain-politics of "is it good enough", etc; if you put your all into it and do your best and just let it flow how it will... then it's good enough.
     
  8. MissBelle
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    MissBelle Member

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    I have the same problem. I am really good at starting projects, but am never motivated to finish them because I once I have a new idea it is all I can think about. If I do finish a story, it is usually half-heartedly and not my best work because I thought of it as a task I had to finish.

    I guess if I can offer any advice it would be to multi-task. Work on your new exciting idea, but keep coming back to your old story. Work on it a little bit at a time.

    I also will just make myself sit at my desk and write. I tell myself I will write for 1 hour, even if I just sit there the whole time and do nothing, it is ok because I will sit for another hour the next day.

    Sometimes writing is a job. We need to give ourselves deadlines and rewards for making those deadlines. (Even if writing is not our actual job!)

    A lot of other posters had great ideas, and a lot of people mentioned boredom. I don’t know you, or your work. Boredom might or might not be a problem. I know for me, it is not always that I am board with the work I have started, it is more that I am MORE excited about a new idea for another story or painting or something.

    Good Luck.:)
     
  9. Colby_Shea
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    Colby_Shea New Member

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    I know it's a silly and simple question, but... do you know how you want your story to end?

    I've found over the years that this is my problem when it comes to unfinished projects. I'll have an idea in mind, get so amped to start writing it that I won't think about it as a whole, finished project, instead I'll just see where it takes me. And when I don't know where my story is going to end, what's going to happen in conclusion, I always seem to get bored with it. When you don't know what you're working towards, it makes it that much harder to stay on task and actually move forward.

    For me, anyway. Not saying this is the way everyone works.
     
  10. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I think your best bet it to just keep writing through your boredom. Eventually it will die down and you will enjoy yourself.
     
  11. hyperspace!
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    hyperspace! Member

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    I watched a video of some author reading one of her short stories to an audience, and afterwards she let them as her questions. One person asked if she ever got bored while writing, and she said that, whenever she starts to get bored, she tries adding something in to make it seem more interesting. 'cause, if you're not interested in writing it, how do you expect people to be interested in reading it? I've always thought that was good advice.

    Wish I remembered what the author's name was. Her story was about a fruit stand and a crazy woman who made words out of things.
    Good stuff.
     
  12. Kaichi
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    Kaichi New Member

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    I would just stop writing and put it aside for awhile. Wait a couple of hours or the next day, depending on when you feel refresh, then continue with it.
     
  13. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    Sometimes I get bored with writing, and I think it's because the writing is probably stale itself. So, I delete the most recent couple pages and re-write it in a more interesting way.


    Also, if you have someone who can read your work for you, see them enjoy reading it and that will motivate you a little bit if you want people to enjoy reading your stories.
     

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