1. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    Big roadblock - wouldn't move.. Help

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kizen, Nov 16, 2010.

    I have been writing for a while to finish various pieces of my story. So far the rythym was going well.

    Now.. For past 3+ months, I sit with my laptop and think why the story is not moving forward (It is non-fiction).

    What I realized is that my content is getting repeatitive and the pace of the story slows down quite a bit. And now it is not moving.

    The story is about myself being stuck in a very bad situation and it is the description of every minute / hour.

    Describing every minute, every hour in similar situation is intense but getting tougher to describe unless you repeat same content with different intensity. I cannot rush it because this is the core of the story.

    I completed various other pieces just to switch pace and then came back to the core of my story and add more, but that didnt help.

    Can anyone please suggest pointer to help me move this forward.

    Apreciate the help!
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Add more plot points. Subplots, sub-conflicts, action.

    What kind of non-fiction is this? If it's a biography -- just because it's about someone's life and not a fictional plot doesn't mean it has to be boring. Have you read "Boy" by Roald Dahl? It's his autobiography, but he tells stories about different incidents in his life where each chapter is its own story -- even though it's real life, there's still an antag, conflict, motivation, character growth etc.

    What are you writing? The more you tell me, the more specific help I can give. :)
     
  3. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    It sounds very similar to the TV show "24", where every minute (with the exception of Ad breaks) is described in detail. In the last few series' it became quite predicatable, by hour 8 he would find the terrorist, but then there would be a new terrorist introduced and it would not be until the last two hours that the real bad guy was discovered and captured or killed.

    This may be something that you may want to do. Introduce multiple bad guys to keep the story going and put in plot twists, such as double crossing or the good guys play rough.

    It also sounds like this is something that needs a lot of planning in order to get right. What I've recently started doing is defining the characters, the synopsis and the chapters before I begin writing. You may have to go back to the beginning and plan in detail before you start writing.

    Without knowing too much about yourself, your writing style or your story these are just assumptions and you may have already done all of what I've said or it may be well off the mark.
     
  4. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    I cannot call it a biography exactly..

    It is a story about my survival struggle through a unimaginable disaster. 6 days without food, water, light or any movement...

    I am defining each moment here, and thus definition of last hour is not much different than the previous..thus stuck.


     
  5. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    Thanks for the response.
    Yes, I had to redo numerous times and re-define every single piece. It is still work in progress as I start filling the pieces. It is non-fiction though.

     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds like you are telling it like a historical event rather than telling your story. How about looking at it as just a story - use some artistic licence here and there. Even when telling a good history event it works better when told as a story and not an essay.

    Forget it is you - for the time being give the character a brand new name etc Find ways to distance yourself.
     
  7. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    The human body can only survive three days without water, and even then the person would be suffering from severe dehydration before they died.

    You may need to add in a bit about having a limited water supply and rationing it over those six days.
     
  8. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    It was 6 days. Ask me.
    I cannot change the reality.

     
  9. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    Yes, thats a great point. I have done that.. and it works well and the story flows well.

    Great points .. but right now I need help since I am stuck ... Stuck because of the repeatitive actions / thoughts in the story.

     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is why I don't think you are telling it like a story - a story would edit out the repetitive details, what POV are you telling it in? If it is third person omniescent (sp??) you can introduce a new character someone on the outside etc
     
  11. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    Apologies about that, I thought you were writing a fictional piece (even though you mentioned you were writing a non-fiction piece in your first post I must have completely missed it, sorry about that).

    Ok so looking back through the posts, its an unimaginable disaster which must be an earthquake or something where the house or building collapses on top of you (correct me if I'm wrong but you are being rather cryptic here).

    Even still, six days without water would mean that you were suffering from extreme dehydration. Wikipedia describes the symptoms as headaches, dizziness, cramps, delirium, fainting and unconcesness.

    Have you ever thought that one reason why you've hit this roadblock may be because subconcously you don't want to revisit these events.

    You mention that it's repetitive. If it is an earthquake that has you buried under tonnes of rubble and you can't move or do nothing then it is going to become repetitive, there's not much you can do about that. You may want to do a more journalistic piece, interview some of the rescue team and turn their accounts into a story.
     
  12. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    Dehydration / dizziness / cramps etc. It did not happen to me... seriously. Its true... I was on my feet after the ordeal.

    Now, you have a very good point here. Infact, I am doing these pieces from the third person's perspective here, but the situation I am in still does not move much beyond a point.



     
  13. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    Apparently the people they studied to come up with this "fact" were far less bad ass than Kizen! :)

    Kizen it sounds like you went through something extremely intense. I wish you luck in your continued writing of it.
     
  14. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    It maybe because you are describing every minute of every hour that you're repeating yourself.
    Do you think that you could somehow tell your story in a different way. A different format.
     
  15. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    Sorry for the delay in replying:

    Yes it was intense. Unimaginable. Devastating.
    It is a story of endurance and mind control.
     
  16. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    Exactly! That is where I am getting stuck and it is difficult to move forward every day. Different format?
     
  17. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    First of NORMAL human need to have water , its imposable to go three days with out ANY water in your body they can live i they have any in them once they run pout they got three days , how ever it is not unheard of as for six days... but highly rare and this is not the case for you
    and here is why
    if you cant move you don't waste as much "fuel in your tank" as such the water did not run out which is why you survived (thats how some people coverd in ruble survive for so long)
    much like how a camel survives so many weeks with out it

    your body stored it because you where not moving
    since you where under ruble with no light/heat
    it was probably cold means water stays longer
    you where stuck your body shut down none impront parts less water needed
    and with no light/heat meant there was no evaporation (well not fast anyways)

    as such you hard water to burn
    that being said going to the bathroom and all comes in to effect but the human body (male) can hold bladder for a long period of time but its not heathery
    plus have you ever tried going to the bathroom when your stuck? its not easy as such you properly did not urinate as much as you would have
    but man oh man it must of stung i mean we are talking unbarbale pain down there, enough that you might have passed out once or twice
    (guys imagine getting hit down there with a sludge hammer)
    girls its pretty close to giving birth (I might be off on this i got not exsprince with this )
    Once again sleeping helps you keep energy
    which is how you can go to bed and not be hungry eight or so hours later but when your awake you start rumbling about 3 or so hours
    so its possible to go six days
    its hell but very possible
    still it takes a LOT of will power

    as a side note by the sixth day you may be walking but its highly unlikely you where "ok"
    much like how someone who has a broke bone can still walk on it with out knowing and still


    what hapeind was you where numb the impact or the long hours made you numb
    (probably because of so much pain your nevus just overloaded )

    so you walked but inside you where dying and im sure you drank all the water in a twenty mile radius

    I was not there nor can i say for sure thats why you survived
    I'm not a doctor but i do study health and think I'm quite good at it
    so if you put something in the book ask a real doctor\recurse (they probely delt with it before)


    but anyways to your point

    this might seem kind of cheesy
    but odds are you reflected in those times\thought of loved ones


    those can be great for the "real" feeling

    and they will relived the border of being under ground for six days

    did your life flash before your eyes? go back and think (if its not to hard)
    add what you thgout

    it was six days your mind must have wondered some where
     
  18. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    Your theory sounds right.

    But in a few words this is what I can tell you:

    I was in a position to sprint when I came out. I was not even willing to go to the hospital. I sipped half a bottle of water after the ordeal. I did not eat anything even the next day. I went through it.. I know.

    Will power..yes. It was super will power. I have the video footage of my rescue. I was evacuated from a concrete coffin(that is how much space I had)

    Yes. Mind wandered everywhere. It is a story of mind control and the will to win.
     
  19. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Kitzen,
    I'm sorry to hear that you've been through such a traumatic experience.
    Wolfi's comments make sense to me. Haven't we all heard about people whom against all odds survive some remarkable experience or other.

    You obviously do not have a 'death wish' for if you did I would not be replying to your post now.

    Speaking as a reader, what I would like to know is what kept you motivated to survive.
    Do you have children or dependants? -was that your motivation?
    Do you have an unfulfilled ambition? -was that your motivation?

    What thoughts went through your head?
    Did your mind wander off into flytes of fantasy?
    did you remember the good times?
    Did the lack of food and water make your thoughts , odd or delusional?
    When things were getting you down- did you give yourself pep talks (in your head or out loud)?
    Was it your state of mind e.g. positiveness that proved to be your greatest strength?
    I maybe wrong but I think that, what was going on inside your head is the key to how you overcome the external situation.
    When you write your piece try to answer the questions you think people would ask.
    Hope this helps.
    You have a unique and intriguing story that a lot of people would be interested in reading. (I know I would)
    Good luck!
    Trilby
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    might be worth reading the likes of Terry Waite etc Also tell more about yourself before and after don't just make it about being buried.
     
  21. Kizen
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    Very true. I agree with your suggestion.

    In short I can tell you that it was beyond a miracle. Luckily enough I have the video footage of my rescue, and the news articles in most papers.. otherwise none would even believe it... Really none would.

    No. No family. I had to be alive to rescue them safely. None survived.

    I was neither scared nor I was tired. I have a very strong mind which went against all odds. Against all odds for days.. and nights.

    Now regarding the problem in the story :

    Repetitive thoughts of hunger / waiting / thinking / killing negative thoughts etc.. cannot keep the reader interested for 50-100 pages. That is where I think I need some inputs.

    I am weaving my thoughts, but would the reader be interested in someone doing the same thing on page 27(day 1) and and then on page 127(day 3)?
     
  22. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    First off you can have the best idea ever and if its not well writing the reader wont like it
    like wise the worst idea can be good if your a good enough writer


    that being said
    not knowing your writing skill, I really would love to hear how your thoughts and moods changed form day 1 to 3
    I would not mind
    (heck i want to know day 1-6)
    but dont over do it either
     
  23. Kizen
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    Kizen Member

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    I am writing for the first time so I can be called an amateur writer, but the clarity is good and I think it is very readable.
     

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