1. Inkwell1
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    Inkwell1 Active Member

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    Can't End My Stories!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Inkwell1, Jul 4, 2014.

    I love to write, yet I feel like I can never finish my stories.

    Why, you ask?

    I keep having ideas. (Horrible, right?!)

    Okay, so I have a great story idea. I think about it for a little, and begin to write. After about a week or so of writing, I come up with a completely new idea, and I abandon my old story for the newer one.

    It keeps happening! One idea after another, each overlapping the last--do any of you face the same problem? How do you resolve it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think most of us get new ideas as we write, whether for the current project that goes against what we were planning (if one does planning) or for some new project. I know I do. But part of writing is being disciplined enough to get past distractions and see a piece all the way to completion. It's not easy. But it's necessary, because you have to finish things.

    What I do when I get new ideas is to think about them when I'm not writing my current piece. Maybe I'll make some notes, but I'm usually good about keeping the stuff in my head. Whatever new idea I have will be what I work on next, after I'm done what I'm currently doing. If I then get another new idea, that goes to the back of the line. But I don't let it stop me from writing the piece I'm currently writing.

    Sounds easy, doesn't it? But we all know it isn't. We want to explore the unknown, because the familiar can get boring sometimes. Well, make the familiar more exciting--can you incorporate your new ideas into your current piece? If not, well, then you have to be disciplined enough to make a rational choice. Is it better to go with the new idea and see that one to completion? Or is it better to try to work on both simultaneously, knowing you'll see them both to completion? Or do you know yourself well enough to know you can't work on more than one thing at a time? Know how you work most effectively and don't let anything distract you from it. It sounds easy, and it isn't that easy, but you've got to be able to do it or you'll end up with a dozen unfinished projects and nothing to show for it.

    Good luck.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I will add that the concern depends on your reason for writing. If you just enjoy writing and it's mainly for yourself, not finishing a project and perpetually going onto a new one isn't a problem.

    If, however, you hope for others to someday read your stories, whether through publishing via a magazine, anthology, ezine, publisher of novels, or self-publishing, you will need to finish projects.

    That will require self-discipline. Jot down notes for other story ideas, keep them in a file and add to those ideas or new ones, even as you're working to finish a project. This way the ideas won't be lost and you'll have the opportunity to finish your current project (and improve your writing skills in the process).
     
  4. Graham Penman
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    Graham Penman Member

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    I used to be the same way. I think i have about 8 or 9 novels that i have started and then never finished. I think my problem was, that, what I was writing about didn't excite me. I tend to find if I get an idea for something i'm excited about I finish it. So maybe the problem isn't all the ideas, maybe it's what your writing about.
     
  5. purplehershey
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    purplehershey Member

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    I've had the same thing happen to me. I was in the middle of one story when I had a brilliant idea for another one. I started that second one, but midway through that it started to lose it's luster for me. Instead of starting a third one though, despite the urges I had, I bounced back to the first story.

    I now find myself working on the two stories almost simultaneously. As one starts to really drive me crazy or maybe I can't think of what to do next in it, I transition to the other one. It's kept both of my stories moving forward and my sanity intact.
     
  6. Inkwell1
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    Inkwell1 Active Member

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    Thank you for your reply; yes, I do intend to finish off a piece to eventually send to a publisher (or publish it myself). I have tried jotting down notes, but I subconsciously keep tossing around the new story and crafting details, and it just seems I have to capture it and pin it all down on paper. I will try making a new file though, and try to keep concentrating on my current work. Thanks again!
     
  7. Inkwell1
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    Inkwell1 Active Member

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    That's funny; I have around 30 unfinished stories I started AGES ago and never got to finishing them! This was when I was younger and less disciplined, of course, but I do have lots of unfinished documents that seem to just get boring as I continue, as I subconsciously toy with the idea, and tweak it, and add details, until it gradually gets uninteresting (to me, at least; I share some of them with one or two people, and they nag me about them often). I will try making my writing more exciting, though, and try not to play with it in my mind so much.
     
  8. Inkwell1
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    Inkwell1 Active Member

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    That is a great idea, I will have to try this! Thanks for your reply, and good luck keeping your sanity ;)
     
  9. J Chris
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    J Chris New Member

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    It seems like you are too interested in your ideas than your characters. Fall in love with your characters first, and it will be hard to let them go.
     
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  10. Cailinfios
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    Cailinfios Member

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    Maybe you can try, rather than making a new story for that idea, fitting that idea in with the original one? I have the same problem (sometimes a sentence in a story I'm writing can inspire another one!) but I've tried combine ideas in the past and that has been very helpful :)
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Discipline is the key here. There's really no magic formula. And truth is, if you knuckle down on a piece you're supposedly bored with, chances are you're rediscover why you loved it in the first place.

    One way of rediscovering the joy of an old story is to simply read what you've written.
     
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  12. feathersinflight
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    feathersinflight Member

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    I originally had 8 or 9 stories, all related to each other to varying degrees. But I got tired of, or had no additional inspiration, to flesh them out more, so I took the interesting aspects from 4 of them and incorporated them into the remaining five. You could try doing that with yours, too- it's interesting to experiment and see where your mixture of ideas leads to :)
     
  13. Inkwell1
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    Inkwell1 Active Member

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    That sounds quite fun! And yes, that describes what happens to me pretty well: I get tired, and have no inspiration, to flesh them out more. Thanks!
     

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