1. Gringoamericano
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    Gringoamericano New Member

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    Can't finish a thing.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gringoamericano, Nov 2, 2011.

    I've been having the same problem for the past 6 months. I get started on a project, and I keep telling myself that I will get it done. But then I either run out of ideas, or have no clue how to get to the part I want to get to in a script or story I write, so I continue to stare blankly at my computer screen brainstorming.

    Then I get a better idea, quit what I was writing, and the whole process starts over again. How do I break this habit?
     
  2. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    By sticking with one project until completion.
     
  3. ellamarie365
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    ellamarie365 New Member

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    There are many ways of breaking this habit. There are also books that help with this. You don't even have to buy the book necessarily, either. Go to a Barnes and Noble bookstore and look for a book titled "HELP! for WRITERS" Title sounds cheesy but the content is what matters, and the content in this book is great. It helps with every problem you brought up. And it's step by step detail with multiple solutions for your problem just in case. The book is by Roy Peter Clark. I truly benefited from it. Another idea, that is just my opinion, is to co-write. This will help keep you focused and as they always say two heads TRULY ARE better than one. Remember two things while doing this though:

    1. Write up a contract so no one can steal each others stuff
    2. Pick the right person to write with, no one that will distract you or doesn't have a lot of time. Pick someone determined.

    Hope I could help.:)
     
  4. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    If you are eager get to a certain point in a story, skip everything else and go straight for it. Write the part you want to write the most, and later write what precedes that point. There doesn't have to be any order in which you write since you'll edit, rewrite, change things later anyway.
     
  5. Rennuruof
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    Rennuruof Member

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    What Allan Paas said. I've got a few pieces from free-writing sessions that have made it into my story and a few that have turned into stories themselves. Don't delete anything you write, you never know when the inspiration will hit and those blank spots will turn into chapters.

    Mike
     
  6. AMJ
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    AMJ Member

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    I actually have a similar problem alot of the time. I like Allan's suggestion of writing the bits you want to first, as quite often by doing that your subconcious reveals the link that's needed in the part you're stuck on.

    Also, I'm always writing more than one project at a time. SO I have probably 50 ideas for different projects, most of which don't progress past the opening few sentences or a basic outline, but I feel that if they're revealing themselves to me then they must be worth jotting down. Don't lose heart, everything will come together if you work at it! :)
     
  7. Gracia Bee
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    Gracia Bee Member

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    I always do this!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes you have to stick with a project, write your other idea down but don't think to hard about it go back to your other one. Or you can try and weave the two stories into one. Allan's advice is really good. Good luck!
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    At some point or another, you just have to force yourself to get on and finish it. Not romantic and fantastical, perhaps, but it's easy to write on days when you feel enthused and passionate, and words flow from your fingers. If you have serious aspirations to write, then you have to take along with that the days when it is hard work, unpleasant, and you have to sweat, bleed and weep out each word.

    I won't say that you absolutely shouldn't work on multiple projects at once, since I do so quite frequently (though, I'm a short story writer, you might need to be a little more single-minded with longer length works), but you need to know when to knuckle down and work on something which isn't necessarily your first choice at that moment. Maybe try setting yourself targets? Or planning more thoroughly? If you have something to work towards more solid than a nebulous point of "the end", then you might find you have more momentum.
     
  9. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like to work on the plot when I'm inspired and write an outline rather than the actual story. That way I work with a more or less complete story line to follow when I'm out of creative juices, and then all I need to do is buckle up and write, no matter what I should add.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the most important thing a writer needs to have along with some talent for using words is willpower!

    if you don't have any/enough, you'd better work on acquiring/increasing it, if you want to succeed in the literary field, or any of the arts... it's one aspect of being creative that tips and how-tos can't help you 'get right'...
     
  11. Jabby J
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    Jabby J Member

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  12. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What do you write? Novels?

    Perhaps have a go at something short, just to get into the habit of finishing stuff.
     
  13. The wonderer
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    The wonderer New Member

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    To me, I think that you should try to stick to one project and finish it. I agree with the last poster, try to have a go of doing a short story.
     
  14. Summer
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    Summer Member

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    Jumping from project to project is fine as long as you don't completely forget about the others. Instead of worrying about finishing something before starting the next thing, be more lax with yourself and ALWAYS think about your older stories. You may find that your newer stories are borrowing from older that can help you merge them. 10 unfinished projects can be condensed to 6 without actually losing anything. I hope that makes sense. If you want to finish something do not forget about it.
     
  15. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    When you get stuck on one project take a break from the actual writing and try and draw up a plan on where you want the story to go next.. or a couple chapters down the line. I mean.. say you've written about a boy who's beloved dog dies.. you've got the whole back story on his life with the dog etc etc.. and you reach the point where the dog dies, but you don't know how to write that actual scene or say what happens immediately after.. think about what you want to happen later on.. does he get a new dog? does he steal someone's dog? does he become depressed and run away? and once you have an idea on that next part go ahead and write that..... or go back to the beginning of what you have written already and edit and rewrite - that can be a good way of fueling your enthusiasm and getting inspired again to keep going.

    If a completely new story idea occurs to you, go note it down BUT don't start writing the new story, only write down the outline the rough idea that just occurred to you.. then tell yourself you'll write it next and go back to your initial work in progress.

    Blue


    Edited my horrible typos :D
     
  16. Makeshift
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    Makeshift Active Member

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    I can relate to this, right now I have 3 unfinished short stories on my computer.

    I think the answer is writing shorter works, maybe even working with a word limit. If you have an idea about a novel, but can't wait to get to a particular point in the plot, try writing a short story out of that scene. I always say that work is never wasted. Even if I spend time writing something that never gets finished, at least I now know what doesn't work. The elements that did work in the story can be recycled to another project. Just as an experiment, think of some really simple basic premise(for example, my premise was that the main character had attempted suicide), set a word limit(500-1500) and write the whole thing at once and avoid the temptation to make changes afterwards. Later move on to more ambitious projects.

    Thinking too visually is another part of the problem. I first got into writing when pursuing my dream to make a film script and I always think of the stories as films in my head. One picture really is worth a thousand words and that's why it might take an awful lot of words to tell something that in a movie would take just a few scenes. Now when I'm writing, I try to make use of textual format, writing stuff that wouldn't work in a movie. Not sure if that makes sense to anyone.
     
  17. Joe.
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    Joe. New Member

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    I've definitely got the same problem.

    I think I probably have about five or six short stories on my computer right now that I thought would be easy to finish, but I was wrong. :(

    I figure, if I can't even finish it without losing interest myself, how can I expect someone else to be interested in it when they read it? So if I hit a wall within the first few hundred words, I take that as a sign to just quit that story, which is probably not a good method to use. Regardless, I know exactly where you're coming from, and I find it pretty damn hard to finish anything too!
     

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