1. Vespers
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    Vespers Member

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    Commitment Issue

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Vespers, Jul 4, 2011.

    Hi, my name is Alexander Vespers, and I have a problem. I am an alcoholic.

    Ok not really, but let's get serious. I have never written anything longer than about two pages. I write all kinds of poetry and very short stories; songs and raps, thesis papers, and even dialogue for friends' games they're programming, yet I cannot (as it stands) write a story of any significant length. With an imagination more powerful than a fission reaction at the sun's core, and with laudable writing (about to graduate college-- have won many writing contests with extreme competition), I still just can't push myself into it.

    I don't have issues coming up with the ideas or with the writing itself. The issue I foresee myself having (I haven't had it yet 'cause I've never made it far enough for it to have arisen) is keeping a story interesting and coherent at... let's say... the length of 50 pages, or even 100 pages. I would retire my hands from writing forever if I wrote something 100 pages long only to re-read it and think, "This is just a collection of tangents and characters jumbled in between two covers and bound together."

    Is this a common fear or dread that every writer faces, or is this a sign that I should stick to the shorter side of writing?
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    What you need to ask yourself is whether you really want to write novel length pieces.

    I have a similar problem. I know that my writing is fine, and that I could keep it going well on a longer piece, but I have a different problem. I lose motivation very easily. I lose the will to write. It becomes a chore, because I don't feel connected to it.

    I left one of my recent pieces behind because when I wrote the first scene, it was goal-oriented, somewhat. It had its own heartbeat and rhythm. And then I screwed that over and did a bunch of weird things. I do that frequently.

    The stories I have completed have all been shorter pieces, but that doesn't stop me persevering toward something longer. All my pieces have been stories that have been intertwined with myself. I just have to find something similar that can last longer.

    Also, all the most successful (adult) novelists have been alcoholics or addicts. Stephen King couldn't even remember writing Cujo because he was so drug-f- addled at the time. It was a pretty good book, too.
     
  3. Vespers
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    Vespers Member

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    I've considered the NaNoWriMo approach, where one just machine-guns 50,000 words onto some paper and calls it a novel, but I've always loathed the quantity over quality approach. Maybe it would provide the ground-work, though. We shall see.
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    ^ That approach is fine if you either 1) can write good quality in a hurry, and/or 2) don't mind rewriting. For me, the hardest part of novels is running into plot holes, so if I can successfully crank out a novel from beginning to end, rewriting certain scenes for better quality is the easy part. Plus I'm a journalist and used to deadlines and stuff, so I find Nano gives me kind of a burst, but it's definitely not for everyone.

    One possibility is that you could write your good, key scenes separately, treating them like short stories, then use transitions to tie them together. But this only works if they're natural parts of the novel - don't try and force unrelated short stories together into a hodgepodge if they don't fit, just for the hell of it.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, an average of 1,667 words a day isn't that much, really. I can write that in an hour and a half or less if I feel up to it. I just don't like the idea of forcing myself to write every day just because I've set some stupid goal for myself. I want my writing to be more natural.

    I also recommend staying away from NaNoWriMo. Personal experience tells me that the people who partake of it are terrible, terrible people. Or, rather, they are terrible at being people.

    I support Mallory here. What a lovely lady she is.
     
  6. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm actually pro the forcing yourself approach, but maybe that's because I'm a lazy bum that needs to force myself to do everything. Even stuff I enjoy, like video games, playing with my dog, shopping, hanging with friends, and writing of course. I think all that stuff is fun and I love doing it, but getting my ass off the couch and start doing it is really difficult for some reason. I don't even need to get my ass off the couch for some of those things, and it's still hard.
     
  7. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not met the best of people on that forum I assume? Me neither. I figured I'd try NaNoWriMo this year for the first time, but I don't see myself spending too much time on their site.
     
  8. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    haha nice use of the word machine gun, and yeah man I have the same problem. I'll probably try NaNoWriMo this year for the first time too :D
     

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