1. Dirg
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    Dirg New Member

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    Could use some help FOCUSING!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dirg, Aug 21, 2012.

    Hey there everyone, just found this place and look forward to getting some feedback and contributing my own ideas to this community! But first i could use a little help...

    So I come up with a lot of interesting ideas. These can be setting or characters, or elements of those things, but everyone who's seen my work has expressed general interest and usually goes on about how interesting/cool/awesome a lot of things i come up with are. I've diagnosed myself with a few problems however:

    1. It's hard for me to focus on one thing at a time. If i'm coming up with something i'm all over the place and when i can't figure certain key points out i either move to another project and play with that, or i give up. For example, i think of an awesome idea such as the personification of elements like death, order, chaos, good, evil. Then i get stuck for months on what they should be talking about, or where they should be doing it. Or if i come up with an idea, another one will negate it instead of play off it then i'm back to square one.

    2. VERY hard for me to make characters interesting, I can do dialogue once i get going with something, but when and where that dialogue should be happening and why is problematic. I can essentially think of a characters starting point and ending point but the middle is hard for me to navigate. Honestly, i feel overburdened with possibilities and can never DECIDE.

    I'm new to writing in general but am interested in writing short stories, or scripts for games/movies. I've got a few completed short stories and a small play, but these problems i'm having have left me with nothing completed since i got out of class in may.

    Any help with organizing or molding my thoughts would be helpful, how to keep them in the same general direction, things like that. ANYTHING really lol any resources that can be linked that i can read up on too for those who don't like to type would be awesome too!

    Also worth mentioning, I'm really partial to stories such as that in Metal Gear Solid where a lot of underlying themes are occurring. I think that level of complication weighs me down too heavily as i think about things that i "shouldn't be" too early on. I've been trying to work back to basics and simplify my ideas so i can build a solid foundation and get to know my own style but i can't seem to do it lol
     
  2. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    I have troubles focusing too. Have many ideas flying around and never properly work on any of them. There are several things I try - sometimes they work a bit, sometimes they don't. Maybe some will help you too:

    1) Choose one story/idea to work on at a time. If any other appear in the meantime, just jot them down and forget about them for a while.

    2) To think something through, don't sit at a computer. Do something that lets your mind wander. Go fo a walk, alone, and let the story unfold in your head - but don't push it. Do a brainless chore, one that keeps your hand occupied but not the mind. Take a longish shower - that's especially fruitful for me, for some reason: often I get out of a shower with a new idea or a paragraph almost complete in my head.

    3) If you think you should start/continue actually writing but there are so many choices that you get distracted before deciding for the first word or sentence, leave the computer again, take a notebook and sit in a quiet corner. Write something.

    4) If you can't get through a difficult bit but know what should come next, just skip the bit. Write what you know already. It's better to write something that might have to change later than to just sit there and write nothing at all. When the next part is written, it might be easier to return and bridge the gap.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Self-discipline, to stay focused on one story and see it through to the end. You have to be able to get yourself to do this. Organize those ideas for the story and write. Ideas ofr other stories, jot them down, keep them in a file for each story idea, and be willing to come back to them. Some people use outlines to organize their ideas, others prefer to write without any planning. For me, having a plan helps me to keep focused and the story moving forward. It avoids getting stuck or writing myself into a corner. It lessens the amount editing and revision after the first draft.

    The best way to learn to write, such as creating interesting characters is to read, but not read for enjoyment, but study the works. Find a couple of authors and re-read their novels, paying attention to things like characterization, how and when they used direct and indirect characterization, what actions, dialogue, dress, thoughts, etc. helped you--the reader--to form the image of characters. Then apply what you learn to your writing style and project. This works for learning about pacing, dialogue, writing action scenes, etc. Yes, there are 'how to' books out there, but novels that have been successful are the 'best how' to books, I think.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Exactly. There is no magic focus technique. You have to keep yourself motivated, and you hqave to keep at it even when you are not feeling very motivated.

    And you will feel unmotivated, especially on your fifth proofreading pass, or when the weather outside is just too awesome to stay cooped up inside. You can set yourself a "vacation quota", just like any other job, but you have to discipline yourself to stick to it.
     

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