1. Kevin7777777
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    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    Difficulty converting imagination into written story

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Kevin7777777, Aug 9, 2014.

    I've been writing children stories for many years and writing is something I've loved since I was very young. But I've always had difficulty picking up and retaining English grammar rules. But a real frustrating part of writing for me is my imagination far exceeds my writing skill. So when I try to convert my imagination into written word for story it will often end up with more dialogue and not enough dept in details about the setting environment. I'll have more in my mind than I actually got written down. It's like there is a laziness or simply lack of skill.

    I have much bigger stories to write that are in my mind but find this difficulty of mine is blocking me. It's frustrating cause I meet lot a characters that are screaming at me to write their story. :)
     
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  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I recommend just sitting down and writing everything anyway. You can fill in the details later, once all the dialogue is down.

    Alternatively you could write a screenplay, of course.
     
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  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I have the same issues. I try not to let it stop me. I read this recently and felt inspired by it
    -
    A ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of the work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the first day of class he brought in his bathroom scales and would weigh the work of the "quantity" group: fifty pounds of pots rated an "A" and so on. Those being graded on "quality" only need to produce one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an "A". Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: The works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the quantity group was busy churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than a grandiose pile of dead clay. - From ART & Fear

    Now I know art and writing are slightly different - ( because it's easier to spot a physical mistake like a lopsided vase rather than say a lopsided sentence. ) But he the authors were in favor of getting feedback so the core of this idea is brilliant - don't wait to be perfect to write - just start from your limitations and keep writing, working, creating. The best way of learning is from your mistakes.

    I find the best way to improve and write beyond my capacity is to get something on paper first. If you've ever seen the first draft of Ulysses by James Joyce it's amazing, you'd think Joyce didn't like one word he put down and yet he ended up with total art. Editing is the key - but you can only edit from a first draft.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
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  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It takes a long time to master the skill of writing long works of fiction. There's just so many things to consider, so many literary devices that can help bring story and characters to life, considerations about pacing, style, plot etc. It takes years and many stories before we reach the level of skill that lets us easily translate ideas into narratives. Until then, just keep writing and learning, improvement will inevitably follow.
     
  5. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey, it could be worse. You could have my problem. Your writing skill could exceed your imagination.
     
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  6. Kevin7777777
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    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    Wow great advice. Thanks for your time. I just always wondered if there was something wrong with my processing part of imagination to written word, but I guess it is really just practice and skill.
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    This man is a horrible teacher. He's letting 50% of the class get a worse grade just so he can prove some stupid rhetoric.
     
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  8. BookLover
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    BookLover Contributing Member

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    You say you have much bigger stories in your head, and I do that too. I get lots of ideas and stories while running or driving, and they play like a movie in my head. It all seems great. I'm smiling and loving where my daydreams bring me.

    But then when I sit down to write it all out, it doesn't come out as well, or in some cases I've actually lost interest. I already put all of my creative work into writing the story in my imagination, so when I actually sit down to write it in a more concrete form, my mind sort of says, "Eh, you already did this. We already told this story even if it was just told to yourself. It's done. Let's not go through this again." o_O The happy daydreaming high isn't there anymore, and I usually don't end up writing it.

    I don't know if that's exactly your experience or not, but that's part of mine. I haven't figured out how to combat it yet. Ideally I'd be at my most creative while sitting in front of my laptop, but it hardly ever works out that way.

    Anyway, I like Peachalulu's advice. Just go for it, even if it's not all perfect. I've also read about that pottery study in one of my psychology courses a long time ago. I always think about it whenever I find myself being too much of a perfectionist about something.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    But would anyone have listened to the much overused phrase - don't try to be perfect, just create? It's better to get the shaft now than down the road.
     
  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yes, they would. That's what having a teacher is about.

    This hypothetical man is horrible. I'd never take an imaginary class from him.

    Edited to add:
    Oh right, you've probably never had an art class. The focus is much less then learning how to art. It's arting as hard as you possibly can for as long as you can. The people with the talent to succeed are weeded from the chafe of the people who are just there because they can hold a pencil.

    Sorry but that's the cold reality of art school.
     
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  11. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Best post on the forum, hands down. Should have its own sticky.
     
  12. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I've taken some art classes but I've never been to art school. My dad & brother are artists so we kinda just bounce ideas off each other. Personally, I just loved the metaphor of the example more for writing rather than art. It also reminds me of something Picasso said - It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

    But to each his own - I've posted this on a few sites, and it really stirs the pot - lol.
     
  13. Kevin7777777
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    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    I h
    I hear you. I guess they equally frustrate us.
     
  14. Kevin7777777
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    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    Almost dead on.
     
  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    An important thing to remember when trying to add richness to your writing is that not all details are equally important. It's easy (for me, anyway) to overload my descriptions with everything in my head, ending up with something so overstuffed it's confusing and boring. I read a science fiction story a couple of years ago dealing with an alien race that wrote novels that were at least 5000 pages long because they were stuffed with meaningless detail. They thought human literature was terrible because the details weren't there. If a human writer described a character as having freckles, they'd ask, "But exactly how many freckles did she have? And how were they distributed over her face? See how lousy your literature is? You don't tell us what we need to know!"

    Obviously, the number of freckles isn't important. Select the most telling details and include those. It's sometimes not easy to know which details are most telling, but with experience, that will come. A few important details will communicate a complete picture far better than a great many unimportant ones.
     
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  16. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Obviously you are from an inferior race.
     
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  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's common for writers to be able to put the dialogue down but struggle describing the scene. Our ideas start out in words, and the exchanges between our characters flow first from that.

    Then the characters move and we write things like, "she walked". We try to describe the scene and it comes out, "her dress was stunning," or "the yellow sun was warm." But in our minds, the whole scene is there. It's just that we aren't used to describing what we see in words.

    That's been the case for me, anyway. So I wrote the story dialogue out and went back to add the scenes. I think it's working.
     
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  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that it's completely normal to sit down to convert the events in one's mind into words and find that there appears to be no natural mechanism for that, no natural flow, no clue what to do. I think that with lots and lots of practice, every writer has to build their own mechanism from scratch.
     
  19. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    Just reading this conversation motivated me.
     
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  20. Kevin7777777
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    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    What about ghostwriters? Can one learn also through a ghostwriter? Is it possible to find ghostwriters who care just about a story as you do yourself? Or at least cares enough to write a great story with you.

    I'm thinking that having that collaboration with a ghostwriter can help with learning writing skill?

    I'm partially asking this to keep this thread from staying active cause it obviously is a inspiring and learning type thread. I'm enjoying all the responses so far and hope other readers are too.
     
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  21. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nobody can be passionate about your story as much as you, this goes for collaborators as well as ghostwriters. Ideas are worthless unless you do something with them. People get ideas for books all the time, it doesn't make them writers, though. Writing your own stories makes you a writer.

    Ghostwriters are professionals who charge a lot of money for their services. Unless they are employed by publishers to write some celebrity's biography or to dramatise a true story, paying them is the vanity publishing in extreme. There's nothing to be learned from paying a ghostwriter, that you can't learn by analysing your favourite works of literature.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
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  22. Kevin7777777
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    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    I'm currently writing in bullet form a story that's been wanting to be written for almost a year now. Some dialogue, details about characters, setting, plot, and environment all in bullet form. I can see the flow clearly. This will be a full fantasy story. That is a lot of words, a lot of pages, and a many chapters. This will be my biggest project I've ever done. Most children stories I did I was able to do on my own as they were a much smaller scale. To organize all of this bullet form information about the story is going to be quite a task for my amateur skill level.

    Reading what you say about ghostwriters and what it means to be a writer is giving me inspiration to do this story on my own. Once I got the entire story finished in bullet form I just may try and organize it on my own. I'd love to accomplish it on my own. I think my little interest in a ghostwriter is my lack of confidence and maybe even my laziness I don't know. I think it's also because these stories scream at me to be written. It's not enough to just be bullet form. It wants to be written.

    Now once I've got the full story done in bullet form that gives pretty much a full outlook of the story. It will have clear plot, characters, environment, conflicts, resolutions, twists, happy and sad moments. It is already created in my head, almost done in bullet form. As I go through writing this bullet form of the story, I find I am adding so much more than I expected. The story grows and gets more interesting than it originally was to me. I get excited about my characters and all that is going on around them.

    At this point it will be a dream come true to see it unfolved into a properly written story flowing as I see it in my mind and even just reading the bullet form. I can see how if I write this story on my own I have so much more to offer it as I go along. The story does live only in my head no one elses.

    I got a say this has been a great writing forum and has given me so much great advice. Thanks to you all.
     
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  23. Kevin7777777
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    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    Would love your feedback to my last post about writing the full story in bullet form first. It's kind of how it's coming out for now because I don't want to loose what is playing in my head if I don't write it down. It's flowing so nicely in bullet form while I aint worrying about grammar, structure, and placement of everything that is going on.
     
  24. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Kevin Many Seven (for thus I have named you in my head ;)), writing your story in "bullet form" sounds like intense outlining. Many of us outline to one degree or another, and others of us are repelled by the idea of outlining as inorganic to the writing process. I fall somewhere in the middle. I have pinned down several "landmarks" in my stories that are set. Everything that happens between those landmarks is fluid, so long as the story heads from one landmark to the next. This may work for you as a writing process since it gives you goals to achieve and points to write towards.
     
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  25. Kevin7777777
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    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    "Kevin many seven" :)

    I wouldn't say it's exactly like outlining as in this bullet form it's almost like the story is unfolding. There isn't a lot of missing pieces connecting each bullet. Actually some of it isn't missing anything. I can take the bullet away at some points and it would still be a flowing story. What I would like to put in between some of the bullet points is just description and dept to that part. The bullet form has dialogue and the flow going in one direction. If I come up with something that doesn't quite fit at the point I am in the story will put it in brackets below to go back to when I need to fit it in. A person can read the bullet form and get a sense of story and it's direction.

    As far as "landmarking" that is a interesting technique I had never heard of. I will certainly try and see if that works for me. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
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