1. inkpenstill
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    inkpenstill New Member

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    Finishing a novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by inkpenstill, Nov 5, 2010.

    So a little over a month ago, I decided to sit down and try to finish the first draft of a novel over the course of a month. I've got about 70% done, but suddenly my creative drive has just left. I took a few days off and now it's getting harder and harder to want to go back and keep writing. I don't know what happened. I was so excited about the novel, but now I just feel almost completely numb towards it.

    I was just hoping to maybe get some advice on what may help with continuing the novel or just getting back to feeling like writing again.
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like a case of never put off till tomorrow what you can put off till the day after tomorrow.

    Seriously, there are any number of explanations for this. Sometimes you begin to second-guess yourself as to whether it's all going to work or not. If that's the case, I would take a couple of days off (without the guilt) and then go back in there and get it done. Or sometimes, you want to go for the perfect ending, in which case I would just force myself forward and get something down on paper. You can always work with it once you've got it down on paper.

    If it's just that you're stuck on what to write, how to end it, then my advice would be to sit down and write something, even an idea for a new project.

    Good luck.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I bet about 99% of novels end up where yours is. Only 1% ever get finished, and a tiny fraction of that 1% get published. So you have joined a very large club. But it's not the best club to be in.

    Maybe it would help if you approach finishing the novel as a duty you owe to the earlier you who started it so enthusiastically.
     
  4. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    What you need to do is get yourself inspired. The issues I had with finishing my novel mostly consisted of a lack of inspiration. The minute I watched a cool movie, read a particularly good book, and looked at some artwork, I wanted to get back to my own writing.

    Look at/do something that usually gives you a boost, and get sparking that creativity. After that, it's just a case of disciplining yourself and being persistant. How many artists have you heard of that didn't have to force themselves to get the best results? Get it down - not because you have to, but because you want to.
     
  5. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    I decide to write a novel, but a novel is like 75000 words so it takes time. I will keep wriing it over and over until I love it. But I can get book made easier then mos people. Will easy is not the word but still. Because it's hard to write anything. But if you hve a passion go for it, like I did. : D
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that in the time you took a break from it, your inspiration waned. It's a tricky thing.

    Have you re-read your novel since then? When I get stuck like that I re-read from start to finish... Well, often I don't get more than halfway through before something I wrote a lot earlier triggers an idea for how to go ahead, and I'm scrolling back through the document and getting to work. :p
     
  7. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    I can't really give better advice than that what's already been given - I'm also not exactly qualified, having written 'The End' to precisely 5% of what I write... :rolleyes: But I would definitely agree with getting something down, anything, especially if it's rubbish - if you then look again at something you're not happy with, good ideas suddenly come out of the shadows, indignant, and start banging on the door yelling to be let in the book... and suddenly you're overwhelmed with suitable endings! Good luck! :)
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My advice is read over it, go for a walk someplace nice come back and just write it is normal to lose interest - I find I just write filler stuff during the time. This is just your first draft you can afford to have some scenes you cut later - or writing short stories about my characters doing other things. Other thing I do is keep character blogs, diaries etc and have a good row or a discussion with them about the way to continue the book.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's the best advice i've seen so far!
     
  10. inkpenstill
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    inkpenstill New Member

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    Yes minstrel, that was very good advice.

    I actually finally got back to it tonight. I'm happy to say I found the passion that was there before! I just had to go back and read through a lot of what I had already written. I just passed the 50,000 word mark. I feel like I could have kept going but decided that the few thousand words I just wrote will be good enough for tonight. I already have the rest of the chapter that I'm working outlined, so I'm thinking that I might try to finish it tomorrow.
     
  11. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    There are many factors to why people tend to lose interest in finishing their novel. Two factors are writer’s block and analysis paralysis. Writer’s block refers to a writer who runs out of ideas on what to write, so they would get stuck on what to write. Analysis paralysis is where someone over –thinks their writing piece trying to make it perfect, so they would give up on it because they feel that they cannot find a “perfect” solution to their story. If you are suffering any of these problems, I would consider myself to keep writing to break the writer’s block.

    You said that you wrote so much that you lost interest, so you might be encountering analysis paralysis. I’m not saying that this is the case, but if it is, you might want to conclude the story as it is, especially if you have the significant ideas for your story. Don’t write any further. Instead, go over your writing piece and make that into a completed story, rather than coming up with additional ideas for your story. It is not always bad to be a pants-off-the-seat writer, because some of those writers feel that they already have enough information. If writing is your passion, I would continue writing, but when you are feeling overwhelmed, end the novel and start working on the next novel or finish your first draft without adding more content to it. I know this sounds a bit crazy, but if you do this, you will understand the logic of the story, trying to fix things up and covering the holes of the novel instead of coming up with more characters. In addition, try not to have so many characters that it will overwhelm you to develop each character. Start out small. Once you actually understand the story better, then there's no need to continue on at the moment.
     
  12. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    It all depends on you. Specifically, whether you're willing to give up 70% of a novel.

    Of course, I could give you more practical advice if you told me what the book was about. At least give a summary.
     
  13. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Sometimes, if I am getting bored with a passage I am writing, it is because the passage is boring and I need to do it differently to make it and me exciting and excited. If I am bored, I figure my reader will be bored. Sometimes, I have to go back and figure out where it started to go wrong, wipe away a chapter or three and start from there on a new track. When I was writing more as a hobby with no real intent to publish, I would get to a point where, in my mind, the story was done. Even if it wasn't on paper, I had finished it in my head, and thus would lose the drive to put it on paper. Thinking of publishing as a goal got rid of that problem.
     
  14. miss_darcy
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    miss_darcy Member

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    I suggest re-reading what you have because most likely that will inspire you to keep writing or want to do some rewriting and who knows maybe you'll incorporate a new idea for a sub-plot or something like that to make your novel even better.
     
  15. inkpenstill
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    inkpenstill New Member

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    Finished it! At least the first draft. So far it's around 75,000 words which is much more than I ever expected to get. For the rest of this week I'll be going back and editing over and over again.


    Actually ready move on from this one and start taking notes for the next novel, which I plan to start in January.
     
  16. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Congrats Inkspell - I am always thinking ahead to the next one. Tend to try and have novels at different stages so I can take breaks between drafts.
     
  17. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I find that starting a project always generates a special kind of enthusiasm, a sort of recharging of the batteries. It also means that you're fresher when you go back to re-read, edit and revamp the prior work, which can at times be tedious. Of course, you have to take care not to start too many projects at one time! :D
     
  18. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is why I keep them at different stages lol

    Project 1: Almost complete
    Project 2: Awaiting rewrite
    Project 3: Third of way through first draft.
    Project 4: In rewrite. - This one is my work in progress.
    Project 5&6: Planning stages.

    Ouch that is scary I could have six completed first draft soon . Hopefully a couple completed.
     
  19. Amyre
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    Amyre Member

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    Congratulations on getting back to it. Stick with it and finish it!
     

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