1. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    From Start To Finish

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by live2write, May 31, 2012.

    Good Evening!

    So I have taken the time off of the forum to focus on writing and ideas along with breaks in between. Now after speaking with some close friends about writing in general, the topic that came up the most was "I can start writing an idea but I cannot finish it!"

    I admitted I have this problem too. I do believe it is the fear or the "over-thinking" that the story is not perfect. Other problem is trying to keep track of an idea that keeps changing even on paper. I have experimented with breaking up my stories into mini chapters where I can interchange different directions into how to continue the story.

    Anybody have problems with this and how can I help get out of this phase in writing?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's my primary motivation for writing the little bitty short stories I've been writing, and for kinda sorta participating in the "StoryADay" thing. When the rule is that I have to _start and finish_ a story in one day, I somehow find an ending. StoryADay was, I think, supposed to be a story a day all May, and I've only written about six and May is over, but I intend to continue it until I have thirty stories, each of which was started and finished in the same day. I'm hoping that after thirty, I will have learned something about myself and endings. Then I'll figure out the next exercise, because the goal in the end is to finish a novel, not just stories.
     
  3. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I have been working on approx. 4 stories that have started as short stories and are growing into potential novels. However it is the ending or closing of the story that I cannot get through. I have been storyboarding and I keep hitting roadblocks and put it away for later until inspiration comes. When I do have an idea of what I am looking for I end up not writing at all. Almost like I know how the story is going to end so why write it?
     
  4. Skodt
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    Skodt Member

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    Thats odd. I love knowing the ending. It gives me a goal to achieve, plus writing out the ideas is half the fun. Maybe your not interesting yourself with your ideas. Maybe your not writing the right genre. If you struggle to write, then try a different approach. Try something out of your element. Try even just writing a short story. To prove to yourself that you can finish something you start. Even a one page short can give you confidence in your work.
     
  5. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Having had this problem myself, I discovered a very basic solution: physically write out your stories. There's something far more finite about pen and paper than there is digital text that's easily modified. What's written is written, and you have to flow from there. To be completely open about it, the part that sucks the most is typing your story into the computer when you're finished, but this can easily serve as a first round edit, correcting typos and small changes you want made.

    While this doesn't work for everyone, give it a shot. Sometimes writing something by hand gives you that last bump of inspiration you needed.
     
  6. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I don't have the problem but I'm so driven by my story that I'm sure it's completely unhealthy. No matter how hard I try I can't work on anything else, so it's either the current story or nothing and nothing would probably make me dry up and blow away.

    You could try writing the ending first. :)
     
  7. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    I always let the story finish itself as I write. I, too, can start writing a novel and at times finishing it is tough. You just have to push yourself and create a drive to know more about the story and what will happen. You are not alone.
     
  8. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    My advice is to create a final scene in your head (Example - The antagonist and protagonist are in a room and only one of them will make it out alive. Cliche I know.) Than start building a story which events slowly lead to creating this scene.

    No matter how complex a story is, it can usually be broken down into three phases.

    Phase 1 - Characters and a main problem/goal is introduced. (50-70 pages)

    Phase 2 - Characters work towards solving this goal. Subplots, red herrings, character history, and character relationships are built (200-250 pages).

    Phase 3 - Conclusion of the story. Was the problem solved? Was the problem not solved? What happened in the subplots? And what path will these characters follow in the future. (50-70 pages)

    That would be my rough outline for a 300 page novel. Obviously the bulk of the work and creativity should be in phase 2. This isn't the case for several books, how often have you read a novel that had a great opening 100 pages, and the rest of the book was a let down? I own a lot of those.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the most necessary trait anyone wanting to be a writer must possess, aside from talent and skill, is 'self-discipline'!

    no one else can make you write something or finish anything... only you can...
     

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