1. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    Getting stuck, motivation, and confidence

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Balmarog, Jul 15, 2011.

    As a new writer, I can't help but ask a lot of questions to try and help my work and also to validate my potential as a story teller (even if my writing needs infinite improvement.)

    I have started a lot of stories, but I often stop before finishing. Sometimes I lose that spark that first got me interested in the story. Sometimes I second guess myself, thinking that what I'm writing is total crap. Sometimes I just get re-addicted to World of Warcraft (my guilty pleasure).

    I really enjoy telling stories, so I WANT to finish what I start, but I don't know how to overcome these issues of mine. Right now, I've started a blog and am posting the rough draft of a story as I write it, hoping that by having an audience will keep me moving. Last night I got that familiar feeling of "is this crap?" Some friends who are reading along as I write tell me they really enjoy it, and I don't think they're just saying that for my benefit, but just because they like it doesn't mean it's GOOD.

    Am I the only one who has these bad habits / worries? Is there some kind of mental exercise to get me through it? I know that most first drafts are pretty sketchy any way and that the revisions are what make them shine, but how do you push through all your doubts and keep moving?
     
  2. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    All lies. If your friends like it, and not because they say it to make you happy, that means that it's a legit written piece. Granted, it may not be the audience you're writing for (Or it could be), but unless if they're all chronic liars, then you should have confidence.

    As for how I keep myself motivated (which I struggle with also), I try and change the mediums I use for writing. One day I'll type, another I'll hand-write, and sometimes I'll even illustrate a storyboard, map, et cetera. It's all meant to motivate yourself, and so whatever gets you into the story will work.

    And on a side but completely serious note, try joining a LARP, or something like that, with a character you write about. It may seem a bit geeky, but in all honesty it's a blast to do it with friends, and also you'll have the ability to work with your character and physically connect to his story.
     
  3. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    Thanks. I'll try the change in medium thing. I used to RP with friends all the time, but not larping. Not a bad idea though. :)
     
  4. Maztor Shake
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    Maztor Shake Member

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    I have to ask. Are you in the military?
     
  5. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    Me? No.

    Why?
     
  6. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Be wary. RPing is cool. LARPping is....eh....that really depends on you, your friends, and the medium. I still shudder at a demonstration I saw one time. A guy was LARPing as a wizard. He kept throwing foam balls at everyone and shouting 'LIGHTNING BOLT! LIGHTNING BOLT!" It proved more annoying than fun.
     
  7. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    lol. I know, we've made fun of plenty of LARP videos, but for someone of one geek culture to call another geek culture... uh, geekier... sounds more pretentious than I want to get into :p
     
  8. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, I'm lost? What's larping?
     
  9. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I dressed up and worked at reenactment fairs when I was in high school and college. That was awesome. LARPing events, I don't know, maybe it is just how ridiculous it looks. :p

    Live Action Role Playing. You can look up some laughably bad examples on youtube.
     
  10. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    Of course there will be the ridiculous examples, but honestly that's very much a stereotype. It mostly is dependent on the people who run it, though, and everybody who participates. One of my high school teachers participates (I won't answer who or where, mostly because it could get him fired) in one, and he's not the sort of geeky nerdy teacher one would picture.

    But that's a topic for another forum. Where I was going with this: You get a feel for what challenges people could face and the limits of their abilities. An activity like fighting a battle seems like a bloodbath in many novels, but swinging at an endless score of enemies isn't as easy as it seems, especially when they overpower and outmatch you. And that's just wartime. Beyond that is the challenge of hunting, camping out, et cetera, which you may not be able to get a feel for in a LARP, but those are fairly simple to understand.

    And I realize this is absolutely useless to writers of sci-fi, fiction, et cetera, but there are sci-fi LARPs out there, and for historic fiction, there are groups that recreate famous battles. Basically, I'm saying that actually doing something will help you write about it, and maybe give you ideas on larger-than-life problems for your characters.
     
  11. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    You would be strange if you didn't have doubts. Everyone has them, even the people who don't seem too.

    I think it's helpful to remember that your writting isn't you. You may put your heart and soul into it but when someone says something negative about your work it's not a direct attack on you. And for the times that people are completely rude I have to wonder what their hair looks like on a good hair day because they are obviously having a bad hair day.
     

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