1. sam80
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    sam80 Member

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    Help, I'm stuck before i've even really started!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sam80, Apr 9, 2012.

    As the title suggests, I just don't know what to do.

    Its started with an idea as all books/novels etc do, and it grew. Obviously I think its the best idea since sliced bread lol. I know where i want the story to go, where it ultimately leads to... Although I am not sure of the exact outcome, just how it comes about, what exactly happens i thought i wou9ld decide at the time, i thought that would feel right.

    I also know what i want to happen to my characters along the way and how they would grow. I have so many ideas for this story, and already feel really emotionally attached to them, there my boys, nobody better diss them lol.

    But these ideas i just cant get from my mind down my arms onto the laptop...... I sit down to write and just go blank and hate everything that i write.

    I decided that this was because i just wasnt a good enough writer yet and thought maybe the more i write of other things (even tried poetry for the first time) the better i would be and the easier it would come and I would be able to do it justice.

    Am I right, or simply avoiding it..... I just don't know now.

    Any theories thoughts or advice on how to get past this would be hugely appreciated.:(:(
     
  2. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    We should make a club and sell t-shirts and mugs. There's a thread about exactly that somewhere else.

    And as for advice: I think when you are a beginner and you think you suck, you must write anyway. You hate what you write now, but if you keep writing it will get better.
     
  3. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    You're going to hear this a LOT in this thread, but... the only cure is to write. The only way to get past your blockage is just to get words in paper, even if they're no good and you end up rewriting them. But once you start things will get easier, and little by little your writing will take shape; scenes, themes, plot, will all start to develop. So even if something is awful, don't delete it. It might take you somewhere that is actually pretty good, and then if you want to you can come back and change the beginning.

    So, you just have to bite the bullet I'm afraid. Write, and keep writing.
     
  4. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    If you have a story line what is the first thing that happens? You can start with an event or character. Many writers start with the character waking on the eventful day. It gives them a chance to introduce them as they look in the mirror, get dressed, etc. Others like to start with action. An Event that will catch the readers interest. Wherever you start, it just needs to be something that will keep the reader interested enough to read the next paragraph.
     
  5. sam80
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    sam80 Member

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    what? No magical answer, how bloomin' rude lol. I was afraid that the only answer would be to stop procrastinating and get on with it.... Thank you guys, your right.

    I did think maybe writing out some profiles though of the character themselves (out of the story), really get to grips with them that way, and also maybe using an event or issue i had in mind for the main plot to create a short story.....
     
  6. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    A lot of writers start with an outline. Writing the major story points themselves then laying them in where they think they might go later. There are many ways to start. If you can't start at the beginning then start writing what you do know. You can always fit things together later.
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    As long as you're doing either as the first step and not just to keep from sitting butt in chair and writing the damn story. ;) As a new writer, you have to wean yourself (violently) away from the idea that every word you write has to be perfect right out of the gate. Play with it. Experiment with it. Have fun with it. After you get your feet wet (in terms of not trying to be Hemingway), then you can get more serious about what you really want to say and how to say it.
     
  8. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    If I have difficulty visualising a scene so I don't know how to start it, I'll just note down the main things that happen, and any images that come to mind. You can always come back and flesh out later. Sooner or later you're bound to come across a scene that is so crystal clear in your head it just pours out onto the page. Then write backwards or forwards as necessary.
     
  9. Just Jon
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    Just Jon Member

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    When I started, I just wrote scenes that appeared in my head. Some of them fit and some didn't. Once I cleared out the ideas that I was holding in cranial RAM, I was able to think more clearly about the big picture. Once the ideas are written (typed?) they now have a place for safe keeping while you work on the rest of the story.

    When I'm frustrated or too full of jumbled thoughts to put something cohesive in my document, I work on character outlines. Its background information about each character, most of which will never be in the book. But this gives me a stronger feeling for who the characters are, and makes their actions and words become more natural. It also gives me something to do while my brain calms down.

    The important thing is to just write.

    Ahem. So get on with it. :)
     
  10. RowenaFW
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    RowenaFW Member

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    I find when I have this problem the only solution for me is to write the "wrong" bit. This is usually (for me) something about 1/4 way though, but some people want to write the end or whatever. If I break chronology, break my plan, I can write a more exciting bit, a more formed bit, or just see it as drating out ideas and exploring my choice of language.

    I have the problem with one piece of work that I can't write the beginning - the setup for the character to get into the siutation the novel is about. It's really annoying, because the more I write later on, the more I need the first bit to build upon. I know what happens in essence, I have a rough idea where I want to start (halfway through the set up sequence - such that the skipped over bit is explained in the bit included and it condenses what could be otherwise very boring), but not what images. Perhaps you have the "no images" problem. One way to try to get images is to go out, look at the things around you and how you can see them, describe them. Maybe my character is lonely. I'm at a bus stop. Could I write something about sitting at a bus stop, watching bus after bus go past, life continuing, andjust being there, being out of it?
     
  11. cuetip29
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    cuetip29 New Member

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    For me, I've learned to accept the fact that I'm probably going to hate my first draft of a piece. Especially if its something I've been holding onto and playing out in my mind, because its so close to me that nothing does it justice.

    But guess what? Having something written (even if you think if fails miserably) is better than having nothing. You can always go back and re-work it. You have to just fight through. If you find a certain scene is especially hard for you to get down the way you want it, write a brief synopsis and key things you want to happen. Then go write a different scene and come back to the other later.

    I used to always hate my writing. I would start a story, not get past the beginning, and scrap the whole thing. That left me with a whole lot of heartache and nothing to show for it. I still hate a lot of the writing I do on a first draft, but sometimes, amongst all that crap, is this nugget of gold that i didnt even realize i had. So, like you'll hear over and over: stick with it and write!
     
  12. sam80
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    sam80 Member

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    @cuetip29. That resonates with me sooo much, that is exactly the problem. And I took every ones advice and hey I have a third of chapter one and a bit of chapter two (unless i edit the order). Not saying they are good, but its a step.

    Thank you everyone
     
  13. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    In my experience, a novel grows a little bit like a tree. When you are at the very beginning, you start at the deepest roots, which feels uncomfortable, because the roots are small, and are burried deep down in dark, black soil. As you continue to grow the story, one sentence or one paragraph at a time, you gradually get to the point where you leave the roots behind, come out of the soil (Ah! Fresh air and sunlight!), and you start building a solid tree trunk that rises into the air. That's when you've done the initial world-building, and your story really starts to move and flourish. The best part comes when you reach the crown of the tree. Lots and lots of branches, with leaves and blossoms at their tips!

    I don't know if that makes sense. What I'm trying to bring across is - the beginning of a novel is hard to put to paper. As the story grows, and you progress forward, things get better with time.

    It is also likely that your writing quality will get better with each chapter (because you become more experienced, and more comfortable with writing).

    This means that once you are all the way through, you should go back to you initial chapters and edit/partially rewrite them for a better reading experience.

    I hope this helps in some way...
     
  14. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm at the same place with this new novel I want to write. Maybe because I will have to explore a different territory to write it, one I'm not too familiar with, so that feels a little intimidating to be honest and words have never been this hard to get on paper before. (I haven't even started yet) I can't even figure out where to start, how to start or with which character I should start (there are two). I'd say make yourself sit down and write it. that's what I'm going to do, as soon as I have gathered the right amount of courage anyway.
     
  15. Corybobory
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    Corybobory New Member

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    When I'm stuck, I just write a scene that I know will happen - I don't try to start from the beginning or anything. That usually starts me off, and then I can jump around to other pieces. Would that work getting you started?
     
  16. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everyone's crap in the beginning because you can only get "good" through practice. I'd suggest trying short stories before you take on a novel, but even your first novel probably won't meet the standards you're actually capable of. You just have to keep chipping away at it and hope that one day you get to where you wanna be with your writing.
     

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