1. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    help

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Heather Louise, Dec 10, 2006.

    i have a big problem when i start writing a novel. most times i think of a good plot, start writing and then stop after the first couple of paragraphs. the furthest i ever got on a story was i got a couple of chapters done, but then when i read it it lacked detail and sounded rushed. does anyone have any methods of keeping motivated.
    thanks, heather x
     
  2. Torpeh
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    Torpeh Member

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    I find getting inspiration the best way to keep motivated - have something to aspire to. If you set yourself a target to get to Chapter 1, then from there Chapter 2, then 3 and so on, it should give you some drive to write. Of course, we all read back on our work and find mistakes, so go through and change the stuff you don't like; don't give up right away. Rewriting and revising is as important than the original writing.
     
  3. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    I'm actually going to disagree with Torpeh here. Instead of re-reading back on a previous chapter to rewrite them for mistakes/structre, etc, etc, simply keep notes of them on scrap paper or a file on your computer and go back to them at a much later time. The last thing you want happening is to hamper your creativity when you're in the chug! When you hit fuel DON'T stop until you hit the damn wall! Editing and rewriting should not happen during the creative phase of writing but when you are actually in a more critical mood and you have got most of the good shit down ready for scrutiny, even if only to make it better by way of honing in on it.

    As for the problems you're facing with you're actual writing, it sounds something close to writer's block or thereabouts.

    What you have to remember first of all is that both plot and character are actually synonymous when it comes to writing - they both compliment each other as they both feed from each other. Events of a story are directly influenced by the characters and their decisions based on a given situation within the context of the information you are trying to convey at any point of your story.
    Are your characters undeveloped?
    You say you can knock out a good plot but it sounds like you haven't worked on your characters first. They are important. Neglect them at your own peril; they will neglect you in kind.
    Simply working on plot, or only becoming inspired by the plot is like working on the boat: if there's no people in it then it's going nowhere.

    I suggest you go right back to the beginning and concentrate on the basics of your story first: what is it actually about?
    Can you tell us what it is from beginning to middle to the climax in only a few sentences? I ask because if you can't simplify your idea then it's not fully developed in order for it to be simplified i.e. to completeness.
    Who is the protagonist? Why is that person the protagonist and not someone else?

    I could go on all day with this.
     
  4. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    iyaa,
    thanks for both of your advice, and i will take note of them.

    Who is the protagonist? Why is that person the protagonist and not someone else?

    what does that mean??

    thanks
    heather :D
    [/COLOR]
     
  5. IndianaJoan
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    IndianaJoan Contributing Member

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    Protagonist is the main character "hero or heroine" of your story.

    Antagonist is the character that works against the Protagonist.
     
  6. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    What I'm trying to say - is the character you have chosen for the central character in your story strong enough to be the main character? Is there another that's much stronger in terms of their central needs?

    As IndianaJoan has stated:

    Although what technically makes a character a protagonist is a lot more deep than that. A protagonist is defined as a character in your story who has the greatest need, the greatest obstacles to overcome in order to achieve their needs and who has the most to lose if they were to fail in their "quest" of the story (it all depends on how your story defines a character's quest/jouney/etc, etc).

    As an example, if your story is about a woman's experience of suffering at the hands of a rapist then I doubt that the police officer doing the reporting (if there happens to be one) is going to be defined as the protagonist because you have made the conscious choice to tell the story from the point of view of the victim. The main focus of the story wouldn't be in the actual attack but the aftermath of her in not only trying hard to come to terms with being raped but also of the shocking twist of having to make the harsh decision of whether to raise or abort the baby...a double whammy!

    Or you could actually do the unpredictable of actually telling the story from the point of view of the reporting police officer.

    It all depends on what story you want to tell, but by definition the protagonist is the stronger character with the strongest needs with the most to learn and grow through what's called a character arc. However, a hero is not always the protagonist. They can be two seperate characters that you'd typically see in buddy films, such as Se7en et al.

    Does this make sense? I re-read my response and it seems okay.

    Is there another character in your current story who has a much stronger purpose to be the main character or with a much stronger story to tell? If there is then you might want to consider doing a revised story design. Just my opinion of course, but it's due to not knowing what your story is actually about.
     
  7. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks, i get you now. i think i should really rethink the way that i start a story actually. i tend to start by making a charector, making a opening chapter and then get stuck on what to do next, i think i should spend some more time planning it out maybe, actually knowing what is going to happen in my story? sorry, i'm sort of talking to myself now, lol
    thanks
    heather
    :)
     
  8. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    Ah, I see - you're freewriting. I understand now. Well then take what you have already written and scrutinise it and scrutinise it well. Identify everything you can about the main thrust of a possible story and who could possibly have any nuances of being the main character.
    Keep only those two for now (save everything else for any possible future use) and carry on creative freewriting using simplicity - keep it simple. Save complexity for a more appropriate time...you don't want to get bogged down by stretching everything too thinly. That way far yonder lies the cursed writers block :eek: :D
     
  9. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks for the advise, i will use that and maybe even pick up my work where i left off, lol.
    thanks
    heather :)
     

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