1. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    Hit a wall

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Balmarog, Feb 21, 2012.

    I'm not sure what to do. I finished writing act 1 of my story and then for some reason, I'm having trouble pushing on to act 2. It might just be the pressure or fear of failure, but I also feel a sudden disconnect with my characters.
    I'm not sure if I'm asking for help here or just venting, but it's been a few days since I wrote anything and it just kind of sucks.
     
  2. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    It sounds like you are in rough-draft stage? Don't worry about writing well, that's what rewrites are for. Just get whatever crap comes out on the page. Rough drafts are for quantity, not quality.

    And how fleshed out is your plot? Do you know pretty much how the rest of the play goes?
     
  3. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    It's very rough draft, yes. I consider it almost like a detailed outline because it's all stream of thought writing right now. I have ideas of what's going on and where it's going, but nothing is set in stone. I know that a lot of it will be crap until the rewrite, where I'll pull it all together and make it more coherent.

    I'm trying to narrow my focus and figure out what my problem is, but there are several little things. I might just jump into it and not worry about how it comes out. Like you said, quantity over quality at this point.
     
  4. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Yeah, that's the thing. Many writers get stuck "waiting for inspiration" when the real trick is to just push through and force your brain to be creative.

    So how bad is this wall? Are you just frustrated by the amount of work you have left, or do you really feel you don't know what to do next?
     
  5. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    I think part of it was thinking about how much is left and how long it's going to take to get through it. That's definitely a cloud over my head right now. When I was writing the first part of it, I loved it- loved writing every part of it. Looking ahead, I just feel dread for what I have to do. I'm thinking that I need to look at my characters and love them again, flesh them out, ect.

    It just feels weird and discouraging to go from full-speed-ahead to dead-stop.
     
  6. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Yeah, that totally sucks. But I think that's part of the writer's experience. And it can be discouraging when you know how much work you have to do. Maybe you've written something in the past, and it's taken a really long time? Keep in mind that, every time you write, that process gets a little faster.

    You said you're kind of outline-writing. Have you picked an ending? I find I need to know how something ends, so I know how to get there. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but it starts to give your current writing some direction.
     
  7. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Ooh, I know how that is. Well, um, I guess you could try to enjoy writing the chapter itself you're working on. Close your eyes and visualize the scene in your head. Play it out like a movie. Hang out around the things that inspired you in the first place. Or perhaps you could write some backstory for a character to get interested in them.
     
  8. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    A couple things I do to help me reconnect with my story are reread so I can get in the flow of the story, edit and clean things up and/or find a fan (Yes that would be my dad or best friend but anyone who loves the story will do) and talk about the story, explore different plot twists and generally involve yourself in the story world.
     
  9. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    I haven't picked an ending, no. In the past, knowing too much has ruined my own story for me, so I'm relying on a very organic method this time. Like you said before, the rewrite will fix pretty much everything :p
    I was thinking along that line too. I really think that focusing on each little part as it comes would be good and focus on the characters.


    I'm not sure I want to go back, because frankly, it's already pretty messy and I might end up changing the order of everything later any way.
     
  10. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    While "pantsing" (a term I've heard used to describe a writer who writes by the seat of their pants) can be more enjoyable, it can be severely debilitating. I think that might be what's happening here. Because you probably don't have a set direction, you don't know where to go. There are too many options. For me, I figure out basically the whole story conceptually before hand, and write it all out in an outline. I still get stuck on some scenes, but it's a lot easier to jump start my writing again. I just ask myself "What has to happen next in order to continue to the end?"

    You don't have to write structurally all the time, but it may be helpful in certain situations like the one you're in now.
     
  11. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    True. I do know what's going on as far as the main plot, but not the ending. I know what I want to happen right up to the climax. After that is anybody's guess though.
     
  12. spelsh
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    Its common to start off strong and then suddenly new and fresh ideas seem sparse, but keep at it. Take time to think about what made you start writing and where did you initially see the story heading...I'm in a similar situation at the moment and have been many times before and what I find helps is to just keep writing, just let the words flow and you may be surprised what comes out. Keep reading other books by authors you like, maybe bestsellers in a similar genre or a favorite of yours. As for not having an ending, maybe for now pick one, and work towards that, you can always change further down the line but at least for now you'll have a something in your sights to aim for. I guess the important thing to remember is that there are many people with the same concerns as you and sooner or later you will find some new inspiration to get your story moving again. Good luck
     
  13. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    Thanks everyone. This talk has helped me I think.
     
  14. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Set them in stone. Make a concrete outline, and hold yourself accountable to it. There is always a lot of crap to fix later, but the plot should be crystal clear in the first draft. The more you know about your plot, the easier it is to keep the story going.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It sounds like you ended Act I with no clear direction forward. No unresolved crises still in flux, maybe even no tension.

    In other words, no ongoing momentum.
     
  16. Balmarog
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    I actually feel like there's some good build up. There are a number of things going on, spread out between a handful of characters, all of which is related.

    Your comment on "no clear direction" might be accurate though, and my overall plot idea has shifted a little bit from what I had in mind originally. That may have been the big problem, and I think it's starting to get better. I think I'm going to put some more thought into where it's going, as a few people have suggested, and see how I do.

    Thanks all!

    edit- I should add that there's another story in my head that's itching to get out. It's a bit of a distraction...
     
  17. Balmarog
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    I'm going to post this here because it still relates to hitting a wall.

    I'm starting to have some serious doubts about whether or not I can write a novel. I've always wanted to tell stories, I know that, but I keep hitting road blocks.

    As an example, I had an idea yesterday that I thought was really good. It was a variation on what I had already been writing, but a little more realized in my head. I thought that would keep me on track. But today, it sounds very amateurish to me. I'm not sure if I could write it, and even if I could, would it be any good?

    Even with these doubts, should I just try to push through and see what happens? Should I wait and see how I feel about it a few more days from now? I can't be the only one who thinkgs about this kind of thing...
     
  18. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my experience there are days when your story feels absolutely crap and just a few days later it feels good again. I never understood what these days depend upon, but I've come to look at them as natural.
    Re the idea, I have also noticed that sometimes when I come up with an idea at night, before going to bed, when I read in through the next day in broad daylight it feels a lot less appealing. Give the ideas some time, see if they stick, if they just fade away within a few days it was probably not a story idea worth executing. If it sticks in your head, and you think about it more often, developing the characters or the plot in your head as you do other things, then it might be one worth giving a try, but no one never has any guarantees on the outcome of their ideas. That's why writing is a little like gambling. If you believe in them you have to take the risk.
    Even if it sounds like a great idea you might have problem with putting words on it, or give the reader the same images you "see" in your head. You need a lot of patience and time and perseverance. I also think you should be aware of the fact that almost every writer hit roadblocks at some point, even repeatedly. You just need to find a way around them and not letting them stop you.
     
  19. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    Good advice.
    Thanks :)
     

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