1. Leftwing
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    Leftwing Member

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    Hitting a wall

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Leftwing, Mar 19, 2011.

    I seem to be having this issue where once I get about 3000-5000 words down I seem to hit a brick wall. Before that point the words just keep on flowing, but it seems I just hit an imaginary wall after my first 10-20 pages have passed. I still have fresh thoughts of what I intend to do next, but I just cannot get the words to flow, as every time I try to push through it I find myself rewriting the same part over and over again.

    Is this some form of writers block? I'm sure I'm not the only person who has a wall, and I'm sure everyone has a part where they get stuck, but how do you guys and gals get over that hump of that wall?

    Sincerely,
    Leftwing
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    You need to give yourself permission to write badly, you can always edit and fix later. What's most likely happening is you're trying to edit and write at the same time, worrying about plot holes, grammar, punctuation, descriptions, and getting everything perfect the first time. Stop that.
     
  3. Leftwing
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    Leftwing Member

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    I wouldn't say I'm trying to edit and write at the same time, maybe I am subconsciously, but I definitely don't intend to. Thanks for the suggestion!
     
  4. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    You're welcome :) I hope it helps. I know I do it even when I don't realize it. Just make yourself write down anything that pops into your head (try to think of your story of course) and you'll get past it. You may have to delete most of it when you eventually edit, but it will get you through it.
     
  5. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    Definitely don't be afraid to write badly. I write excellent short work, but when I do longer pieces, I really have to force myself to write it even though I can't abide by it. I find though that I have a blast fixing it up when I come through to revise.
     
  6. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    May be your problem is trying to write the perfect first draft, which in my book is undo-able. You learn a bit about writing craft and such, you read well written books, and suddenly you raise your bar for your first draft..... and everything you write seems mediocre. Well, learning is alright, but don't let it affect your writing negatively. But of course, I am just assuming here, your problem may be of different nature.
     
  7. Leftwing
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    Leftwing Member

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions, and for taking the time to help me out. I think what Manay wrote really hit the mark with the fact that I may have set my standard for a rough draft too high.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree don't worry about what you write just keep writing it - write, fluff, filler, dialogue, sex, magic anything that gets you to the next bit.

    I use Milly my story fairy when I get stuck. You take it all out and rewrite it later once you have the story. The only character in all my first drafts but never in a finished one lol Feel free to borrow her or make your own.
     
  9. Sackninja
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    Sackninja Member

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    This exact same thing happened to me only because I had one scene which I just couldn't get the flow on. I'll probably figure out how to write it soon. Some of the reason I can't write it because it seems too much like a miraculous last minute save which it sort of is. Avoid making it so you have no choice but to go one way with a scene then you can change t to make it so you have a flow to your writing again. Any way I'd just well write as much as you can, read over what you wrote and just say it will do for now.

    (On a side note Elgaisma you seem to mention sex in every one of your posts except your stories for children or maybe that's just me finding only your posts that do.)
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL I have 4000+ posts no not all of them include sex (I must be doing something wrong ;) ) - however learning to write sex has been one of the most useful tools since becoming a writer, it is exceptional for improving romantic scenes, action scenes, fight scenes. Helps with general description. A good sex scene has to use all the senses, includes body language and an intense interaction between characters. Even if you don't feel comfortable including steamy scene in your writing for others I think it's a great skill for improving story telling ability.

    I do my writing in a chatroom involving erotica/romance fiction ladies - those writers need to know their way round the publishing industry, how to write a synopsis not to mention make a wage out of their writing - so yes that comes up. And in posts like this sex is a useful filler if you don't mind writing it. I take most of it out on rewrite - only actually have one on camera sex scene in a final draft with a character I was going to kill off the next day (felt he should be granted his hearts desire for one night only).

    I have shared upwards of ten excerpts/stories only one that needed a sexual warning of any level was Sherlock Foam and that only applies to adults, my kids can read most of the sketches and think it is a funny story about a fire extinguisher and a bankers lamp.
     
  11. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    Just a small point to add...I don't exactly hit a wall after my first 5000 words or so, but that's usually the point where the first draft stops seeming as perfect as what's in my head. I start out really excited, thinking, "Wow, this is going to be the greatest thing I've written," and it can be a bit of a let-down when
    it doesn't come out that way. As others have said, it's important to just keep writing anyway.
     
  12. Leftwing
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    Leftwing Member

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    It's funny you mention sex because I was actually just thinking about how I would write that scene. Thanks everyone for your help!
     
  13. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If feel blocked doing one scene, switching what scene or part of the story you work on might brake it. You dont have to write them in the order you will put them in the book.
     
  14. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    I am not such an artist , I feel my tone will be tainted if I read published authors, in fact I find many prompts, twists, ideas (call them what you want ) thru avid reading of stuff on the market today. To make the reading more beneficial, I avoid the "name brand' authors with track records that afford them much greater latitude with publisher/editors. I will go to my grave hollering writers are readers inspired to the point of emulation.
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol see sometimes it works - seriously though i find just talking to another writer or person helps feel free to PM me if you want to chat. Nothing unblocks me faster normally than asking a silly question of someone and the responses shake my brain and let ideas fall out :)
     
  16. Sackninja
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    Sackninja Member

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    Well I'm a eleven so don't think I can use your tip. ;) Anything other tips for getting past a block in your story.
     
  17. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    you could try reading the original post without your hormones ;) :eek:
     
  18. Leftwing
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    Leftwing Member

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    An eleven? Like grade 11?

    @ Elgaisma

    I'm always willing to chat.
     
  19. Computersleuth
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    Computersleuth New Member

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    When I hit a block, it is usually because I need to create more/different characters and/or settings to move the story forward.

    I am currently at a block because the thread I'm writing is not giving me what I need to advance the suspense or intrigue I'm looking for.

    I hope this helps . . .
     
  20. Sackninja
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    Sackninja Member

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    No like age 11
    1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11. It's my brothers account.
     
  21. Leftwing
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    Leftwing Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up, I was unsure by what you meant. Good to see young people still have somewhat of an interest in writing, it seems most people I know at that age don't read books.
     
  22. Sackninja
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    Sackninja Member

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    I've been reading alot since I was... I'd like to say 7. Also If you hit a wall then just take a break until you come up with an idea. Also ask people you know to read your story and ask what you should do next.
    Or you could just write a load of short stories until you get enough ideas.
     
  23. OrangeInAir
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    OrangeInAir Member

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    I find that partially writing a draft, then going back and editing what I've written, gives me more ideas for enriching what's there and also possibly adding to the plot. However, doing this too much to the same part will quickly bore you and you won't want to write on that story anymore. Like other people have said, skipping ahead to a later scene might work well too; it's something I've myself just begun doing in a story I just started.
     
  24. slyfox
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    slyfox Member

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    hitting the wall and editing as you go

    I edit as I go and it drives me crazy, I feel I can't move on until the bit I'm working on is good enough. But, I think it was Hemingway who said "there's no such thing as good writing, there's just good rewriting". Good advice, I wish i could stick to it...
     
  25. Gingerbiscuit
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    Gingerbiscuit Senior Member

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    My biggest problem is that I am a slothenly, slothenly man. I tend to hit that brick wall myself but generally just because something in the story reminds that I want a cigarette or that I haven't eaten any icecream yet today, or because I look out the window and see a cloud that looks a bit like Bruce Forsythe.

    But that may not be your issue.

    I think another problem I have is that it takes me too long to get through the story. I write like a man possessed on the first ten thousand words or so because I have the energy and excitement. But I then start to think "hmmm, this is really long. Maybe I'll just go and play Call of Duty for a while."

    I find that the best way to overcome both of these issues is to avoid any kind of distraction. Unplug the internet, close the curtains, turn off the phone and just power through it. I also find that it helps to have a girlfriend who screams at me every time I go downstairs when I'm supposed to be writing.

    "You promised me you'd be a novelist by now!" she will cry. "Now get upstairs and don't come down until you've got a Booker prize!"

    I'm sure she loves me really.
     

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