1. Reagan
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    Reagan New Member

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    How Do You Solidify Ideas?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Reagan, Sep 26, 2016.

    Okay, so at the moment I'm attempting to write several different stories. And in case any of you say that's not a good idea, know that if I just focus on one I eventually get more and more frustrated with it until I just drop it.

    Anyway, one of these stories I'm perfectly happy with, I made one semi major change recently, but even with that it didn't change much at all in any truly important way.

    But the others, I am in love with these ideas, and I so badly want to get them down, but the only thing is, I'm never happy with what I have thought out, I'm constantly changing things, even if at it's core the stories stay the same. But like with characters, I redesign someone, and love them, but eventually as I plan more I grow disinterested in them. And I hate that.

    So, can anyone tell me how I might be able to escape from this? At least enough that I stick with something.
     
  2. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    Keep writing and planning a little bit each day. If certain characters and ideas aren't working for you, scrap them and create an entirely new character. Their creation might spark a new idea.

    I've never quite grown disinterested in any of my works in the development stage so I've never needed to overcome that particular problem. But if I have lost interest in an old work, I think about how I might make a "reboot" so to speak. That usually gets me excited again.
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    From what I read on the forum, it seems like quite a few new writers suffer from this 'divine discontent' that makes them abandon stories and constantly start new ones instead. They don't finish anything. They start something, decide they don't like it, start something else, decide they don't like that, start yet another thing ...and on and on.

    The trick to getting out of any rut, really, is to try something new. If you just keep repeating the same pattern, you're likely to get the same result. Seems logical. So I reckon you need to change your approach.

    First of all, I'm assuming that you are actually writing your stories, not just 'planning' them. You must actually write, if you're going to get out of this rut. Actually do it. Write the story itself, not just notes or outlines.

    What I would do in your case is develop a different wish for yourself. Not to miraculously FIND the perfect story or have it drop out of the ether onto your computer. But to CREATE the perfect story. Creation takes time and effort, trial and error.

    Start with an idea, and write while you're inspired. Then, when you go off the idea or the character, don't walk away. FIGURE OUT WHY. What has gone wrong with that idea/character? Why are you losing interest? You need to identify the problem in a specific way. Not: 'I don't like this character any more,' but something more like: 'this character is a complainer,' or 'this character hasn't got much of a personality.' Then, once you've put your finger on what's wrong, you need to fix the problem, not abandon the problem. It really is simple.

    Yes, there are thousands of other ideas and characters out there, but as a writer—surely—you want to finish something, don't you? If that's the case, then you should create a method of finishing that works for you.

    I honestly feel that stories don't just jump, full-blown, into writers' heads. An idea is a spark for a project, not a finished project. Expecting ideas to just whirl you along without any snags is not realistic. Expect the snags. And react to them by working your way out of them, not abandoning the project.

    In any job you do, there are always other jobs waiting to be done. But what do you do, if you're in paid employment? You may have more than one thing on the go at once, if you can multi-task. But you finish stuff. Then go on to the next thing. See if you can apply that mentality to your writing. Solve problems, don't walk away from them.

    If you get a wonderful idea for another writing project when you're in the middle of writing something else, make a note of it. Create a file on your computer called 'ideas' and write a paragraph or so, to remind yourself of the idea later on. You won't lose it. But then go back to the project you're working on and get it done. If you're not happy with how it's going, figure out why, and fix it.

    If you go off your character, make changes to your character until they do mesh with your core idea. If you think the plot is silly, go back to where it got silly, and rethink the direction. Get in the habit of recognising what has gone wrong and fixing it. There isn't any magic to this process, but it can be a lot of fun. Just keep at it until it's done. You'll feel much better about yourself and your ability to write. People will take your writing seriously. And you'll move into your next project, confident that you CAN do it.

    By the way, it's perfectly okay to work on a couple of stories at once. Many famous writers do that. If it keeps you fresh, by all means do that. Go between one and another, as the mood moves you. But the trick is not to abandon any of them. And keep the number of projects realistic. If you've written only the first chapters of 40 different novels, and you're about to write Chapter One of novel number 41, I'd say ...woops. Maybe not a good plan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  4. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    stop planning and start pantsing - not that theres anything wrong with planning per se but if you feel that its removing your interest in your characters then just leave the planning and write them ... it doesnt matter if whatyou write changed in the process (it almost certainly will).

    I spent ages planning my current wip but i just couldnt get excited by it. after putting the plan to one site unworked on for 8 months I eventually decided to just run with it , 2 months and rewites later i'm now on 50k words and about halfway through the story (which only vagely resembles the original plan)... I only have a vague idea of what happens (the good guys win), and i just dream a chpt or two ahead

    I'd also recomend a progress journal here , and finding yourself an alpha reader to help on the journey
     
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  5. Reagan
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    Reagan New Member

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    That's actually brings about a funny story, but three of the stories I'm working on, were created that way. I started with one, and over time I made change after change to it, until it basically became an entirely new story. Then the same happened with that one.

    Eventually when I first realized I was burning myself out only focusing on one, I realized, those three ideas are so vastly different, and despite the fact that I changed them the way I did, I still love the ideas, so why not make all three. :3

    Also, my main problem is I'm a bit OCD, I so badly want to be able to just write and not make big edits till the second draft, but I'm unable to, I have to see what I'm writing as just right, which usually leads to constant word, sentence, paragraph deletions. It's why I'm not that far into any of them.

    Haha, don't worry, I'm not that crazy. I have 7, that's it. And it's been the way for a long while. I get possible ideas from time to time, but I just write them down and put them aside for maybe later. These are enough for me.
     

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