1. mojojojo0
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    mojojojo0 New Member

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    How DOES one get (and keep) going?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mojojojo0, Feb 25, 2008.

    Hi,
    I'm a n00b within the confines of these forum walls, so here is my introductory posting. (Years from now, I hope to look back and say it was the beginning of something great.)

    ANYWAY, for the longest time, I have been able to come up with ideas for short stories, novels and scripts, and often have started getting them down on paper/digital media. I always find myself stopping after a week of working on it though, I quickly become tired of it... more often than not, I become aware that I could do better, and simply throw away any progress I have made.

    I was just wondering if anybody could give me any tips on not just keeping motivated, but believing that I am good enough to have started in the first place. If that makes sense?

    (I currently have the GREATEST idea for a story, but don't want to start writing it, because I just know what will happen to it, and I want this one to be different)
     
  2. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most recent thing that happened to me, similar to you, was finding myself with an amazing idea but hating the writing. I'd already done about 12 or so pages in the third person, but I hate how I write in that format. So before I got too depressed I decided to hell with it and now I'm writing in the first person. I believe it improves the quality of my writing and makes a better story. Not only that, I'm finding myself returning to the story eager to write.

    Another thing I realised was that I tended to write overly long chapters. To make my writing addictive I've started writing much shorter chapters (900-2000 words), and this means I can complete a full chapter in a single sitting, giving a greater sense of accomplishment.

    Anyway, that's just the current way I've overcome this problem.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mojojojo0,

    You'll just have to sit down and type out that first draft, knowing that it will need revision and editing...more than one to be sure.

    You have to have faith that what you will ultimately produce will be good enough. You have to be willing to devote the time. Writing, while often enjoyable, is work. It's hard. It takes time, effort, energy, concentration, and draws you away from other activities you could be doing. You have to make it a priority. Not necessarily the top priority, but it can't be at the bottom of the list. It takes self-discipline and internal motivation. Others can support and cheer you on, but ultimately it is you who has to do the work and follow through.

    Getting that first draft finished, will feel great, and rejuvenate your spirit. Enough possibly to research and edit and revise and do what it takes to get the work in shape for submission.

    Then there is the writing while the work is out there. Getting another story/novel ready.

    You'll find that by the time you are through your initial novel's first draft, you'll look back on the first chapters and see how much you've learned and improved...and will be able to make the second draft superior to what you initially wrote. And probably your second novel or short story, etc. will be better in many ways that your first, as you learn more about writing and telling stories.

    If you want hard enough to endure and follow through, you will. If it's not in your heart...if you can't self-motivate, then it won't get finished.

    Maybe start with short fiction (it's not exactly the same as writing a novel--but there are a lot of similarities). Shorter projects, shorter spans of concentrated effort, and still ending up with a completed project. It all depends on your goals and the stories you have to tell.

    Hang in there!

    Terry
     
  4. (Mark)
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    (Mark) Contributing Member

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    I've found if you want to write something longer, you have to think about it a little while first. Then, you do a some research. It's nothing serious, just a trip to the library or some time on the Internet. You do that to see how feasible your idea really is. Then you think about it some more.

    Eventually, you sit down and start writing. This is the difficult part, because if you want to write something longer, you have to almost obsess over the story. For me, I have to think about it every day... When I wake up, when I go to bed, when I'm eating a grapefruit or when I'm walking to class, that story is in my mind.

    This obsession eventually leads you to understand your story more so than just a couple of ideas that sound good to you. When you understand it, you have a greater desire to sit down and write it.

    Additionally, many writers set off a block of time during the day and force themselves to write then. Even if you're just writing about how much you don't like some band or you're writing about what you did last night, you're still writing. After spending some of that block of time getting yourself into the mood to write, I think you'd spend the rest of it working on your novel/screenplay/short story etc.

    Good luck.
     
  5. JustinaB
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    JustinaB Active Member

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    I was going to say basically the same thing as TWErvin2. The first chapter I wrote in my novel I loved, initially. Then I reread it and hated it. So I revised it and revised it and revised it until I felt good about it. I spent so much time doing that that I didn't even start my 2nd chapter. I realized that the best thing to do is just to write... Now, I am on my 11th chapter and over halfway done for my middle grade novel.

    It is hard just to keep going. I keep thinking how horrible chapter 9 and 10 are, even though they aren't, and am tempted to go back over them. I think it is wise to just keep the flow going, even if you hate it, and then go back and revise it in the end. You may still hate some of the writing, but I am positive there will be a lot you can keep!
     
  6. writiki
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    writiki Member

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    I agree with Twervin and others who posted. I think the biggest thing is to start writing and once you get a flow going, avoid stopping as much as you can. As long as you have that idea in your head you should be able to carve a story out around it. Then, try not to be too critical on yourself as you complete the first draft. You may go back after the thing is done and completely throw out 30 pages or more, and you might end up rewriting, but having the whole thing in front of you will be satisfying, and give you a great milestone to work from.

    Also, if you come up to any blocks, try bouncing ideas around writing forums like this one, etc...
     
  7. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    Just keep writing. You will do better when you revise. At least give yourself something to work with.
     
  8. ChaoticMethods
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    ChaoticMethods New Member

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    What I usually do is take the concept of the story, then begin to play it out like a movie in my head (yeah, I know. weird, huh?) From there, I just sort of play with different concepts until it fits together. After that, it becomes a matter of describing the movie in your head, then revising the description.

    Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for what keeps me writing, except that I want to tell a story only I can tell.
     
  9. codyco
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    codyco Member

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    Another thing that I would suggest, and is something that I have employed many times, is to set aside a time every day to work on your writing. Just an hour or so, that way you do not get to burnt out writing in big chunks of time but you still get it done. It has worked for me . . well hope that helps.
     
  10. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    i totally do that too! i've even got soundtracks playing when that happens:cool: i am also struggling with the same problem and realize that there;s no point in making it perfect the first time if you're just going to revise it later. thanx guys you helped me out of a rut.:)
     
  11. daryldarko
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    daryldarko New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm a noob too and have the same general question(s) mojojojo has. All of these responses have hit the nail on the head for me, except that maybe I can take the dilemma a little deeper.

    I've done all the research already, and I know the course of my story inside out. I am experiencing fear about putting those "first words" down on paper because of how they will project the ultimate direction and unfolding of the story. There are several different places (geographical and historical) where I could start the story and several different people who could start to tell it. Where and who I choose to start the "telling" will influence the "voice" for the rest of the novel. Or so I keep telling myself.

    I keep letting quandaries like this put off "the starting" of just doing it... Basically, I think I am suffering from "information overload" in that I know who everyone is and I know everything (for the most part) that will happen.

    Just write it, "damn it", right?

    cheers,
    daryl
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Pretty much.

    Keep in mind that what you write down is not set in stone, especially in this world of computers and word processors. Revising does not mean you have to type or scribble an entire chapter over again from scratch.

    Revision is particularly your friend if you have this reluctance of starting because what you write drives all that follows. You WILL revise, both in minor cleanup and major restructuring, so don't be afraid to write down the idea of the moment and see where it takes you.
     
  13. daryldarko
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    daryldarko New Member

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    Oh, I am glad to hear that someone else does, and recommends this practice. It is what I have been doing off and on over the past 2 years while I have been researching, plotting and developing my story. To think that by going "deeper into it" while writing is a key option excites me.

    Thanks!!
     

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