1. Manutebecker
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    Manutebecker Member

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    How often do you get flat out frustrated at your own writing/writing style???

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Manutebecker, Apr 2, 2009.

    I pose the subject question because I, myself, often get very frustrated when it comes to trying to make a scene just right. Almost all of the time I have what I want to say figured out before I start typing. Let's say I have my scene in mind, and that scene is a kid who looks like Jame Dean driving down a lone stretch of highway. There is a storm and the kid has a cigarette pursed in his lips. What I have problems with is taking a scene like this and writing it down, not for myself, but for the reader.
    I use the Stephen King writing system. I will take whatever works I have done and store them away after I finish a draft, only to come back a week later (he says wait six weeks, but I simply don't have the time) and revise it, assuming yourself as the "Ideal Reader" of your story. It's an effective method, no doubt. The problem I have is that I simply dislike my work after that time, and just get flat out frustrated. Does anyone else experience similar cases?
     
  2. PS Foster
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    PS Foster Member

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    All the time!! :redface:
     
  3. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    Indeed it does. I often fear that my writing style is juvenile. I also have this big annoyance with my character development. I fear my characters correct theyre wrongs too quickly for the reader to keep up with, or even don't change enough for it to be noticeable.
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I'm not really the kind of person who gets frustrated with things. But there are times when it takes me forever to think of a way to paint an image. Or rather to produce the desired feeling.

    I actually think it is easy to paint images with words. What I have troubles with, is producing the atmosphere, the feeling I want.
     
  5. lucyvp
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    lucyvp Member

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    I worry about that too with my work. I write very simply, and sometimes it just doesn't seem 'grown up' or sophisticated enough.
     
  6. Nobody Important
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    Nobody Important Member

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    I don't think I'm a good writer. I love my ideas and I'm really creative so I'm making up for it in that way, I think. My writing only sounds halfway decent when I edit it about 5 or more times.
     
  7. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I don't get frustrated with my writing, though I occasionally get sick of it. Some days I will read a bunch of work and question how on earth I ever thought it was good. I have times where I'm frustrated with my apparent lack of ability to convey what I want to in just the right way, but the second that starts to happen I drop it immediately. The last thing I want is to struggle to put the words on the page - I feel it's a waste of my time to try, spend and hour or two getting a few words out that I'll probably scrap later anyway.

    Unless I suffer from a sudden bout of amnesia, it would be impossible for me to read my writing from someone else's perspective. I will always know - no matter how long ago - that I wrote it, and my opinions on my writing can only come from that knowledge. (I've not read any of Steven King's books - fictional or otherwise - so could you perhaps clarify for me what the "ideal reader" is? Cos anyone who reads my work is ideal to me, regardless of whether they like it... :p).

    Sometimes, when I'm really down about my own writing (i.e. 'everything I have ever written is utter rubbish' mode), I either start something completely new, or leave the actual writing alone for a while and focus on some of the good things other people have had to say about it. I think it happens to everyone - even authors that have written books touted as great literary work have subsequently dismissed them as utter carp. I guess if you are able to see your work from a completely different perspective, maybe you could try writing it again from that perspective and see how they compare >?
     
  8. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    whenever i do, i try to improve, read more, see what can be done.
     
  9. davogler
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    davogler New Member

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    I tend to begin writing a scene and find myself wanting to describe it from many perspectives and have trouble narrowing down which perspecitve I want to go with. For instance, a character is to pull into a parking spot in front of a small cafe, enter and order a coffee....my mind immediately tries to change the view to a waitress standing behind a counter and watching a guy getting out of his car through a plate glass window, and/or an old lady walking her dog has to reign in the pooch as it tries to jump on the guy about to enter a coffee shop, or a hung-over college student holds the door open for a well-dressed gentleman entering the local Coffee Haus...and with all of these open doors, it becomes extremely difficult to wrestle out the perfect one. ARRRGGHHH!! :)
     
  10. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Honestly I'm actually quite frustrated right now because I can see the scene I'm trying to write perfectly well in my head, but then when I put it down on paper it doesn't read the way I see it in my mind >< I think i might be due to the fact I'm writing it in first person present (I usually write first person past), so I think it might just be the added difficulty of the different tense.

    Other than that, I don't really get all that frustrated with my writing style.

    ~Lynn
     
  11. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    Too often! -_-'

    I can't write more than 1,000 words at a time before I become so annoyed with my writing. I can't explain it. I just start questioning the words and the way I've painted the scene. I always feel like it's not doing my imagination justice. It's odd, because there was a time years ago when I was comfortable with my writing style, for the most part. I don't know what happened. I feel like I've regressed or something.
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    In a word, no. It's just the way you write, and there is no reason to be frustrated with it. You should embrace it.
     
  13. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    god same ahah
    especially when I re-read a favourite book, then I'm like 'why can't I do that?!?!' unreasonable perhaps but anyway.
     
  14. Piestein
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    Piestein Senior Member

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    Every single time I reread. I have 1001 reasons to think my writing sucks anyway. Then again, this makes it easier for me to try and improve (I simply think it's too terrible and has dire need of progress, thus I invest a lot of my time), but also to accept criticism (It's easier to accept a negative opinion when yours is even worse).

    I don't do it on purpose, it's just there. For example, there was a story which gave birth to the .. thing.. I'm working on now. I employ the verb "was", because upon reaching Chapter VIII, I suddenly decided it was worthless and that I really should stop.
     
  15. hortaux
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    hortaux New Member

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    100% behind you there. I write something, finish it, drop it in the bottom of my desk for a week, and retrieve it— only to find that whatever I wrote is complete dross. Not even worth the effort to revise. It's actually embarrassing to reread my old writing; invariably, it seems puerile, stagnant and lacking.

    I've been told the only way to solve this is to write more, discard more, and keep writing. Apologies if this is unhelpful, but it's all I've got.
     
  16. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I don't get annoyed with my writing as much as I get frustrated with why I can't seem to make my writing resemble the pictures I see in my head. I guess it's sort of the same thing, but to me they are two different concepts.

    I've found the best thing to do when you get frustrated is to write through that frustration and soon enough you'll realize you're not frustrated anymore (something Nano taught me).

    ~Lynn
     
  17. Moira
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    Moira Member

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    Last night I couldn't sleep at all because I'm having such a hard time coming up with the next chapter in my book. It makes me SO FRUSTRATED. My mom told me to walk away from it for a few days and come back to it with a clear head and all I could think was, "Are you kidding me woman! That only makes me stress out worse!!!" Lol. Now I'm at work pulling my hair out trying to keep my mind off of the blank screen at home.
     
  18. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    you could always read a few things, maybe a book might spark a direction to go.

    saves on hair replacement at least :)
     
  19. Okie
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    Okie Member

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    I don't know. I just throw words at it, hoping sentences will form. When I walk away, it's an awful mess I leave behind. But coming back to it a few days later, I can easily recall the mental image I tried to portray to begin with, and I just sculpt the mess of words into something a little less frightening. Rinse and repeat until it passes as proper english. Then I pass it to my roomate, ask him "Here, does this make sense to you?" If it does, I leave it.
     
  20. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    All the time. I think it's more a question of when my style DOESN'T frustrate the crud out of me.
     
  21. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    yeah i'm like that too, Show, more so about how i word things, always questions if too much colour, too many this and thats and then too little, urghhh
     
  22. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    I think we all get a little frustrated at our work because we expect more from ourselves than is realistic. What exactly is "great prose" supposed to look like? What exactly is a "great story" supposed to look like? (Resist the temptation of posting a link to something that you feel is either--believe me, I know that we all have prose and stories that we think are great.) When I get frustrated at my writing, I guess it's because I expect it to sound somehow wonderful, like the clouds parted and my manuscript just dropped out of the heavens. I expect every line to somehow drip with meaning and empyreal perfection. Then I stop and laugh at myself. It's healthy. ;)

    What I find brings me back down to earth is reading another writer's work, especially one that I admire. I've found myself reading and saying to myself, "This isn't really that much better than mine, if at all." There are certainly some authors that were masters of the written word, but there are still a wealth of people out there who didn't like their work. Whether you understand or just think they're ignorant buffoons, a lot of people don't really appreciate Shakespeare, despite how praised he is by so many "experts". Those same people may think Twilight or Harry Potter are the best things ever. Is that right? Is it wrong? All that matters is that some people like your work: namely, your target audience. Don't worry about those that don't get it, those that refuse to get it, and those that are too snobbish to even take a look at it if you're not already famous for something. If you have a good story to tell, it'll be pretty hard to ruin it. Believe in your ability to write it, take your time, and improve yourself as much as you can as you go along. :)
     
  23. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really hate just about every way I try to word something. It always comes off feeling bad to me. It just always seems to be amateur to me.
     
  24. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    I tend to like the way I write letters and logistically more than when I write creatively. I wrote a letter to a friend of mine, and found out half way that it had a subplot! I liked the way it turned out, and she loved it.

    I also recently finished a screenplay I’m very happy with, and it was easy to write. After a few drafts, I like the way it came out.

    I’m not so lucky with my fictional style of writing. I’m far too harsh on myself, and I can’t stop judging what I just wrote, commenting in my mind that it really doesn’t work out and that no one would read this kind of garbage.

    I have a very low word count to reach every day because I just can’t kick that voice. So whenever it rears up, I’ll stop what I’m doing for a while and do something else. I might play a video game, read a book, watch a movie, practice the piano, realize I’m horrible at that too, decide to jog despite not having proper jogging attire, jog, have an asthma attack, be rushed to emergency, and come back home a few hours later with a new inhaler. After all that, I’m usually ready to tackle whatever it was that I left off in the first place.
     
  25. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Frustration? When I edit.

    I tend to cram too many words into a sentence. My signature is advice to myself as much as anything else: be simple, and experience the story yourself before you relate it to someone else. Unfortunately, I seem to most often observe it in the breach. Rewrites!
     

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