1. astrostu
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    astrostu Member

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    How Side-Tracked Do You Get? (if Writing Is Not Your Primary Job)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by astrostu, Feb 28, 2012.

    I was a grad student in astronomy in 2005 (graduated last year), and I'd been dreaming about various ways I wanted magic to work in a world for over a decade, so in 2007 I finally started writing. My intent was something epic, a 2- or 3-book-length story that would span years and take years for me to write. I paused after part 1 book 1 back in 2009. Last year, over about 6 months, I wrote a novella prequel to further explore the main secondary character (not a primary, but a secondary who would be most important in the novel/series right behind the two primaries). Then I went to work re-writing what I'd already written based on the new backstory of that secondary character.

    Now I'm considering branching off yet again, but into a completely different world, more sci-fi along the lines of Stargate (highly advanced race, now extinct, some people use their technology to fight shadow wars, explore, etc.).

    The idea is not completely different from my magic-themed writings, though, since in that I'm trying to write it as though magic is realistic - it's a 5th force, takes energy, can't violate any rules of physics, magic is controlled via neurotransmitters and glands, etc. ... so it's somewhat mechanistic. In the sci-fi, it'd just be using technology to achieve somewhat similar abilities.

    Anyway, the point here in my bit o' exposition is back to my subject-line question: When you write, if writing is not your primary job, how side-tracked have you gotten?
     
  2. UrbanBanshee
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    UrbanBanshee Member

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    Oh I never get sid- OMG LOLCAT PICS!! SO CUTE1!

    What was the question? Actually I do get sidetracked a lot, though in my own case it can sometimes be helpful. I had a big epic story I had in my head, but then I ended up starting a fanfic for fun. Through writing it I realized that I needed to start my story earlier time wise then I originally thought. Off and on I thought about my plot, wrote the fanfic (which strangly takes place in a completely different type of world then my story) and when I got stuck on my story plot I worked out my world's mechanics and culture. You could say I got distracted by my fanfic, but I feel I've grown as a writer by finishing a shorter story, not to mention it keeps my ideas fresh in my head.

    Though keep in mind I am the person who reads 5 different books at the same time because I don't like sticking with a single story. I'm a bit of a multi-tasker.
     
  3. hankesj
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    hankesj New Member

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    Here's the funny thing about me...when I'm at my day job, I can't do anything but think about my MS, characters and plots. I get sidetracked from my real job by thinking about my writing. When I get home however and I'm faced with hours of uninterrupted writing, Facebook, Twitter, my cat and dogs, call of duty.... you get the point. I can't seem to get ON track when I'm home but when I should be busy as hell at work, I seem to do all my important writing?! Strange.
     
  4. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    ^^THIS

    When I'm at home it's all about the bunnies, facebook, forums, TV, cooking dinner, facebook, bunnies, biscuits, bunnies...

    When I'm at work it's all about plot threads and character development and I can't stop thinking about my goddamn novel and I am in serious danger of not doing any work, LOL

    But then again, there's no bunny or TV at work :D
     
  5. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    The novel I'm writing right now had a different plot, start point, character personalities and direction. That was about 6 years ago when I got the idea and wrote about 7 chapters... then full stop. Now I'm working on it again, looking at it with a more mature mind, I can see that it was total rubbish. Now it's different and I'm enjoying writing it.

    Now I'm starting to get side-tracked but in a different way. One chapter is finished and again.... full stop. I'm rewriting it and I think I'll rewrite it more than 4 times before the story is fully formed in my head. I think getting side-tracked is a good thing as long as it helps you write a better story, otherwise I think it's just too much and should stop at some point before the whole project fails.
     
  6. Jethelin
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    Jethelin Member

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    This for sure. Same when im in the shower before work. Ideas start flying through my head, but when I sit to write a few sentences before leaving I get distracted by Facebook and others. I'm also really bad with having TV running in the background as just noise, and I end up watching the movie or documentary or whatever instead of writing. Thennnn there are the four other book ideas that seem only to want to pop into my head when I want to work on my main project.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't usually get sidetracked but I do recognize myself in the thinking about writing at work and thinking about facebook etc when I'm home and supposed to write. :) If I get an idea for another story while writing something I usually take notes and keep working on the main project, but I keep developing the ideas for the new one in the same time, though without writing it. I have never written novellas from any part of the story or about one of the characters, but I find it interesting. :)
     

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