1. Veloxarity
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    Veloxarity New Member

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    How to stay committed to a story?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Veloxarity, Jan 17, 2011.

    I can't seem to keep myself writing one story. Don't get me wrong. It's not as if I don't WANT to stay committed to the stories I write. Rather, it's the opposite. While I write one of my stories an idea or a concept for another story would pop in my mind in overdrive. I can normally stick to one story for a little while before I find myself beginning a new one. It's a real problem. :( Now I have ~8 unfinished fictions (short stories) sitting on my E drive, and that's not counting the ~40 incomplete fan fictions I also started to write. And guess how much stories I have completed? Two, and those were from early 2010 / late 2009.

    It's not like I am writing with complete seriousness, I just do it for fun. But when I re-read my incomplete story I think, 'why didn't you just stick to it and finish it.'

    My friend told me she writes all the ideas she gets in her head down on paper, and then systematically works through them one by one. It's a good idea and I've tried it, but my mind works in overdrive thinking about Story B so I can't even think of how to continue Story A.

    Does anyone else have the same problem? Or a Solution perhaps? Right now I'm just sticking it through and working on a Sci-fi story but I feel like the quality of my writing is dropping.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use my blog when I am straying I sit down and discuss the story with my MC. It helps to focuse my mind on him and what were are doing.
     
  3. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Let the new ideas come. Write them down; maybe even outline the story so you don't lose the idea, but then get back to work on the current story. Make yourself finish it, even if the writing feels forced. After a while it become more natural.

    In short stories the pay-off is usually at the end. The best action, the twist, the most fun, so not getting there is actually cheating youself out of the best part of the story.

    Hang in there.
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's hard to control what you want to write, but there usually comes a point in a story where you start to write a scene which just feels like something that you just have to get through before the good parts up ahead, if you know what the plot is. The moment you think that you get fed up and want to write the exciting parts, but you can't move on because the scene's necessary, and it turns, maybe not into a block, but a sticking point, where you'd rather write something else because it's exciting NOW.

    I've found the best thing then is to write the next exciting scene in the story you want to finish, and to summarise the annoying bridging scene to write later, or to just introduce elements of interesting stuff earlier. "Oh but the spy character doesn't introduce himself for another 10 scenes!" you say, and then you write him falling through the roof ten scenes too early because of a wonky rafter... problem solved! Now you can get the story moving and work in all the witty things you knew he'd say if only he was around. :p
     
  5. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes you'll have to just push forward.

    With a short story, just think that 'at least you're not writing a novel', so it's not as huge a job.

    But yeah, you'll need some discipline I'm afraid. That can only come from within.

    Have you tried flash fiction, i.e. writing a really, really short piece?

    Perhaps start small and work your way up to something longer.
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    i dont think it has to be a problem as long as you dont have too many going on contemporarily and try and finish them even though you start on something else. Maybe try and write a synopsis when you get the idea and then keep writing on what you did before, that way you will express your ideas and you can let them mature while finishing your current story. I also heard about people writing maybe two or three stories in the same time, the thing is dont stop what you did because you get a new idea that might seem better.
     
  7. CJStarkey
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    CJStarkey Member

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    I have the same problem. Sometimes what I find helps is takign out all the exiciting components in each of the different stories and trying to tie them together into one really great story. That usually knocks out a couple of individual ideas to shorten the list of stories you feel compelled to finish just because they're there. :)
     
  8. Veloxarity
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    Veloxarity New Member

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    thanks for the speedy replies! I'll try working harder, maybe someday I'll be disciplined enough to finish a full novel. :p

    I have actually. I think the shortest story I wrote was ~150 words. I still muster a few up when I feel like I need a quick reliever.
     
  9. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's cool. Work from there.

    I wrote a few short stories last month, no more than 1000 words each. I don't normally write them at all, but got a few ideas I wanted to try out.

    I just wrote them in one evening, hot off the press as it were.

    How long of a story are you thinking of writing/having trouble with?
     
  10. Jaybrownuk
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    Jaybrownuk Member

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    I have EXACTLY the same problem, my hard drive is littered with unfinished projects. I started using a nice little planner on my phone to store ideas when I'm on the go and then I transfer them to my laptop. I sometimes outline new ideas while working on others. It can get messy but I don't know how to work in other way.
     
  11. Veloxarity
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    Veloxarity New Member

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    Right now I'm working on a sci-fi, and so far have gotten about 4000 words down with no problem. I want this one to be a rather long work though, I was planning on having it around ~15-20k words. (That may not seem long to others, but the longest I've ever written was ~5500.) I already have a couple of ideas jumping around in my mind but I'm deciding to finish off this one first. ;P
    haha, I guess everyone has those plot-bunnies annoying them while they're working on a story. :p
     
  12. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I have the exact same problems, but with novels. I've started like 20 and only finished one.
     
  13. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps you never reach the stage where you feel like you care about your characters and their fate. You have to get to this point in order to feel invested in a story.

    In my main story, I feel like I know my MC and I am always thinking about what might happen to her. It would seem odd to abandon her and start something else.
     
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  14. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I'm the kind of person who must do what he says or I will feel like a loser. Another person can insult me and it has little effect, but if my inner voice calls me a loser, it's a high insult. Thus, if I'm working on a story it must get finished or I will feel badly.

    The need to be "real" and not another dreamer has helped me complete many goals in life. It also feels very good.
     
  15. Radhika
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    Radhika Member

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    Lots of writers suffer from the same thing.
    What happens is I usually write a page of it, and all of the stuff I have for it is in my head. I don't usually write that down.
    I now have 7 novel ideas.
    Every time it takes me beyond what I can handle; I go off and compare the stories and look for which has the most potential. I usually end up with one or two.
    I don't know if this'll help, but it is how I do it.
     
  16. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Another tip that's helping me a bit right now -- if lots of your stories have the same general premise, see if you can combine the character sets, storylines etc into one novel that's more complex.
     
  17. Kevin B
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    Kevin B Member

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    I always get ideas for other stories while I'm working on one too. Like some of the others, I write the ideas down and set them aside. There will be plenty of time later to delve into those.

    You should never try to write two stories at one time, you are your own proof of what happens when you try that. I tried it once, and befell the same fate. Trying to keep two stories going at once gets confusing. You start to forget which story you're working on and you'll have one character crossing from one book to the other, or you'll mix up the plots.

    Stick to writing one story, and keep notes on ideas for the other. Self discipline will carry you far. :)
     
  18. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thats a great idea actually, maybe especially if you write shorter stories and could combine a couple of them and having an entire novel! :p
     
  19. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    I am kind of the opposite, I get other ideas, but I can't act on them until I finish (Or perhaps..toss) my current one. I write these ideas down though so I dont' forget them.
     
  20. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I know exactly how you feel. To be honest, I don't think one only experiences this when they have different ideas that they want to try. It just happens in general because people get bored or lack inspiration or encouragement. I think you need to just take initiative. What I usually do is simply force myself to continue writing. It may seem dull at first, but eventually you will enjoy what you write at some point or another.
     
  21. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, good point. Even if it's something you're passionate about, those times can and do happen.
     
  22. imsoemo
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    imsoemo New Member

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    I had the same issue a while ago; I ended up with at least 20 incomplete stories I intended to make into full novels sitting on my computer. And then there came this 'creativity drought' where I had very bad writer's block for months and couldn't think of anything new, leaving me stuck on my latest project. So I looked back at those old stories and pulled what I thought were the *best* ideas from each of them and wrote out my first whole start-to-finish plan and restarted my current story, but better.

    So even if you do that and can't connect some of your work to your present piece, don't delete them because they could later end up your oasis in the desert!

    But then, of course, you could start getting sidetracked by even more new ideas. Just keep in mind there's only so many times you can start writing new tales until you have 500 incomplete stories on your computer, only so many ideas you can weave into one tale, etc. Definitely write down your new ideas to broaden your oasis, but when your creativity starts churning out ideas, try your best to keep them focused on improving weak points in your current work.

    But make sure you at least have planned out beginning to end what will happen in the story before you start adding ideas from your old ones or things will get very confused.
     

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