1. Fronzizzle
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    Fronzizzle Member

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    I don't know how I want to write

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Fronzizzle, Jul 23, 2014.

    This isn't a question as much as venting...

    Of course, the title is a little misleading; I know how I want to write...I just can't. When I sit down to write something, be it a short story or part of a novel, my plan is to bust through a bunch of pages quickly, not pay too much attention to word mechanics, sentence structure, typos, etc. I figure I can get all of my main ideas down, then worry about fixing everything later during editing.

    However...that just never works for me. After I write a paragraph or two - once in a while, as much as a full page - I end up going back and reworking/correcting/changing it right then. Fix dialogue, change wording, you name it. I get so bogged down in doing this that I end up not making much progress. Over the weekend, I had a mini-epiphany about a story I want to write, so the last three nights I sat down to start it. I'm exactly 1.5 pages in. It's almost like I do the initial, second and third drafts all at once and I CAN'T STOP DOING IT.

    The two worst things are that (1) even by writing like this, it's not like I end up with a finish product, it still needs further editing later and (2) I end up spending (wasting) time on sections that end up getting drastically changed or cut completely depending on what happens later on.

    Ugh.
     
  2. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Same, I find going off screen and writing notes and ideas down in a book helps. Then when I come to write I have a bare bones structure to meat up keeping me a little bit more disciplined. But paying little attention to the mechanics etc. can have the counter effect of making the MS unreadable, which in turn means you go back and correct it. A happy medium might be best idea. Or keep typing until first draft is finished, never look back almost lol
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nothing wrong with editing as you go - your problem seems to be a bit of perfectionism. I would suggest giving yourself an allotment of either time to edit or number of changes to make and then you have to move on. Also, start looking at the editing you're doing - are you actually improving or are you just making changes? Sometimes you have to step away for a few minutes so you can see which it is - sometimes that alone can help you move forward.
     
  4. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I edit as I go all the time. My first drafts are always as good as my final. The only problem with this is that your progress will be very slow, but it is really not so bad at all.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Editing as you go is fine - it's when you won't stop editing that's the problem. What I do is give myself a limit - when I find myself reading and reading ONLY to find flaws, I know it's time to stop and just move on, cus it's not productive, I'm just wasting time.

    Give yourself a limit. Write 1 complete scene before you go back (better anyway to check for flow etc). Allow yourself to go back over it X number of times - for example, 5 is probably about enough. And then NO MATTER how you feel or what you think, move the heck on. And do it. A large part of it is just discipline.

    Think of it this way - do you want to finish this thing or not? If yes, then get writing. There's plenty of time to edit later.
     
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  6. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I edit as I go but I set limits - I can only correct for a few minutes, no rewrites unless I need the scene to go in a different direction and I usually wait until I've completed a paragraph or a scene or a stretch of dialogue before start corrections. It doesn't always go this way but it's smoother when I follow the limits.
     
  7. Fronzizzle
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    Fronzizzle Member

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    I think the time limit or # of reviews are both good ideas. If I don't somehow limit myself, I'll spend four days going over each and every page and won't accomplish anything. I find this sort of funny, I think I did that when I wrote the first novel but I was done with that in about 3 months.

    Also a good point about reading only to find flaws because I think that's what I'm doing.
     
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  8. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course you can help it. You don't eat your favourite food until you explode, you don't drink alcohol until you die of poisoning. You presumably DO go to work and don't just walk out half way when the whim takes you. So if you really want to write, do it. If you are not writing, it is because, deep down, you have made the decision that you would rather be doing something else.
     
  9. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's nice to edit whatever you wrote the day before, before going on to new stuff. Sort of like a warm up.
     
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