1. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    I hate the story I'm writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by losthawken, May 20, 2009.

    But I can't help it!

    I'm working on a shorty story right now in hopes that it will die and leave me alone if I finish it.

    Like a lot of my plots it started was a thought inspired by a movie, evolved into a fan-fic, and progressed into something distinct. To me its a powerful theme, though not fully written yet, powerful enough to wake me up in the night forcing me to flesh out more of the story. It's like its haunting me...

    The trouble is that the things that make it so moving also force the main characters to be female, which is tough for me to write as a male. I also don't feel like its evolved quite far enough from a fan-fic to satisfy me (I'm not a big fan of fan-fics).

    I'm finding it rather difficult to write, but it won't let me alone! Has anyone had similar experiences with an idea that they don't want to write but won't let them alone?

    Or am I losing my mind...

    ~JG
     
  2. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Yes, the short answer is you're probably losing your mind. But that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes you have to lose it in order to find what you seek or even to figure out what you're looking for. I don't know whether this is helpful or not, but I don't write stuff I don't "like." That said, I don't expect to write something that isn't "difficult" in some way. In a sense what I "like" most about writing is the challenge of discovering what the heck it is I'm trying to say in the first place. I think you have to be open to subconscious motivations, impressions and such that may reveal themselves as you go, rather than to bind yourself up in objectives that seem to belong to some other person you really don't care much about.
     
  3. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Richard Bach (author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions: The Adventures of A Reluctant Messiah, and several other wonderful books) said once that he always hated to write. He wouldn't write a book until the idea came crashing through his mind, grabbed him down the throat and screamed, "I will not let you go until you put me down on paper."

    I have one novel in progress that is difficult for me. I get a little obsessed (in a scary way) when I'm working on it. I work on it seldom, because I feel a bit mad when I'm working on it. I forget to eat, sleep, shower and work on other things that pay the bills.
    I keep it in a file on the demon masquarading as a desktop computer and I have a hard copy of everything relating to it, but I only work on it when there are relatively few other demands on my time. I have a sort of truce with Delilah (the MC) right now; she knows I will work on her when I can give her the attention she demands.
     
  4. JGraham
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    JGraham Senior Member

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    This happens to me as well, sometimes i will be just dead tired or overwhelmed with other things and an idea will just strike me. When it does i can focus on little else. I enjoy when this occurs, but sometimes you just need to shutdown and focus elsewhere. However i will usually just write the basic idea down and return to my main idea. I feel once i finish my main book then i can pick and choose what is next.
     
  5. heykellyj
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    heykellyj New Member

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    Perhaps if you treat it as a writing excerise, it won't consume you as much. Think of this story as a way of testing your boundaries and experimenting with a different point-of-view and see where it takes you. Maybe just working on it for a 30 minutes to an hour each day will help flush it out, so that it doesn't wake you in the middle of the night demanding attention. I find that if I start jotting down what comes to mind and giving it a chance to be on paper, the idea eases up. And once that happens, you can refocus on what's important.
     
  6. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Thanks y'all,

    Hey Kelly J,
    I've actually been doing what you recommended: working on it for an hour or so daily (on lunch breaks).

    Its starting to come together, but I feel like I keep setting up writing challenges that are greater than I can achieve. It's a little hard to explain, but it'll make sense once I post it. I'm trying to cram a long time line into as short of a document as possible. To do so I've chosen three points of view/writing styles to alternate through: one present, one past, and one reverse past (starting at the end of the story and working backwards). If I can pull it off it'll be great. I'm at ~2k words already and I think its going to take a lot more work (and words) than I expected.

    I'm trying desperately, to resist posting the piece prematurely... It's half drafted, and is going to need a few revisions before its presentable.

    ~JG
     
  7. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I often find that writing something I "don't like" tends to just be my way of setting myself up for failure. When I don't finish, or when I re-read what I have written and it looks like a steaming pile of dung, then I can go flog myself for being a stupid horrible writer. LOL

    After a couple of years of doing this I stopped, otherwise my back side would be scarred for life.

    I find that if I am having trouble writing a character of the opposite sex, I ask someone of the opposite sex how they might react to such and such of a situation. I usually try to find someone with a similar personality as my opposite sex character. This always makes things easier for my imagination. I also try to avoid stereotypes like the plague. I may incorporate some archetypal characteristics in my opposite sex character if the storyline calls for it. Your character may be a hero or a villain, but they will have their own unique flaws, weaknesses, and neurosis.

    I also find it fun to explore my own masculine side. How I might react if I were a guy, obviously the opposite for you. I like to ask myself, "What kind of man would I be?" It is also a fun way to explore the other sex and get to know them better. I know I have learned things from men that went against the stereotypes I had in my head.

    We never really know ourselves or others until we are smack in the middle of a crisis, that is when our true colors come out.

    Jenn
     
  8. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    I think we all hate our stories sometimes. My story is a bit more of a lighthearted nature (coming of age, thoughts on life sorta thing) but Ive still experienced the waking up in the middle of the night being haunted by the story and just having to write thing. It's kinda awesome actually!
     
  9. BadPenny
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    BadPenny Member

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    I sometimes feel gripped and beaten by an idea, and writing becomes a plea to that idea to leave me alone. Thankfully, I mostly write poetry. While difficult, it certainly takes a lot less time.

    I wonder: do you hate the story because of what it is doing to you, or do you hate it because of something it says to you? If it's the former, you'd better just bleed yourself dry until it's done. Otherwise, maybe you just need to find out what makes you so uncomfortable. Then, you can address it. Maybe you and your brain just need to have a little chat.

    Good Luck.
     
  10. SuperNed
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    SuperNed New Member

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    While I don't hate my story(quite fond of what I have, actually), I do feel the madness that comes while working on it. It hangs over my head, weighs down on my shoulders, and permeates just about every thought. It's like the ex-girlfriend that you can't seem to forget, and the only remedy comes from writing the blasted thing.

    I'm pretty new to creative writing myself. But I never expected it would be quite like this.

    Anyway, I hope you get over what's bugging you. I don't really seem to have too much trouble writing female characters as a male writer, but I'm sure my male bias shows through from time to time. If you're really concerned, why don't you find some books with strong female characters written by female authors(can't think of anything off hand). Pay attention to how they portray the characters in their books. Take notes. Do some creative borrowing if you have to. I'm sure you'll get it eventually if you keep at it.
     
  11. daturaonfire
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    daturaonfire Senior Member

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    "I'm finding it rather difficult to write, but it won't let me alone!" -losthawken

    Sometimes I think we don't really get to choose the stories we tell. They're just there, and if we're going to be what we are--writers--we have to set aside all our ideas about who we are, what we can and cannot do. So I think it's good that you keep writing in the face of your doubts and fears. :-D
     
  12. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Thanks for all the comments

    Very insightful. I think it's both. The urgency and drive of the story has gotten better as I've written it (a few paragraphs away from the end of the first draft now). But it speaks to me about complicated feelings I have about the tragic way women are treated and their own negative self-perceptions. Thinking about that stuff makes me feel crappy about the world, and as you may be able to imagine, it's an odd and difficult concept for a man to write and even more difficult to write well. We'll see how it turns out.

    ~JG
     

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