1. gina
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    gina Member

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    I struggle for words when i write

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by gina, Aug 28, 2015.

    I'm a descriptive writer, or at least I want to be. I find myself struggling for words on my first drafts. It's almost like my first draft has to be perfect and use vivid imagery. I'd like to write a novel but am afraid it would take forever to finish because of this perfectionism. Do you typically just write what comes to mind on your first draft then revise later and add in the descriptive language?
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I'm the same way. I feel like half the time I'm repeating myself with 'I felt like...' or 'My x did xyz...', 'I felt x', etc. I try to write the first draft knowing it's supposed to suck, but my perfectionism still crop up at any given moment.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not a perfectionist in the first draft phase, I let the story come out pretty much the way it wants to. I do almost all my description during revision. In fact, my first drafts are quite naked in that way, they tell the story and not much else. That's why I spend more time on revision than writing it in the first place, but for me this is what works best and I actually like that part of the process. For me revision is almost more creative than first draft writing. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  4. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I envy those who can just write and not worry because they know it's only a first draft. I'm another perfectionist, I'm afraid, which is why it takes me about four hours to get 1,000 words down.

    To answer your question, yes, ideally you would just 'get it down', but nothing is set in concrete. Do what works for you - the end result will still be the same whatever method you use.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Whenever I feel things are a little thin in areas, I write down basically what I want and then when it's time to go back to clarify and polish I have something.
    But I do need an initial idea down - even a rotten simile or metaphor just to give me some scope on what I was going for and something to build on.

    Sometime to generate some creative descriptions I delve into some pictures, non fiction and articles to broaden my lingo on my subject or character. For instance if my character is a cook I'd start watching cooking videos, scanning cook books saving images of markets and vegetables and taking notes when I'm eating ( for smells and tastes and textures. ) That way I'm not really straining for anything.

    Loosen up for your first draft. A writer can always nitpick ( and sometimes never be satisfied ) and it's much better to do it with the second draft when you have something to work with.
     
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  6. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's easier said than done.

    It's a bit like saying to someone addicted to smoking, just stop smoking.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I know it sounds flip from me, and I'm not always crazy about -just write advice - but I've been there. My first years of writing were spent trying to polish first pages and paragraphs. I have boxes and boxes of it. I had a lot of story ideas ( that I remember clearly ) but no actual first drafts, no stories. The fact is - it's better to have something crappy than nothing at all. Doesn't seem like it now but me - looking back after twenty five years - I wished I hadn't been so tough on myself. Especially since it didn't work - I had/have nothing to show for it.
     
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  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    It takes some willpower, yes, but it's definately doable. :) After all, the only way to stop doing something is to actually train oneself not to do it.
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    @OurJud I think for me it was easy because when I first started writing as a hobby as a 14 year old, I had no ambitions what so ever. For me it was just a pastime, a way of daydreaming, so I just wrote from the heart without any worries about how it came out. To me that is probably the best way to start writing. Not with the ambition to Be A Writer, but to do it for ones own pleasure. That is a perfect way to get a relaxed approach to writing and also to learn to write without the awareness of anything like an inner critic. :)
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I have to force myself, but it can be done. I do better just getting the story out, assessing what are the key things that belong, then editing the chapter.

    If I tried to make a chapter perfect the first go round, like the OP, I'd never finish. I think because I have to see the whole thing before I can properly trim and organize it.
     
  11. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Honestly I usually just write, correct for typos, add or remove an occasional word or two during edit, and that's it.
     
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