1. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    I'm stuck...again!!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sophia_esteed, Apr 22, 2009.

    Yeah, right.
    Everything worked up until yesterday and now I'm stuck!
    Actually, I'm through writing half of the chapter.
    But I'm having a kind of a problem with a scene that just can't seem to come out right. :(
    I'm at a point in which my character, a nurse, embarks a starfleet vessel.
    But I don't know how to describe it. I have a bit of an idea.
    I thought, since she's a nurse, I would send her directly to the infirmary and then have her meet with the chief medical officer she'll be working with.
    Only, it doesn't seem to work too well. Any suggestions? :confused:
    And I'd also like to show the departure of the ship. I thought I would do it by having the captain like greeting the crew and then make a discourse and then have the ship leave port. But I'm not too sure this will work either...
    So, any thoughts on this? :confused:
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    If I were trying to write this, I'd probably start with just a pretty generic physical description of what's happening around her, what things look like, where she is, etc and then once I've written that and have a very clear image of what exactly is happening, I would go back and rewrite it to bring out the details that are most important or that set the tone, establish plot elements, etc...
    As to the departure of the ship, the captain's speech is a bit of a cliche, but like Cog always says, the quality of your writing is more important than the quality of the idea - can you write a compelling captain's speech? If not, then maybe cut away to something else. Do you have any characters on the ground that you could write from the POV of? Maybe describe them as they watch the ship depart.
    Hope that helped a little!
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ANYthing will work well, if you write it well!... it's useless to ask anyone else what to do, because it's your story, your characters, and no one but you knows what you've written so far, so can't possibly tell you what will work best with that...

    go ahead and write your stuff the way you want to, and THEN ask us if it works...
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    hmm...I half agree with maia, but i think its a bit of a stretch to say anything will work well...there's no point aiming for cliches and hoping you can pull it off if you can instead find a more unusual angle and experiment with something new...but she is of course right in saying that you are the best one to judge what you should do in your story
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...believe me, if the writer is talented and skilled enough, that is true!... as witness the many oddball and/or cliched works that have stood the test of time and become classics... and no, i'm not going to waste time listing them... if you doubt this, then you probably haven't been reading as widely and for long as i have...
     
  6. Emmy
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    Emmy Member

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    I read this hysterical article on a writer's website where she wrote that if you get to a point to where your story dies, it's time to bring in someone brandishing a gun.

    I'm sure she doesn't mean literally. (Duh, Em!) But I do see a valuable gem shoved in the barrel of said gun: shake things up. I've been doing it recently with my story, and it's helped. If anything, it just brings ideas to mind, or makes me realize the direction I'm working in is inevitably going to lead me to the same dead end.
     
  7. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I read Emmy's post...I'd have to agree. If something isn't working, maybe it's time for a plot twist. If I find myself stuck on a scene that doesn't seem to want to be written, I'll just go in a different direction. Sometimes a story just wants to follow its own pattern...we have to let it.

    ~Lynn
     
  8. grnidone
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    grnidone Member

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    Right now, you're editing stuff before anything is down on paper. You'll always remain stuck if you do that.

    Stop editing and JUST WRITE.

    It doesn't matter if you write crap, just write. Go for word count. Try to get another 1,000 words down no matter how crappy it sounds. Don't think. Don't edit. Don't dwell or say "But but but this isn't it.."

    It's a whole lot easier to edit crap than it is to edit a blank page.

    I look back at some of my NANOWRIMO stuff where I was just going to word count and realize that it wasn't half bad. Sure, it's crap, but there's a lot of really editable content there that won't take long to get really good. I'm also amazed to find that there is some really gold stuff there once I got rolling. (Usually took me about 400 words before the good stuff came out.)
     
  9. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    Okay, I'll just write down some stuff.
    If this part doesn't come out, for now I'll just skip it and go on with the rest of the story, then I'll go back and write the connection part when it'll become clearer in my mind.
    Thanks to all of you for your posts!
     
  10. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    From your last post about this tale I remember the nurse as being young so she could get lost in some manner that only a newby could manage. Somewhere off the beaten track where the captain's message could not be heard perhaps.

    I just thought that she might make her way to one of the only places on the ship where the outside can be seen (I have a kind of loathing of spaceships with a million windows... it just doesn't make sense that the designers would sacrifice the structural integrity of the hull for a view! :)) and gets a special memory for her first (maybe?) departure.

    I can imagine the boarding area for a spaceship as being a hundred times more confusing than at an airport so perhaps you could play on that. A thousand confused strangers milling about waiting to be told where to go and what to do.

    Maybe an accident occurs right in front of her or the port comes under enemy attack or some kind of terrorist attack where she'll be thrown in the deep end as an initiation to her military/medical career?

    The best thing to do is just write it. Don't do to much editting while you're writing it. If it ain't working, leave it as is and return when more of the story becomes clear.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm going to go against the flow here for a moment. If you are writing away and suddenly finding you have nowhere to go with it, just scribbling down words and hoping it will get you back on traqck will not avail you.

    It's one thing to start your day by sitting at the keyboard anbd staring at the screen, taking a few minutes to play solitaire, getting a couple false start sentences and hating them, getting up to brew miore coffee, and so on. That's procrastyination, and in that case you do need to just sitr down and start writing.

    But if you are losing momentum while writing, the problem is probably more organic. You may have becalmed your story by failing to introduce tension.

    It's like crossing te lake in a boat. Without something to keep it moving, you're hust going to sit there, drifting aimlessly. You need a destination to aim for, a need to get there, and the means to get moving.

    So take a moment, and ask yourself, "What is really happening right now in the story? Do my characters need a push or a swift kick in the pants? Is everyone getting along together a bit too well?"

    Then sit down at the keyboard and start complicating their lives.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's the ticket!
     

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