1. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Inhibition and fiction

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Backward OX, Sep 6, 2009.

    Elsewhere I asked about creativity. It seems my real problem is that I think too much, that I’m inhibited.

    This is a barrier to creative thought.

    And as I want to write fiction, I need to overcome this inhibition, this thinking too much, if I am to succeed.

    A few people commend National Novel Writing Month. I can no more scribble stuff without thinking than fly to the moon. It’s much the same with the question “What if.” I simply seem unable to accept improbable scenarios, and so my “what ifs” are only ever about things that really can occur.

    So, does anyone have any other ideas on how to do it, how to “let go” (without the use of drugs)?


    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Hindumaliman
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    Hindumaliman Member

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    Hmm, to come to grips with gripless falsities which further your thought to improbable wackadoo silliness?

    Well I'm afraid your going to have to stop trusting yourself for starters...and don't trust anyone else either...except me, cause I'm a simple voice sent to you over broadband from a computer untraceable to you.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it'll take a strong will, as there's no magic potion, or outside force that can effect such a change in you...

    if you find you can't do it, why not give up on fiction and concentrate on writing non-fiction, where that liability becomes an asset?
     
  4. Fiel
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    Fiel Member

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    This is hard stuff OX. IMO Writing should be fun, not stressful. I might have such problem myself, since sometimes I think I can't do it. Sometimes.

    Just reminding myself WHY I started writing. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    You think too much... yeah, you're a writer. Do you know the sort of people who don't think all that much? The kind of person who doesn't spend countless hours pondering which amalgamation of words you're going to use to appease your inner demon - that little imp in your head who demands literature. So you just have to accept your over thinking, it is a blessing.

    I once had your problem too, but then I realized that fluidity is truly beautiful, and if writing is not something you hold so dearly onto as one of the most beautiful acts your mind can so easily harvest, then maybe you're not meant to write. Mind you, I say that from the point of view of somebody who indulges in his inner demons demands. If you want to write without the voice in your head constantly judging you, then write... just write. Close your eyes and write something. Try your hardest to be fluid, be natural, let it flow from your fingers like an implosion of thought.

    Writing is beautiful, it truly is. Once you can let go of your worries then you can finally start crafting that beauty to the level that you deem worthy.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is nothing wrong with sticking to writing stories that are plausible in real life, either. Take Angela's Ashes. It was written as a novel, but (while the details may have been skewed by memory) it was essentially the true story of Frank McCourt's childhood, and people love that book. People love true stories like that. Then there is my grandfather's life, which does sound improbably, but is true. He grew up poor but happy in Toronto, while taking trips to New York to spend with other relatives. stopped going to school regularly at 14 and could make up to 50 a week (in the 1940s) by tricking customers on the train into paying more than they should for sandwiches and flipping the pillow cases so he could rent them out twice before washing them. Ended up becoming a professional gambler in his twenties and was involved with gangsters. Then, because of a mix-up on a blind date, he ended up going on a double date with a friend of his and his soon-to-be wife. He was originally supposed to be the other girl's date. It was love at first site and they were married less than a year later and he got a proper job. They end up having four children: a daycare teacher who loves horror films, a director who has worked with actors who have been in major holywood movies, a genius doctor, and a magician/salesman/video editor.

    I tell you this just to give you some perspective on what is possible. I know I would not believe this story was true if it wasn't my own grandfather.
     
  7. Deeples
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    Deeples New Member

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    While mammamaia did say there was no magic potion which would ease your inhibitions and open your writing, I find it necessary to remind people of the numerous brilliant artists who used and use substances such as alcohol, cannabis, LSD and the like as conduits. This is not to say they were not also crutches, but the artist is as the artist does.
     
  8. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    To write publishable non-fiction, one must know what they’re talking about, and I don’t know very much about anything.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Dearest Ox,

    So strange that you would use the word inhibited to describe yourself. I have found you playing in other internet writing playgrounds and the last word I would have thought to use, should someone have asked me to describe you, is inhibited.

    I am also not a fan of NaNoWriMo, or whatever it is called. It's verbal vomit. It's sticking a feather in my brain at a Roman feast to allow more room for indulgence.

    What I would suggest, and I mean this in a constructive manner, is to stop thinking that you know everything. All of us are guilty of this at one point or another. It's very unsettling to thik that we may not have everything figured out. But honestly, if we have everything figured out, then what is left to learn? And if we are closed off to learning, then creativity is stifled.

    That's what I meant by this line right here.

    Nothing wrong with thinking too much. That's what I meant when I said the above. Take an idea as far back as you can. Following the wiring and circuits, fuses and switches until you are in new territory.

    You're Australian. The aboriginal peoples of Australia have a fantastic and immensely rich storytelling tradition. So much to learn there.


    Are your characters pigeonholed into painfully banal and predictable roles?

    I detest Globalism. It askes us to give only cursory attention to our differences. Not something I think a writer can afford to do if he/she wishes to write engaging, captivating people.

    People do stupid things. They do. Should we not also learn to learn from this?

    Expose yourself. Not just actually, but also figuratively. Take the chance of learning that there are other ways to be.

    I am sure you either rankled at this bit, or just passed over it as if you did not see it. I wasn't trying to attack your masculinity. I was trying to embrace the idea that both genders buy books and expect to find both genders depicted within those books in a manner that is three dimensional and realistic. I think it pays to get into the mind of the opposite sex and at least try to get an understanding of the inner workings, aye?

    So, when you say that you over-think things, I am forced to ask how are you over thinking? Is the over-thinking taking place in statements or in questions? If it is the latter, then by all means, over-think. Questions lead somewhere. Statements are stop-signs.

    Wishing you the best,
    Wrey
     
  10. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    First, most writers ARE inhibited (if the Briggs folks are to be believed). Indeed, most every writer I've enjoyed reading is more inhibited than not (other than maybe Hunter S. Thompson who was surely known more for his attitude than his actual writing—and, arguably, he didn’t write fiction anyway). On the surface, inhibitions can look like a problem for someone who just wishes he or she was more creative. But in the hands of someone who’s simply driven to be creative, inhibitions serve only as barriers beyond which lies the very imagination the most creative people actually learn how to use.

    "Thinking too much" probably just means you're writing too little (that lack of self discipline thing we talked about elsewhere), which is really a matter of careful choice and practice. You don't have to write a story, and you don’t have to write 40,000 words in order to learn something about writing by doing it well. For that matter, consider writing (clearly) about the confusion of too many things going on at one time in your head (or that of your character).

    Throwing several thousand words into the ozone within a time-frame just to say that you did it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. That particular kind of accomplishment doesn’t appeal to me either. Some of us learn more by molding and shaping a couple dozen words into a meaningful thought. Do what works for you.

    Truth is, the best fiction I read comes straight from the pen of writers who are both astounding thinkers and who also have a knack for recognizing the edge that lies between their own zone of comfort and what it might feel like to stretch beyond it into the realm of their personal "unknown.” That takes some thought, self-discipline, soul-searching, and time.
     

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