1. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Keep losing focus/motivation

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Keitsumah, Jan 31, 2015.

    Hi guys... well -as the title says, I think i just keep hitting the same old problem with my book no matter what i try. Currently college is eating up a lot of my life, but I know i could take at least an hour a night to work on my novel.

    The problem is, even though i have the whole story and plot in my head, I just can't get it out. I either get bored with the story and think ill work on it later, or doubt that i could even finish it to begin with.

    I've been working on this book for five years, and have not gotten past chapter five. The furthest i have ever gotten was to chapter forty-two, but the writing quality there is so poor and the story has changed so drastically since then that I know there's no point in trying to adapt that melodrama into my current arc.

    I'm just not sure what to do....I've had this whole idea for a trilogy/ two trilogies in my head for so long that it feels like a crime to just give up but...

    Is a story worth working on if it's never finished?
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    If you completely stop, then it's not worth it, even if it's only in your head.
    A bit of the fun is making your story solid and concrete, "set in stone", and just having it.
    At that point, it stops morphing and you can deal with it as a very tangible thing.

    Honestly, it's easy to give up hope if you keep restarting your work.
    I nearly finished one of my books and then lost ALL of it.
    Let's just say I'm not keen on restarting that story any time soon.

    If you only got to chapter five in so long... are you editing? If so, stop.
    Just keep going further down and add sticky notes (or whatever your processor uses) to add quick notes on things you need/want changed when it comes up and keep going further.
    Like that, you'll end up with lots of new ideas and a piece of work you can work with.
     
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  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having ideas is fun and easy. Writing them down, and then polishing that writing, is hard work.

    I don't think anyone else can answer this question for you. Are you enjoying yourself as you work on the story? Like, not that it's a laugh-riot the whole time, but overall, is it making you happier or unhappier than you'd be without it?

    Chances are pretty good that this book, and this series, will never be conventionally published even if you DO manage to finish writing it. So if you're not enjoying the process, it's probably not worth continuing.
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Exactly. The fun is more about the process, not the end goal. It's being able to write something without caring (for the time being) that it's complete crap; you just want to see how it all ends.

    Brainstorming ideas is a fun pastime of mine, it's something I love to do. But a writer writes, so my little nugget about lemurs in space (it's mine, yo. No stealin') will forever be a little nugget unless I write it down and say, 'It's okay if it's crap. Just get it down on paper.'

    My other thought is that maybe you're just tired of this story. God knows if I kept slaving away at a project for five years without getting anywhere, I'd want to throw it all into a fire. Move on to another story, one that's completely fresh and gets that creativity juice flowing again. Work on that story to completion. You don't ever have to go back to that old one if you don't want to. But right now, just put it to bed and go work on something else.
     
  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Potential Problem Number One: I had this same issue as you. I've been working on the same novel for about five years too. I got about six chapters in before I quit working on it. I lost my inspiration too. I didn't have my whole story planned out like you, though. It took me a long time to realize that my story was just... crap. Pure crap. The first few chapters were wonderful and fun, yeah. But the middle was boring, uneventful, not excitement whatsoever.

    So I completely reworked it. Twice. I have yet to actually start writing, because I'm still in the planning stage. But I'm way more excited about it now.

    Potential Problem Number Two: I have another novel I'm working on. I have the characters, the setting, every single chapter planned out. And I haven't written a single word. Why? Because planning is sooooo much more fun! I have about six other novels that I'm working on. And when I think about what I want to do, planning and building a world and creating characters sounds like way more exciting than writing an already built world.

    So many there's nothing wrong with your story. Maybe it's exciting, and you love it. It's just the dull part of writing, especially if you already have it planned. There's no excitement in it because you already know what's going to happen, who's going where, who's doing what. So it's just dull! But that to me, unfortunately, is just part of writing. You put in the fun. Now you've got to put in the work. And even though you love what you do, it's still work. lol

    You just got to set a goal for yourself. Say, "I'm just going to finish it. I'm just going to sit down and write it until it's done. I give myself until the end of the month to write it." And then just do it. Once it's written, you'll be so glad you did it.
     
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  6. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    A story is absolutely worth working on, even if it's never finished; It's all experience in the end. I suggest worrying less about quality a focusing more on just getting a draft out. Sit down for that one free hour you have (such a trooper, I'd probably just weep about the coming mountains of homework or eat lots of chocolate in that free time:p) and write a scene. Next time, write another scene, or most of a scene. File them all away until you reach the end. Jot down plotholes and inconsistencies as you go, but don't fix them. Banish your editing self until the draft is complete. I'm trying that right now, and it has kept me from losing interest and/or getting intimated by the whole thing.
     
  7. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Yeah. Thing is the story... well it's been a trilogy in my head for so long -but then a new idea hit me over the head (what if the main characters, one of which is a hybrid, have kids? and one of those kids defies the logic in the world i have set? cheezy i know but you gotta be in my head to get it). And that's just in this world. I've got roughly fourteen other books/series i would love to dive into, but I know better than to try juggling different plots all at once. (some realistic, some sci-fi, most fantasy....you try staying sane with sirens, starshades, shifters, veekrine, and all that rabble along with all their buddies screaming in your head.)

    That and the most recent draft (yes I have been caught in that trap of editing @A.M.P. ) the reason i am so frustrated and yet not quite willing to give up is because my character has finally evolved from melodramatic "save me" princess into someone that makes me laugh and just go totally bug-eyed at (yeah tell her that running on top of tables to get out of the inn is not normal activity).

    I've just gotten really frustrated with not being able to tell her story, which, in my mind, could be pretty freaking epic if i just got it done! I don't even think ill have to worry about the boring middle bit, and thats saying something. Literally. Planned. Out. Im even working on the lore, history, dates, and minor notes on the lifetimes of previous important people in the past that will all influence this character.

    :oops: The issue, embarrassingly, might be that when i get to the most intense scenes in a story, i hit a mind block. Like iron mind block. Right now i'm at a part where the main character is witnessing the villains burn a house down with a family (and newborn) inside. Not pretty. But then the torches the Shifters keep throwing in the windows (they think of it as a "game" to let the humans inside throw the torches back out to try and save themselves, only for the shifter sot toss them back in) turn visible and flicker out of sight from time to time. Things get a little strange, and then-

    :( That's where i hit it. The wall just keeps frigging blocking me. I push and i pry, and sometimes i get through, but it is severely crippling my ability to write and i just get so angry i turn off the computer and give up. That is whats been happening to me every year i work on this thing.

    I'm learning everything a four-year college student would in 18 months, and how to apply it in the workforce. Needless to say the college i am in is tough. We started out with 24 students and are down to 13. Yeah. We are critiqued HARD too on our work, and our grading system is different than normal colleges. Needless to say, im one of those who freaks out in the beginning, then something in me just clicks and i hammer at my work. Already had to make a website, design brief for a company's redesigned logo, draw a portrait of myself mimicking the style of Ivan Belikov, and now i have to tackle my textbooks before finishing another logo redesign for an italian restaurant.

    Annnd i just realized how insane that all is. *collapses* :dead: also making a logo is a pain in the butt. We need to make 25 thumbs (have been made to do over a hundred sometimes), then choose 3 of those thumbs as roughs, then make those into comps, and go to others asking which one is the best. After the voting is done and critiques are made, i go in and refine the final design.

    But enough about that. I don't even want to think about that just yet. (only have reading and logo left to do thank GOD!) but, yeah. I think ill have to try the not-editing thing. Though the editor part of myself will be an extreme pain to quiet considering that it's been fostered both literature-wis and art-wise.

    How have i not been sapped dry creatively...? o_O Bottomless well here!
     
  8. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most valuable quote I've heard regarding writing: "The first draft is just you telling the story to yourself."

    It's not done. It's not pretty or fancy or grammatically sound. It's just words on paper. It's just a shell of a story, void of all emotion and magic. Don't worry about the wording. Don't worry about it being final. In fact, don't go back and read it at all. Just put the scenes, some dialogue. Put what you want to happen, what you see happening, and edit the shit out of it later. It's literally you explaining your story to yourself.

    It took me a really long time to really grasp the concept of "just write." Don't worry about it being perfect or frilly and put words on paper. That quote really put it in perspective for me, because I'm a huge perfectionist. I wanted every word to be perfect. I wanted every scene to make sense. But now I can write without being a perfectionist. Because I realize what the first draft is. :)

    The first draft is your new house. Without the paint and furniture.
     
  9. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whoa, @Keitsumah! Maybe this isn't the time for you to be working on your novel. Save it as a reward (no, I'm not being funny) for after you get your graphic design and textbook work done.

    Me, I write, I do art and graphic design, I compose music, I design and renovate houses (my own, mainly, at the moment), I create new recipes and cook them up. Ordinarily I can go from one to the other just fine. But currently I'm living in an alternate reality finishing the major revision to my first novel.* My head's so caught up in it that when I have to shift focus and turn to some other creative endeavor, I stand there going blank like a babbling idiot. The creative energy for it just isn't there.

    I'd recommend you put your time in on those thumbnails and get that logo done. The reading, too. Sure, you can take mental breaks from it thinking up cool things that could happen in your novel. If you come up with something really cool, make a quick note of it so you won't forget. But don't stress about doing any actual writing until your coursework is complete.
    __________________________
    *Only reason I'm on here instead of writing is that I'm waiting to get some essential information that won't be available till Monday. Haunting the WF forums is my methadone until I can get back to the real thing.
     
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  10. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I want to, no I need to write, to tell stories, to fashion fragments of worlds. They come pouring out of me in an unstoppable tide. Motivation is never the problem, simply the hard work of crafting the words and doing the research to back them up. If I constantly questioned what and why I was writing I would stop.

    Right now I am writing two books at the same time. A primary and a secondary, meaning that one, the primary, I intend to finish and put out as soon as possible, the secondary exists because I want to see the story set down in words and it will be finished when it is finished. But I have no doubt that both will be finished, and within no longer than one or two months depending on the other demands of real life. And I have another story in the planning stages for when those are done.
     
  11. Dunning Kruger
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    Dunning Kruger Active Member

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    Two thoughts to consider. First, write the last chapter. Write the conclusion so you know where you are headed. It will keep you on track and give you a reference point. Second, why the trilogy? Just get a story written. Write it so it is a book in and of itself. You can quit after one and be proud. But if you hold 3 over yourself, you are creating this gigantic goal that will beat your morale down. Write one. If you are happy and want to continue, then write the second and third. Writing a book is hard. Create an attainable goal and be proud of it.
     
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  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    So much good advice on this thread!

    In some ways this dilemma of yours is kind of like meeting your 'true love.' The harder you try to find him, the more unlikely it is that your 'true love' will appear. Relax, and it's more likely to happen, and when you least expect it. The thought of you sitting at your computer going over and over the same scene, trying to make it happen—grrr grrrr grrrrrr—brings up that 'searching for true love' image. This is probably what published writers mean, when they talk about writer's block. It's not procrastination. It's really a block.

    I'm also sensing a huge scattering of energy. Not only with all your other life commitments, but with your story and its world. You're thinking 'trilogy' when you haven't got past chapter 5. And there are other stories too. And more and more. And the more world building you do, the more potential stories there are.....

    Your vision of the burning house is an excellent one. But what is this particular story (not the Trilogy, Fourlogy, Eightogy) about? You don't need to know everything that's going to happen, but you've created what sounds like a strong character in a 'built world' which is probably sufficient to get by for now. So what does this particular character want? What is she up against? What is she trying to do in this story? THIS story, not hundreds of other potential stories?

    If you go back to the scene with a clear vision in your head of what it means to HER, then I think you'll break through. Does she know the people inside the house? Is she panic-stricken because she wants to help them and can't? Or is she neutral, just watching the event unfold, and trying to conjure up some emotional reaction? Does she also think the 'game' is funny? If not, why not? Does this activity change her attitude towards her situation in some way?

    I think if you filter the scene through her eyes, through her feelings and thoughts, you'll be able to break through. If you're playing this as if you were inside a role-playing game ...oooh, look what Shifters can do, bad bad Shifters. Now how can I use them? ....and don't actually work with your character's involvement here, you will lose focus. Because that's not a scene, it's just part of your worldbuilding. Fun, but ultimately meaningless within your story unless it impacts strongly on your character and her development. It's the impact on that character that we, the readers, need to see.

    In fact, when somebody is watching a huge event like this, it is small detail that is likely to catch their attention. A toy lying outside the house that the Shifters keep stepping on, etc. And the Shifters keep flicking in and out of sight? Does your character know why this is happening? It it normal for Shifters to do this? And if not, does your character know why this is happening? If not, the character will certainly be wondering ...maybe even hoping that some power is at work that might save the family?

    If worse comes to worse, and you simply can't get this scene down, then let it lie unfinished, and move on to the next scene. Or go away and think about it a bit more. Toss some 'what-ifs' into the mix and see what emerges.

    Do try to keep your mind from wandering off onto other stories, though, unless they tie directly into this one. It's too easy to 'lose interest' in a story and go off to play around with another one ...then lose interest in that, and move on ....and again ....and nothing gets finished. While there is nothing wrong with taking a break from writing, and nothing fatal about a writer's block regarding a particular scene or point in the story, it IS fatal to a writer if you never stick to one story long enough to finish it.

    Rather than getting bored with your present story, ramp it up a little. Throw in a couple of unexpected things, and help it change direction, get richer, less melodramatic, more meaningful—whatever it takes. But keep it as personal as possible for your character, and keep beavering away on THAT story, not dozens of others. The solutions will come.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
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  13. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a fundamental difference between wanting to write and wanting to fantasize (HINT- if you find yourself wanting to write generally because you've been inspired by a video game or a movie or a T.V show, you're probably in the latter category.) Look, it's fun to to have characters in your head who can protect you, or who you can admire, and it's fun to have places in your head you can escape to, but in my humble opinion this isn't really writing, at least not by itself.

    Writing to me means loving the sound of your own (writer's) voice, loving to play with words for one's own amusement, and or pouring one's heart onto a page. Or you just love putting words onto a page. Or you like having an audience. If its not just for writing (let's call it constructive introversion) at least its for entertaining/informing others (let's call it constructive extroversion).

    Here's a simple test to determine which category you fall into. If you spend most of your time fantasizing about your story, and very little time actually writing, you most likely fall into to the "wanting to fantasize" category.

    Writing obviously doesn't have to be lofty- I'm not saying that all. Stephen King gets called lowbrow, but the man grew up writing. He loved it. At the end of the day, if you're not ever putting words onto a page, even after being struck with "inspiration," you're probably just a fantasizer

    It's a question probably everyone here ought to ask themselves. Save that person a lot of time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
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  14. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I disagree. People can also be held back by not feeling confident in their ability to write, or they could be bored with writing because they have yet to find the themes/style of prose they enjoy using.
     
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  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe you've had it in your head so long, you're bored of it? Some people can't write if everything's planned out already cus they feel like the story's already been told, and they lose interest. You said it yourself in the first post - you try to write it and the story just seems dull to you. Well, writing's hard work and truth be told, there's really no guaranteed reward at the end of the road aside from personal satisfaction and enjoyment - so if you find it dull, it's highly unlikely you'll ever finish.

    But I'd ask, what about the story do you find dull? If I were you, either rework those aspects or just cut it out altogether.

    Or maybe the project is just so big you feel daunted by it. You say you have what, 2 trilogies in your head? 14 books planned out? (I only skimmed some of your other posts but I seem to remember that number) Considering - and I'm just assuming here - you've never even written a SINGLE novel, of course you're gonna be freaked out if in your head your project is that large. It's like asking me, who's only just started up singing lessons, to go perform in the opera. My skill level isn't there and I certainly know it, and it's effing terrifying! When I started singing lessons, I started off only wanting to sing solos. Now, I'm getting interested in duets and the challenge of maintaining a different voice. Because that's harder, and therefore more fun. It also means I've built enough confidence in my singing to try it.

    Writing isn't all that different. You haven't even tried a single stand-alone novel and you wanna be thinking about something like ten books in one go? It's like the person who've never even sprinted 100 meters thinking about running a 50km marathon. And without training at that. Seriously, it's no wonder if you're scared. And that could be quite a major block to actually getting it done.

    As for, is it worth it if the story's never finished? Personally, I'd say no. I had a novel where I rewrote every full draft from scratch and every story turned out different, to the point where I took a half year break cus I was so frustrated. No, I don't think it's worth it at all. But that's why I sat down, pinpointed the problem, resolved it, and sat down to write it again with the belief that this time, it's actually going to finish. My problem wasn't that I couldn't write - I can write just fine. I've written 9k words already in 7 days for the latest draft. My problem was the plot. I've finished writing this novel at least 3 times and I do finally have a book out, albiet a collab and self-published, so I know I'm perfectly able to finish.

    The only question is: are you going to finish it?

    I know I will. And if this final draft doesn't work out, then I'm ready to say goodbye to the story. But only after this finished draft. It's really just a matter of choice. And if you choose to do this project of yours, then you knuckle down and start writing, no excuses. Blocks, getting bored, getting scared, whatever - excuses. When you're scared and discouraged, have a good rage and a good cry and then get back to it. When you're blocked, take time out to refresh yourself and analyse why you're blocked. If it's a plot problem, fix it. If it's a simple matter of perfectionism and self-doubt, then ignore it and write anyway - write utter crap if you have to. I've never really had writer's block myself - and I don't think I'm somehow special or maybe I have magic (lol). I think it's just a way of thinking.

    Believe in yourself. Can you finish? Absolutely. Just put one word in front of another - you're perfectly capable of that. Do you want to finish? Only you can answer that. And if you do want to finish, ask yourself, well, will you finish?

    That's got to be the easiest question to answer. It's a choice. Will you do it? It's either yes or no. And if yes, then get your butt back to your document and start writing!!!! You can do this. And if you want it, then go get it!
     
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  16. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    People can be "held back," by a million things. Depression, work, illness, etc. etc. etc. I totally agree with you there, but I'm not sure how it's relevant to the discussion here.

    What I'm saying is, if you spend a lot of time creating a story in your head, and basically no time writing, there's a good chance that the problem is you're mistaking your desire to fantasize for a desire to write. Let's look at your two potential causes in this context.

    1. Confidence. Probably the NSA has better things to do than to check out that awfully written vampire porno you gotten hidden in your documents folder. No one has to see what you write. Nothing will happen if its bad. In fact, if you believe in editing, it can't be good until its bad anyway! Not having confidence and letting that affect your will to write is just another sign that maybe writing isn't for you. Someone on this forum more or less said this. "I did not consider myself a writer. I knew I wasn't good at writing. I had a story I had to tell. I joined a writer's group in real life, and I've been working till now to make it good so I can tell my story." This is an example of someone who was serious about their story. Maybe they weren't doing it for the love of writing, but they were sure doing it for the love of informing others (this person I believe even said as much). Lack of confidence didn't stop this person.

    2. This is a fair statement but doesn't really go against what I'm saying at all. If a "fantasizer" finds a theme/style of prose they enjoy writing (I'm willing to bet it will be with an entirely different type of story), they'll fall into the "wanting to write category." However here's no guarantee that this will ever happen. Enjoying fantasies in your head doesn't actually guarantee you'll ever like writing, but I think it's fair to say it confuses quite a lot of people for a while.
     
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  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Something @123456789 said sparked an idea in my brain. It's the idea of 'audience.' Can you pretend to be telling this story to somebody you know? Sometimes that's a great way to lift yourself from 'ideas' into storytelling mode. Pick a friend whom you think would like this story, and start telling this story to them. This is not a critical friend. This is a friend who will be hanging on your every word, feeling every bit of tension, sympathising with your character, dying to know what will happen next. It's all in your head, of course, but this kind of personal visualisation really works to break through a writing block. It won't necessarily help you build a plot or anything like that, but it can help make words flow out of you in a convincing manner.
     
  18. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You know, when I start wondering if Will's story is any good, or if I should just give it up, I actually think of you :D and it helps me keep writing!

    Yeah I wouldn't underestimate the significance and the immense benefit of having someone who believes in you and your work :) (speaking of which, you finished editing that penultimate chapter yet so I can read your book?)
     
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  19. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I might be a little harsh, but sometimes I find it hard to take writers who don't write seriously. People who say they've got books all planned out in their heads and spent X number of years thinking through it, too - usually something like 8 books (I actually have 2 separate friends who've done exactly this) and then I ask them, "So what have you written?" And they say, "Oh, the first chapter." (or some other short snippet) They never have an answer when I ask them, "So why are you not writing?"

    A lack of time would be a pretty legit reason, but these two friends do have time. One's a student and the other's a teenager lol. I have still another friend who's been planning her novel since the age of something like 13 and I believe to this day she only has the very first chapter written - and she's like 25 by now.

    None of them are necessarily bad writers. From what I've read, their writing looks decent. From what they've told me of their stories, it sounds awesome.

    But it seems they'll never write it, and I just don't get why. I see them as people who like to write but are not writers. Writers write. People who just talk about writing and plan their stories - I don't know what they are, but they're not writers to me. In fact, I find it very frustrating to hear them talk about their "writing" or the lack of because I'm like, for goodness' sake you have a frigging awesome story there and you clearly want to write it, and it looks like you have the skill. Why won't you write the damn thing!? It's such a shame :( For me, I just see the wasted potential - the story's so cool and there's really not a realistic chance of it ever getting written, and therefore read. It's sad.
     
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  20. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Add another voice to the idea that having an audience is really important.

    I think it's why so many people have success and find enjoyment in writing fanfiction. For most new authors, there IS no audience for a very, very long time, while they hone their skills, finish their novel, etc.

    In fanfiction, even the weakest writers usually get a couple readers, and there's the tradition of posting either really short stories or longer stories chapter-by-chapter, so there's early, and generally positive, feedback for the work.
     
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  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My guess is you're just way too scattered right now, doing a gazillion other things. I've been there, and that's when focusing on writing is extremely difficult. Maybe you'll have to wait for things to calm down a bit?

    Other than that, it's a bit difficult to relate to your situation... I always feel like just having that plan is not enough 'cause that's just daydreaming. I love the challenge of words, finding just the way to express your mind in simple black and white, and very rarely get stuck. When that happens, it usually means that's not the right way to go about the scene. Then again, I have the benefit of collaboration 'cause I write with @T.Trian, so it's difficult to feel uninspired. Our problem is surplus, not shortage, tbh. :(

    Maybe you'll have to rediscover the joy of written word, or something. Might take awhile, but if it's the thing you want and need to do, it'll happen sooner or later. I also agree about the audience. If you feel like you're writing for someone, that might give the extra kick to finish what you've started.
     
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  22. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    From what I've observe, here are a some of the various groups of people who 'talk' rather than 'write':

    + Those who really do not like the writing process, but feel ashamed somehow because everyone else expects them to write so they lie about it, which makes them feel worst. Their real creative happiness lie within their own head. To put it another way, just because a person likes to jog doesn't mean he/she wants to run in a marathon. But because they don't want to feel like they're letting people down, they say they're a writer and they're working on it, which builds up the guilt and stress because not only are they lying to everyone, including their friends, but they're lying to themselves.

    + Those who do want to write, but are scared because it's a lot of work for little gain. We like to see something out of a finished product, and I think some of them get the wrong idea of a finished product. Writers see a finished draft, not the bags of money being mailed to them.

    + Those who do want to write, but are scared because while it may sound epic and amazing in their head may just be the same old clichéd story to the rest of the world.

    + Those who compare themselves to successful writers like Stephen King and think, 'I can never be like him' and get very discouraged by it.

    + Those who have a little bit of everything I just mentioned. They've got it worse than the others as they have fear, doubt, regret, and a whole bunch of other things working against them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
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  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    No, not quite. Got the bare bones of the changes, but now I need to work on blending them in. :)

    I'll add a fourth to @Link the Writer 's list above. And it's the saddest one of all, really. These are the folks who would love to write, but don't have the basic word skills. I don't mean 'they need to learn creative writing,' I mean they lack basic grammatical skills to write anything at all. They struggle to string coherent sentences together on a page, can't spell, can't punctuate, don't have much of a vocabulary ...etc etc.

    I feel really really sorry for these people. Somewhere along the way, their education has left them behind. Many of them have genuinely great ideas, the ability to organise a story, maybe even tell a story out loud. But their lack of basic language skills prevents them from producing anything readable.

    I think that's the hardest hurdle to jump, really. Unless they are willing to go back to school and learn/unlearn habits from scratch, being a writer just isn't going to happen for them. The more people get separated from reading from a printed page, the worse this dislocation is going to get. We've all seen folks on this forum who are eager to write because they've been inspired by a movie they saw or a TV show they've become fond of. But that doesn't always translate into becoming a writer, as we all discover. Unfortunately.

    Talent and inspiration are great attributes for anybody to have. But without skill, talent and inspiration will struggle to shine. Again—unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  24. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Thanks for all the comments and advice guys. And I've been pushing myself to write an hour a night again (getting about one and a half pages the last two nights each) and something happened. I decided, out of fear or frustration, to stop thinking ahead to the next plot and just delved into my character's head for once (Somewhere along the line i was broken away from this somehow) and got this:

    (Also tried to take your guy's advice and NOT edit! >.<)

    Yeah. She wants to go out and at least try to help the family who is currently burning alive. And now she's going to wake up and hear her failure when she wakes up.
     
  25. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Keitsumah,

    It depends on your reason for writing, if it's worth working on even if it might not ever get finished.

    In the end, life will always be full of activities that can crowd out writing and completing a novel--and potential novels to follow. If you want to write, if you want to be an author, you will have to make writing and related activities (editing, researching, etc.) a priority. Maybe not the top priority but if you don't, there is very little chance you'll ever succeed in satisfactorily completing a novel's first draft, let alone edit and revise so that it's ready to submit to agents and/or publishers or close enough that it could be edited and self-published.

    There is no answer other than if you have the internal drive and motivation to make it happen, realizing that, in the end, there is no guarantee of success (by whatever standard you'd want to measure 'success'). After college, there will be work and family and other obligations, so life will almost never be wide open to write freely, as you please with nothing else pressing. Even if you become a full time author, you'll not be able to do it leisurely if you hope to build and sustain a career.

    Good luck as you move forward.
     

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