1. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Lmc's Believe it or NOT!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lmc71775, Oct 10, 2009.

    Ok, here's a thought or question or idea to ponder on.

    How do you make your fictional story so believable, the readers will go...wow, that's a great story.

    A sincerely great story to me, sometimes even brings me to tears...or brings me to wonder in deep thought or delight!

    I am a manic-depressive writer and I mainly write poetry and children's short stories, some adult short stories and a novella too.

    Sometimes I am not in the mood to write, should I write anyway to press on with a story? Sometimes I write feeling in a great mood and write a story I truly believe is a good story....BUT after I post and recieve some feedback...good or bad or both....should I still believe in my story if some people say it is dull or depressing or not good enough?

    I had a professional editor edit my novella and now after recieving extensive feedback, I am at a stand still with it, because I lost interest and lost the belief that is was good. Now I am stuck with a dull, depressing 35, 000 word story I no longer believe in.

    I worked months on it, and poof!! I don't wanna even look at it anymore. So I move on to short stories and poems and other writing...fiction and non-fiction...

    Anyway...how do you write? when do you write? when the feeling is good? What if I think and believe I truly have a great idea on my hands and then boom...NO COMMENT on the boards...or whatever...then where does the story go? As the story goes nowhere after so many rejections. I don't want to self-publish, I can't afford it.

    Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? Just a thought.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is no magic formula for that. Plot ideas aren't all that important, compared to creating likeable, believable characters and a plausible, logical story development. Your use of words and imagery, and all the little tings that comprise the author's "voice" are also important.

    Read a lot of stories, particuilarly ones that have a similar premise as yours, to see how the authors sell you on the most outrageous sets of events.
     
  3. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're asking many questions at once.

    As for believability, well, I think you need to believe in your story as a writer, for the reader to believe in it too. It's like telling a good lie -- it's done best if you make yourself believe it first. ;)

    Give yourself time to get under the skins of your characters. Know everything about them, like they were your closest family. Develop your setting until you can almost smell it. In short, believe what you're telling is a true tale, and your audience might just go along with it.
     
  4. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Cogito...that is a good idea. I think I need to go back to the bookstore and browse in my section again. I haven't done that in a while. Gee and my own sis works at a bookstore and you would think she would give me her discount. Oh, well..nother story all in itself...(won't go there)

    HorusEye, good suggestion also. You're absolutely right, I need to believe in my characters again. Yes, I also need to get under their skin again...it's been a while...and I kinda miss them. Hehe Anyway...you bring up "time" also. I just need to allow myself the time to do so. Sometimes I get really impatient and the story goes south, I can't get to the end quick enough.

    I'll have to recap on my characters, detail and images and all that too. It is just daunting to read over and over and over again sometimes.

    Thanks again for the tips. I am so glad I stumbled on this site. It is quite enjoyable to be on. A lotta great writers here. I just need to work on pacing myself with reading and writing my own stuff. So much to do and so little time to do it with.
     
  5. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I think wowing a reader and writing to discover and experience one's own wow-factor are two different writerly objectives, neither one of which is necessarily the “right” way to write; and neither will guarantee a writer a successful, readable outcome. But the stories I read and think of as the most magnificent--i.e., those that move me from one level of thought to another and give me new insights into human nature, the human condition, or a different view of human interaction--reveal to me a pretty clear picture of a writer who gains something himself from the writing--maybe even something surprising. Writers like Murakami, Saramago, Calvino, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, and classic authors like Kafka, Nabokov, Chekhov and others seem to me to discover themselves in their works at least as much as they reveal a compelling storyline to the reader.

    I've worked with a published novelist for many years whose stories are launched and worked out and "finished" strictly for publishability, and they are well-structure, interesting, and neatly tied up and well-grammared and relatively flawless. But they are nothing more than that. At one point early on in my own fiction writing I gave a good deal of thought to why this writer’s perfectly well-crafted stories did not seem to be the kind of writing I felt inclined to pursue, myself. I came to the conclusion that his writing objective was simply different from mine.

    For me, it's not a matter of "should-ness," but a matter of whether the story was meaningful for me when I wrote it. If I lose interest in a particular story I'm writing, I simply write something else. More likely (for me), my take on where that story was heading will change (as I do, over time).


    If the initial purpose of writing a story is to discover the elements that compel the writing, to begin with, then nothing is ever "lost" in a story that doesn't make an impression upon one's readers (including one’s editor or critic). Writing, to me, is about self-discovery. Does it speak to me as I write it? What themes and twists do I find as I go? What does that tell me about that part of myself I believe might connect me to others? All that's left at that point is to learn the craftsmanship that converts that experience into an equally compelling reader experience. I think even (especially) rejected works can be valuable challenges on the craftsmanship side--i.e., turning a story into a satisfying reading experience.

    I think it's perfectly natural to want to seek validation from readers whose perceptions are equally stunned by what compels the writer to write in the first place. I believe that human connection to a reader or readership is as valid a driving force for a serious writer as publishing income may be for another. And that's where craftsmanship comes in. Learning the craftsmanship necessary is probably a lifelong process, even (maybe even especially so) for the writers I think of as "best."


    I write most all the time. The "feeling" of writing is always good (for me). I don't write fiction (or poetry) about "great ideas," myself. I don’t write about ideas at all. I write about whatever the words unfold as I go. Once a storyline starts to emerge, then I work more on the craftsmanship side in order to deliver a story to readers who might find the story as compelling to read as the process was to me when I wrote it.
     
  6. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    To create a story that people want to read, I create a world I would like to visit and explore. I create characters I would like to hang out with. My ultimate goal is to tell a cool story, but I also am writing to comment on the human condition and raise philosophical questions. I want the reader dwelling on concepts in my novel for years to come.

    I discipline myself to write every day, except those days I feel too physically ill to do so. I must write for at least an hour. If no words come, then I just sit there and stare at the screen, day dreaming about what happens in the scene. I allow myself to do nothing else during that time.

    Some days I feel like I won't be able to write anything. But I write that first hard sentence, followed by the second less hard. The next thing I know the story is flowing.

    Discipline yourself to write every day, or six days a week. Start with 20 minutes. Write no matter how you feel emotionally. Write one clause at a time. If the next clause will not come, then day dream about the scene. What happens next? Write the next sentence to get closer to that goal. Some days writing is like trying to start an old truck that refuses to start. On those days, you might only write one sentence and do a lot of day dreaming. That's fine. At least you pushed yourself and got something done, even if it was mostly day dreaming, which is a big part of writing.

    After doing this for a few weeks, you will notice when it comes time to write for the day, it's easier. The brain gets used to the habit and just starts kicking into write mode. All these novelist that pump out two or more novels a year, like Dean Koontz, have a set time in the day they set aside for writing. They discipline themselves.
     
  7. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    I have to grasp this concept completely. And I think I haven't. I used to believe that every book every book that gets published is a good book to read...on the best sellers list and all that jazz. But after pointing this info out to me Molly, I have now come to realize, it may not be a good story necessarily, but just a piece of excellent writing. That doesn't always mean it is good. Opinions and interests all matter. It is just a matter of taste. Thank you so SO much for giving me that validation. I thought that is what it was, but I wasn't clear on it.

    You mentioned a few other brilliant things, which I may come back and ask you about. Right now, I have to ingest your prospective. Excellent prospective indeed. Thank you again.


    Arc, thank you so much too, for your quality feedback. I am enveloped in your "End of All" and already value your higher level of writing and wonderment as a writer, so you have my respect from the get go. You speak of "discipline" and "daydream"....two things I often lack as a writer. My writing discipline is spuratic and not balanced out...sometimes I write my guts out, for three or four hours at a time. Sometimes I only write for an hour or so. BUT I do always write...and read each and every day. I force myself to. But I think a daily more structured routine is in order here, (for my own good).

    Secondly, I love LOVE to daydream...MMMmm...maybe too much. But I lack discipline on that too. Sometimes I think too much on my story idea, that I lose the idea entirely as I internally frustrated inside, while on the outiside, I movitate myself to do the usually housewife and real life duties and routines. To get my mind off my story idea that is bugging me. What I need to do is write notes. God, I am so stupid on not writing notes. I am very forgetfull too. Another issue of mine. Anyway. My point is, thank you for supporting the "daydream" idea. I was always scolded in school for daydreaming too much and look where its got me now...a writer...or at least a wanna be.

    But allowing myself to daydream in a my structured way...WOW...is it that easy?

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  8. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, write notes! You think you'll remember those ideas you get at random times, in the shower, late at night, on the bus... But you won't.

    When I go through my notes, I'm often thinking "Who wrote this?", so those things would surely have vanished from my memory.
     
  9. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    YES, notes!

    Maybe I could treat myself to those sweet little stickies...those posted sticky notes?

    Time to go to Staples! LOL Thanks
     
  10. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    There's this program where you can put stickies on your desktop. I just can't remember the name... it's pretty cool, I must say
     

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