1. pluemaster
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    pluemaster New Member

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    Looking for some advice

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by pluemaster, Feb 14, 2009.

    Hail, Writing Forums. I'm brand new around here, given that the reason I researched for a writing specific forum was to receive some help. :rolleyes:

    On topic, though, I'm having trouble refraining from redoing paragraphs, pages, or even full scale chapters in a philosophy-based "novel" I'm creating. Basically, nothing I write is satisfying after a while, even though plenty of people enjoy it thoroughly. Don't get me wrong, after I'm finished with a page or a chapter, I'll read through it and remain satisfied until about a couple days to a week. I'm not exactly sure if advice is really what I'm looking for, more so reassurance that other people may have this problem? Haha, but either way, if this problem keeps persisting then I won't get this thing finished.

    Thanks,
    pluemaster
     
  2. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Is there any way for you to polish a chapter or whatever once or twice only (to the point where you say you're satisfied), then NOT look at it for quite a while? You say that the problem seems to arise when you keep looking at it for up to a few days or a week. So try not looking at it until a much longer time has passed--say, a few months. You could just be looking at your own writing too much, and of course it can get tiresome after a while. I love my writing to death but I imagine I'd get sick of it if I kept looking at the same thing for a week. Even more so if I were trying to fix it up--it would become a chore, very tedious.

    Then, when I come across a chapter I haven't looked at in months or years, it's like something entirely new and interesting.

    "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," as they say.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good advice... you might also want to post the beginning of your first chapter here, so you can get some fresh feedback from neutral observers...

    plus, my 'day job' is as full-time 'working philosopher' and if you want me to check out an overview and sample chapters, just let me know...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  4. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    As long as you can always find ways to improve your writing, you will continue to improve as a writer. There's a saying: a writer's work is never finished. There is always some way to improve a piece. The day you look back on old work and can't find a thing wrong with it may be the day your dream dies. So I say this is all well and good, perhaps essential to success.

    But it is also important not to dwell on the same piece for too long, as Tehuti mentioned. Put it on the shelf for a while after a couple revisions, and continue to write new material. It is important to avoid enforcing bad habbits, so regular revision and self critiquing will save you a lot of time and head aches in the long run, IMO. But don't get bogged down by the fact that none of your writing is perfect. I'm sure most of us feel that way (actually, I hope so) but we keep on writing in the hopes of some day producing that elusive perfect piece.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Yes. That happens to me all the time. I get positive, constructive feedback often enough, but I consistently revisit work and suddenly think it's absolute rubbish.

    When that happens, I actually try to leave it alone, as I'm aware that I'm probably not looking at it as objectively as I can. (If I make an attempt to 'fix' it during those times, I often end up with something that is a bigger mess than what I started with). After a while, much like tehuti has said, I'm able to take a fresher look at it and edit it into a more polished version.
     
  6. Slippery
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    Slippery Contributing Member

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    You sound like you're making a lot of progress on your novel! I agree with everyone else.. let your stuff sit in the fridge for a while.
     

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