1. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mediocre Writing: Methods of Improvement

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Annûniel, May 10, 2011.

    As some of you may know, I've been working on a book for a few years now (*cough* okay maybe more than just a few *cough*). Though I am writing chronologically now, I had written a few select scenes/chapters a while ago that occurred later and now I have reached some of those scenes. I reread what I wrote and thought it was really good writing, especially compared to what I've been producing recently (the past few weeks).

    I recognize that I am currently putting together a first draft and it won't be picture perfect by a long shot. I've been telling myself this as I've been chugging along and pushing through it. But then I remember how inspired I was when I was writing that particular "good" scene and can't help compare that to where I am now. Uninspired, but still chugging along and putting words down, even if I think it's all garbage the next day.

    So I can't help but question if my current method of "forced" writing (term used lightly as it's not that I don't enjoy writing or see it as a chore, but just uninspired overall and struggling) is really healthy or helping me improve as a writer. Does it get any easier? Am I suffering from writer's block? If so, will chugging along and writing crap really make me get over it? Or am I actually prolonging the symptoms?
     
  2. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    In my experience, "forcing" myself to write actually worsens this problem. When I'm not feeling the inspiration, the things I produce are inevitably lackluster compared to my good days, and knowing that makes it harder to get back into the groove. The only thing that helps me is to take a break. Go a week or more without giving my writing a hint of a thought. When I come back to it, I often find myself looking at the story in a different light. Sure, my writing may be a bit rusty after going a while without practice, but there's a difference between rusty and uninspired.

    Of course, if I do that, I pretty much have to throw out the last thing I've been working on and re-evaluate my plans for the part of the story I got stuck on. Coming back and working on exactly the same thing shepherds me back into the same line of thinking.

    Others will say the opposite, that you must trudge through the mire with frightening determination. They speak for themselves, as I do. We can't give you a solution that will work for you. You'll just have to look at your options and try the ones you feel are best until you find it. If persistence isn't working, then it's time to begin.
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    My dull spots often coincide with my life being too busy or being a bit depressed or something. Usually once I have a clear mind and clear timetable, I can get back to writing just as merrily as ever. Think if anything in your life is blocking you.

    Since I know that I usually just push through, and I re-write later. Though, I found that though I felt I was doing it with parts of the novel I recently finished, when I re-read it none of the parts felt particularly forced and in the context of the whole story I actually thought they were okay. Finishing a thing helps an awful lot and all the bits sort of lock into place for me.
     
  4. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Since this is a first draft, try shutting off the editor in you. Ït's difficult to be creative when you're constantly critizing what you do. Make yourself realize that nothing but getting the words down matters now. Just focus on making a good story. The good writing bit comes after. How about you don't even look back unless you absolutely have to? I always write a detailed plot outline before I write, but I change it to keep up with the story. It makes it easier for me to know where I am without looking through what I wrote, because if I do I find a lot of flaws and instinctively want to fix them, and then I never get to the actual writing.
     

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