1. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    Motivation advice.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dauracul, Feb 14, 2011.

    Hey everyone.

    I browsed through various other motivation threads, but I decided it would be best to get some advice for my specific situation.

    To get right to the point, I have two novels going right now. Novel A is my pride and magnum opus, and I've been working on this story for the past 6 years. Novel B is my newer work.

    Basically, Novel A is too massive of a story to publish as my first work. For one, it's part of a series, and for another, it will most likely breach that word count limit that publishers immediately reject.

    This delimma gave birth to Novel B. Novel B fulfills all of the roles Novel A can't: Its a stand-alone story, it's shorter, and it's a good platform to test the publishing waters with. I'm satisfied with the plot and it has all of the creative flair I'm wanting.

    The problem is, I want to make Novel A. I want to so badly that Novel B gets forced into a status that I don't want it to be, a gateway for Novel A. I'd love to consider it its own work and be passionate about it alone, but I just don't have the drive for writing it as I do my magnum opus.

    And so, I don't write. I procrastinate. I know the first response I'm going to get is "force yourself to write", but if I force myself, my writing will be dull and filled with no passion. When I'm really in the mood and really get into the zone, my writing improves tremendously.

    Anyone have any ideas? Should I just stop complaining and try to write Novel B?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does it matter if what you write is fluff you can always delete it later ?

    I have one work I know once complete will be hard to top - if I get it right the story is imaginative, characters perfect and its a real blow you out of the water ending.

    I do kind of understand where you are coming from - I procrastinated at Christmas it wasn't that I had stopped writing (Wrote a novella, finished another work and wrote around five short stories, oh and plotted a new series of novels), I was avoiding a scene I didn't want to write - however the only solution was to have a night where all I did was write that scene.

    Maybe stop thinking of your work A as your magnum opus, and try and make work B everything it can be.
     
  3. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    How far along is Novel A?
    Has it been revised yet?
    How many words is it?

    Let's assume you're right, and Novel A is too long. Consider breaking it up, with the possibility of a sequel. But if you've really got 6 years of effort into your best work, I wouldn't let it collect dust for too long.
     
  4. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    Novel A is 6 years old but sadly I've never gotten more than several chapters in. I spent a few years perfecting the story, editing things and changing things, and more time deciding which format I wanted Novel A to be (graphic novel, novel, movie script, video game) before finally deciding on a novel. At that point I was stuck in a loop where I would write out one chapter, and edit and edit until I was satisfied before moving onto the next, and got nothing done. So those 6 years don't really have anything to show for themselves, sadly.

    I suppose the best solution, like you said, is to look at Novel B differently.
     
  5. Terri
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    Terri Senior Member

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    Or, you can just write & finish Novel A - write. Not revise / edit / revise again. Finish the story - get it on paper. Once you've accomplished that you might be more apt to move along. Revising & getting A ready for publication can come after you've succeeded with B.
    I have problems doing more than one project at a time too. I'm in the middle of a fantasy novel, but I'd really like to test the waters w/ short stories / free lance writing just to get my name out there. I'm having a very hard time writing other stuff. My other critique forum had a 'word war' on Saturday night - sit for an uninterrupted hour and just write & compare word ct, etc. I chose something off the wall to write about & couldn't keep my mind on it. I'm just stuck on my WIP.
    So, I've decided to do what a published friend of mine said to do. Finish it. Then move on. Even if it's ROUGH in content / grammar at least it will be on paper.
    Hope it works out for you!
     
  6. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    Put novel A aside and focus on B. Hopefully you've learned all the techniques you need to make novel B a success.

    It's disapointing to put a piece of work away, especially when you've spent so much time on it. I can relate to your situation, I've still got my pride and joy novel waiting to be finished.

    I was in a similar loop, I worked on my novel for two years and I got to a point before I realised it was rubbish and I started again. For a little change I decided to write a script which was completly different to what I'd done before and I love this form of writing more then I did before. In several months I've finished tonnes and tonnes of work and that's what you need to do, break the loop and work on something that invigorates you and hopefully in several months you'll have good, finished work to show for your efforts.
     
  7. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    You speak of not forcing yourself, because the writing will be dull, with no passion. Yet, over 6 years, what do you have to show for that philosophy? A rough draft is allowed to be dull, to a degree. It is like the first cut of a sculptor to a piece of stone. I don't know whether book A or book B is the right choice. Whichever one you pick, stick with it, and just write!
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree entirely with this it is my rough stone - if you are only a few chapters in I struggle to know how you can have an idea of length, mine have never been what I intended. Short stories have become novels and novellas, trilogy became one 80K novel etc
     
  9. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    I only really mention the length because of how much content is in this novel. In order to properly tell the story without blazing through it too fast, it will need to be a long novel, well over 100,000 words.

    Granted, it's just an estimate I'm working with here. My current draft as of November last year is sitting at just under 30,000 words, and I've barely scratched the surface of the story. About that time I realized I need to get working on something smaller, and that's when I stopped and moved on to Novel B.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thing is once you have finished your first draft you may actually decide to reduce and pare back the story etc I think really it might be good to set yourself a daily wordage and try and stick to it, don't worry about quality or planning and see where you go with it. Then you can go back and edit it. 1667 words a day will get you 100,000 word first draft in two months.
     
  11. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    That's actually a really good idea, I might try that. It could help with keeping up with short, manageable daily goals and force me to include only the content that's necessary to fit in that word count.
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    actually don't even think about the content - there is nothing in a first draft that can't be altered, changed, reworded, deleted or added to.

    If planning and editing was completing books for you I would say good on you. However they are taking a long time and not getting done, maybe give a different method a try.

    I can write a 100K novel writing full tilt in 20 days - the draft will be appalling but the story will be out. (that is under ideal conditions) - usually takes me two months to finish a story, if I give it two hours a day solid writing. Everyone works differently though just think it might be worth a try.
     
  13. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    I agree that setting manageable goals for each day and sticking with one project is the best way to go. I also tend to write better stuff when I feel inspired, but at times I need to force myself to write for a while before I get to that point.

    I think if I were in your place, I'd choose to work on the project that I was most passionate about first. That's what has worked best for me in terms of producing quality work. However, I understand why that may not be the best plan if you are really interested in getting published and can't make Novel A work for that purpose.
     
  14. Dauracul
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    It must be the artist in me. I do visual art as well, so I have a mindset of "get it perfect the first time" with everything creative I do.

    I'll try to look at it differently. I could try pumping out a single draft just to get the story out, and bite the bullet at how unappealing it might end up, so maybe that's what I need to do. I'll definitely feel good about getting it finished, that's for sure.
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't think of it as unappealing like Guamyankee said think of it of the rough stone to sculpt from or even the paint and blank canvas. Its the basis from which to create your story, to turn it into art. Its preparation work.

    I am a perfectionist with my work and its why I write the way I do - I need to be able to strip back thousands of words so I can rewrite it to make the story work etc It would be heartbreaking to do if I had spent 6 years on it. Deleting 30K words is not stressful it is a weeks work.
     
  16. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    That sounds like a good plan. I'm the same way...I like to have everything perfect the first time. But it's easier to make major structural changes to your book if you draft it all at once, unless you work with a solid outline and have everything planned in advance. Needless to say, throwing out a big chunk of a novel that you've spent months polishing is extremely frustrating.
     

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