1. LOLscream
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    LOLscream Member

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    My brain gets in the way

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LOLscream, Jun 19, 2011.

    As usual, my brain is getting in the way of things.
    This time, I suspect it's my writing.

    I have all these great ideas in my head - some are really old and some just pops up out of nowhere and I go to write it down. As I start getting in to it, though, perhaps written a page or two... I just find that I can't go on.

    Either I'm already getting tired of the idea or I'm really displeased with something I wrote and suddenly the entire thing seems wrong. So, I toss it away and start something new.
    Then the same thing happens again.

    No matter what I'm writing I can't seem to write more than four pages the most. I guess I feel that if it's not any good right now, then why should I continue working on it?

    The only thing that really works is when I'm exhausted and can't think clearly. I just write.
    This is so irritating to me, because I love posting fanfiction online and I haven't been able to post anything for ages.

    How do you guys feel about this? Can anyone relate?
     
  2. Suadade
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    Suadade Senior Member

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    I can totally relate - I think anyone who's tried to write a song can. A couple of years back, when I tried, I couldn't put anything down on the page, it was so embarrassing to look at. Either that or it was stolen. Then, I started figuring it out and gradually it got easier. There was a while a few months ago when I could just sit down and write anything down and make lyrics out of it.

    I seem to have fallen out of the groove again now though. I need to practice more.

    So I guess what I'm saying is, keep at it even though it's frustrating, eventually you'll come around!
     
  3. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    What works for me is to sit down and think about the story I want to tell. Really think about the story and the story only. No characters, no scenes, no background no plot or any of the stuff you will use to build the story. Think about only the story. What is it you want to tell the readers. What emotion, thought or struggle is it that you want to tell them.

    Then I think of the plot. How am I going to tell this story. What events will happen in the plot that will lead the MC to the story I am trying to tell. I write my plot on notes. It usually just starts with a beginning, middle and end.

    Then I begin to write. As I do so, I think of events in my plot that I want to get my character to and add them to my plot line. They guide my story and keep me off of tangents and help to prevent writers block. I start to develop characters for the roles that come up in the plot much like a director hires an actor for a role. I keeps notes about the characters like small back stories to give them depth and to keep them consistent.

    This may or may not help you. Each writer has their own method and it is up to you to find yours. You can do this by doing what you are doing; practice. Try some short stories or for me it is sometimes reading. Reading inspires me and I like to change it up. Try different styles of written stories like the Canterbury Tails, Adventures of Tom Sawyer and so on.

    I hope this helps. Good luck getting un-blocked.
     
  4. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    I find I have the opposite problem. Give me a subject/idea to write about and i'll write all day on it. Just when it comes to ideas for stories and novels flashing into my head, they're few and far between. So i can tell you, you're lucky :) Stick at it and i'm sure it will come good!
     
  5. Irontrousers
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    Irontrousers Member

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    Sounds like you rack a-disiprinn.
    Writing is hard and unpleasant. You have to force yourself to keep going.

    Also:
    "What works for me is to sit down and think about the story I want to tell. Really think about the story and the story only. No characters, no scenes, no background no plot or any of the stuff you will use to build the story. Think about only the story. What is it you want to tell the readers. What emotion, thought or struggle is it that you want to tell them."

    What the hell? Without characters or a plot, there IS no story. Starting with an emotion that you want to cram down readers' throats is a backwards and vulgar way to go about storytelling.
     
  6. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    I have exactly the same problem. Partly it's the embarrassment and self-conscienceness of what I have produced. Writing is very much a case of taking things from your head and offering them to the world. What will people think? Will they hate it, and therefore hate me in turn? This is of course nonsense, but it's what goes through my mind when I re-read whatever it is I have just produced.

    What works for me is things that reduce my inhibitions a little. Perhaps a bit of meditation will help, or self-discipline to continue regardless of how you think your work will be recieved.
    For me it's single malt scotch or a glass of good red wine. :D Not in any quantity to get drunk on, but just enough to ignore that annoying little voice that tells me all I do is rubbish. What I find is once I have started, it's hard to stop. If I can get past that first page or two then it takes a life of it's own and it's all I can do to keep up and get the words out fast enough.
     
  7. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I get that way sometimes, when everything I write just seems to come out wrong somehow. When that happens, instead of throwing away everything I've written, I save it and see if I can salvage it for a different story.
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If your brain is getting in the way of things, then your brain is the problem.

    Have it removed.

    Your creativity will flow better without it.
     
  9. LOLscream
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    LOLscream Member

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    Thank you all for your brilliant advice. I've been reading through everything you all said and certainly taken all of it to mind.

    I would try and force myself to finish what I write, only that the ideas usually are ideas for just a scene or two, not an entire plot. I have no idea where I want the stories to go, so that's probably why I can't go on. I've realized now that the biggest problem most likely is that.
    It is also true that I find it a little awkward to think of anyone else reading it. It's like I'm not alone with it, so I feel like someone is constantly peeking over my shoulder.

    Perhaps I just need to try what JimFlagg suggested and think about the plot first, before I do anything else. No characters or lines that I want to be said until I have the story finished in my head.
    I feel like that is what will work for me.

    Thank you so much everyone for taking time! :)
     
  10. Diablo Robotico
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    Diablo Robotico Member

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    I think the real problem is the second part, about worrying what others would think. When I was younger, I really wanted to be a writer and I had all these ideas, but whenever I tried to write, I felt the same way. I would never really get started because I was worried that someone would walk in, or when I did write, I would immediately hate and critique everything I had written.

    The thing is that, while you might not like the first few pages, you're not allowing yourself time for the story to become good. I'm working on a novel now. I liked the characters and story before I started, but I disliked the first chapter (I probably still need to work on it). That said, as I've been writing, I've gradually become more invested in the story and gained confidence in both the story and my writing. I've gotten to a point where I can't imagine not finishing it.

    The fact is a story isn't completely developed in a few pages (if it is, then there's a problem). My advice: Write a lot. Don't stop until you're done, and don't look back at your previous pages until you're ready. By then, you might realize your writing in the beginning isn't that bad, or you will have improved and you can fix it. But you're never going to have a great story without a middle and an end.

    Anyway, that's just my opinion. I wasted a lot of years by not being confident enough, and I hope that doesn't happen to you.

    And if you do have some problems with ideas for scenes, I usually make an outline, and just by needing transitions between certain scenes, I come up with ideas for new scenes. Ideas also can come to you while writing, so that's another reason to write and never stop.
     
  11. LOLscream
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    LOLscream Member

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    You're absolutely right. I need to start giving what I write a shot. But I'm my work's toughest critic and I'm sure you all feel the same.

    I'm fairly certain that I would develop more as a writer if I didn't give up all the time.

    Thanks so much for your words :)
     
  12. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's confidence. Don't worry about what people would think, if it's good or bad or any of those things.

    Just write something. Even if it's a short story. Just try and finish something. A first draft is never going to be 'perfect' for anyone, and that's what revising is for.

    Once you've got into the habit of finishing something, it will get easier next time round. :)

    Exactly that. :)
     
  13. Irontrousers
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    Irontrousers Member

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    it's not rubbish if you arent thinking about charactors, setting and yadda yadda. peoples brains all operate differently. writing what you feel is a story in itself. everything is a story. if you think about it too much, and analyze everything to death your inspiration will be dead. just go with whatever comes to mind. then go back and add, change and edit. if you hit a wall just start with the skeletal structure first. forget all the pretentious restrictive crap. that may be why you are having a hard time...too many restrictions. don't worry about what others think! =)
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always think of my first draft as essentially raw ingredients. It's not going to be good. It's not just that there's a chance that it won't be good; it's almost _guaranteed_ that it won't be good.

    Look at a big bowl with flour and eggs and milk all tossed in, before being mixed; does it look good? Does the fact that it looks horrible stop you from going on to bake a cake or some biscuits? Does the fact that you can't just walk into the kitchen and say, "I want biscuits" and have them appear, perfect, in front of you, mean that you should never cook?

    Unlike cooking, where you can go out and buy your raw ingredients, with writing you have to make your own. Your first draft is those raw ingredients, and there's no reason to expect them to look any better than that mess of flour and milk and eggs. The real product comes from editing. And you can't edit until you write the first draft.

    ChickenFreak
     

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