1. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    My huge problem

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Agent Vatani, May 3, 2011.

    Okay here's my problem..

    I come up with good plots, so I start one then after a few chapter, I decide to trash it and so I trash it because I don't think it's good enough. And I'll move on with the next plot.
    How do you stop that?

    And plus I don't know what plot to choose...

    Beside though problems there, I can write all day and night long.

    Anyone here have the same problems?
     
  2. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    Well, no honestly. I have problems with having ideas for just part of a plot, but not a fully formed story. A complete plot isn’t just the premise for a story, but everything that happens in the story from beginning to end, right? So maybe you’re having trouble turning your premise for a story into a fully formed plot?
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess you should just stop trashing it. Try to ignore the despair long enough to move on. If you don't like the bit you're writing move on to the next bit of that awesome plot you have, and fill in the boring gaps later. At the moment it sounds like all you really need to do is finish something and build up the confidence you need. I'd say at this point all you really need is that so you might as well write something trashy and awful and just have a finished work or two under your belt. Trying to go for an awesome literary creation right off the bat is never a good idea. You need to learn to write first, and by that I mean more than openings - I mean the experience of crafting something from start to finish, and sticking with it through thick and thin.

    Just go write. Stop stressing. You're making it not fun and that sucks and then you shouldn't even do it if you don't love it. :p
     
  4. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    I never ponder on it like that before. Guess so, what's the point of writing if you don't like it...

    Hmmm, guess so stick with it and keep writing.
     
  5. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I used to have a really hard time writing longer pieces. I'd start when inspiration hit on a really good idea and then I'd get to a point where I was stuck.

    One thing that really helped me (believe it or not a student taught me this...) was to outline the plot events you want in each chapter of your book and think about it in the context of length, word count, etc. Divide it up into workable sections so that you don't just lose your train of thought and end up thinking it's not going to work.

    Also, if you get stuck, find a way to just sit there and get something written until you figure something out. You can always go back and revise that section later until it makes sense. The best advice given to me was to "BIC"--butt in chair. It's the only way you'll ever get work done.

    Oh, yes, and stop throwing things away. ;-)
     
  6. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    As my disclaimer, let me first say that I am by no means a published author, and while it’s true I’ve been writing all my life (a whole whopping 21 years), I’ve never written a book, or even finished a story to my satisfaction….. Now, with that said, here’s what I’ve discovered works for me. I used to think I didn’t need a plot mapped out, or an ending decided on, or all my characters formed before I started to write. I just sat down and started to write, and I got nowhere fast. I had great ideas (I thought), but they would die quickly when it came to putting them on paper. It’s like driving without knowing your destination….. You’re going to have a hard time finding where you want to go, and you’ll probably get angry/depressed before it’s over, and give up. You need to know where you want your story to go before you take off. Still, for me this was hard, because when I would work on my plot, I would get ideas for dialog and sense that I wasn’t yet ready to write. So, I still write some stuff without knowing where it’s going to fit in the end, but mostly I’m trying to wait until the plot is finished.
     
  7. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I like how J. K. Rowling did it. She wrote the last chapter first and used it to keep her focused on the target. I don't think she did it for the first book but it was around the second book. I wish I could find the article. I read it like 5 years ago. Not sure if this helps.
     
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  8. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Thanks :)
    okay.


    Should I stick with one plot?
    Or write two books at the same? (Yes it will be slower..)
    Or should I write one at a time?
     
  9. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Hi Vatani,

    Yes, stick to one plot and only write one story at a time. Why? Because trying to work on more than one project at a time will be time consuming (like you suggested) and messy. Focusing all your effort and attention on one story gives it the best chance of 1) Getting finished and 2) Being the best it can be. From personal experience if you have more than one story (in my case eight!) you're trying to work on, you'll only end up with half-finished stories and no inspiration left to complete them.
    I hope you'll learn from my mistakes, lol. Good luck! :)
     
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  10. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    I'd suggest not using writing as your way of testing your plots. Find an alternative.

    For example, download a free Mindmapping tool and create a mindmap of your plot. A branch with your characters and their characteristics and a branch with your chapters and scenes.

    That will allow you to visualize the entire story faster and be able to decide whether you want to write it or not, without having to write a dozen chapters for that.
     
  11. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    Generally, I would give the same advice that Midnight Adventurer gave. Stick with one story and write it.

    Of course I do understand your situation, and sympathize. Of all the stories I have begun, probably less than a quarter are finished. In one instance, this is because the story is deliberately never-ending, in other cases it is because the plots were terrible or I simply wanted to try something radically different, which did not work out.

    But I never have more than two active projects at one time, and one is certainly better than two.
     
  12. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I have experienced the exact same thing - except in my case, it wasn't a self-confidence issue but an issue of tying myself into plotholes and not knowing what can happen next.

    The first chapter is always the easiest part. Once you get past the Great Blank Word Doc effect and write the first sentence, all you have to do is create some gripping situation and the door is wide open. later, once you have to decide where the ultimate plot will go, it can get very challenging.

    But, I've been getting better. I used to write 1,000 words and move on to the next one (this was when I was in my preteens, after my childhood ability to write completed children's books when I was new to writing longer projects). Then I could hold about 5,000. Then 10,000, etc.

    Now, I can last about 20,000 words in before I face troubles, and I finished a novel and forced myself to hack through those troubles, even though it took forever to revise and I ended up rewriting most of it due to plot holes and things.

    I'm not trying to brag aout my growth as a writer, but I wanted to show you that it does get easier and more natural the longer you write.

    And that's the only advice I have, to write. Even when you think you're stuck, push yourself anyway. It's the only way to get anywhere.

    I recommend setting goals for yourself, like 25K a month, or do National Novel Writing Month.

    Also, the "write or die" software helps, and is also free online (Google "Write or Die tool" and it's on a blog run by Dr. Wicked; it helps you meet time goals and word goals by setting consequences, such as the blasting of obnoxious music, if you pause from the keyboard for too long)
     
  13. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    Agreed.

    My biggest trouble was coming up with compelling sub-plots that wouldn't:

    1) Deter from the main premise of the book/story
    2) Be overly complex and unrelated.

    What I would do in your case is to write down a list of potential plot ideas. Anything and everything you've got should be on paper. From there, start building up little details about each one and subplots if applicable. If you find yourself stuck on a plot you don't care for anymore, scrap it and work on the ones that have your attention.

    Remember, your reader will only be as enthusiastic about your story as you are so make sure you've got something put together you will be proud to put your name on.
     
  14. ericb0redalot
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    ericb0redalot New Member

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    First, let me say that I'm definitely not the authority on these things, and I've not yet been published. But I have the same struggles as you and have for a long time.

    What helps me is this... (I know it's silly and probably a big no-no to a lot of other professional writers out there.)

    I think of the movie preview. The movie preview that will come to theaters after your novel is a big hit and sold millions of copies. The music, the actors that play in it, the cool scenes all cut into one... (Also don't forgot the huge "BASED ON THE BEST SELLING NOVEL BY insert your name here" text that flashes across the screen!)

    Anyway, from the preview in my head, I get a general sense of the plot. This helps me to keep going whether I get stuck at the beginning, middle, or the end.

    I know it's silly, and I may even have a bit of an ego problem, but it helps me. lol
     
  15. JMTweedie
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    JMTweedie Senior Member

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    Don't expect it to be good on the first draft. In fact, expect to write a rubbish first draft.

    Best piece of advice I've been given.

    Even best selling authors have bad first drafts, second drafts even.

    Don't trash anything until it's fully written and you've read through it to edit. Editing will tell you if it can be saved.
     
  16. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    You've just described what I've gone through almost my entire "writing" life. I would come up with a brilliant plot, write a few chapters, then put it aside, never to return to it. I'd hop from story to story. I've never finish a novel that I'd start. It was only recently (within the past six months), that I came up with a plot that just NEEDED to be written, hammered out the detailed plot lines, and wrote THE WHOLE THING! It's a great sense of accomplishment when it actually happens. But some days, the last thing I felt like doing was writing more of the story - but I'd have to force myself (lay out the bare bones of a chapter just to get the ideas down and then rewrite it a few times), and little by little the story took form. However, you can only force yourself so much - if you have to force yourself every single day and can't seem to come up with fresh plot points or a way to continue or conclude the story in a matter you're satisfied with, sometimes it's a good idea to distance yourself from the story for a period of time, so you can return to it with a fresh perspective.
     
  17. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Thanks everyone! It really got me in the mood for writing again! :)

    I been writing for my whole life too, it's of the many things that stuck to me.
    I was in 5th grade, I wrote a book back it only came out 14 pages... I wasn't happy about it so, I moved on.

    I normally out line, my plots and pick up one from the out lining. Out lining use to not help me back it does now...

    True writers do rewrite there stories over and over. If I believe right, this was there writer who wrote the book ten times before getting it right, then the writer got a big sell too.

    If I keep my self away from the story to long, I finally decide I don't want it anymore, so you have to limit yourself on that.
    What's mindmapp?

    I was once told, never plain ahead, just let it flow.
    Is that good or bad?
     
  18. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    That depends on you. Some people do well with a constructive brain storm. If you are this type of person then yes.

    Me personally I like to have some major events that I work towards. I brain storm in-between them. It helps keep me focused.

    Its like most people have said in the "why do you write?" thread; that it is a road to self discovery. You learn more about your self through writing. Figure out what kind of person you are, there is no right or wrong.
     
  19. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Thanks, I never really saw it that why before.

    Now all I got to do, is fine plot for a book.
    *Looks through my brain* Wow theres a lot in there. lol'd.
     
  20. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    Keep witing until you're done. Even when you want to trash it.
     
  21. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Uh that's does make much sense.
     

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