1. Gheala_InFlacari
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    Gheala_InFlacari Member

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    My novel torn to pieces and in need for advice

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gheala_InFlacari, Aug 5, 2009.

    I have a problem, which I think is a big one. You see, I lost my writing skills and the talent too.
    I used to write a vampire romance novel, which was a bit unique than any vampire novel you might have read. But then, my parents tore it up while I was half the way through it. Well, I kinda felt like all my thoughts and passion for writing was torn along with the novel.
    I started a new novel: romantic thriller. Though, I can't help but lose the passion for this novel, every time I remember what happened to the last one. I can't find the right expressions and I end up closing the notebook.
    I dont have to tell you how broken and devistated I feel, for I think you can imagine that if your novel was torn too.
    So, what should I do to get my confidence back? Just any advice would definitely help.
     
  2. Hsnodgrass
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    Hsnodgrass Senior Member

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    Take a break from writing all together and go "experience hunting" as I like to call it. Just go out and do stuff like sky dive, climb a mountain, hike, whatever you like to do. Part of the thing is to push your boundaries, go past previous limits, ect to generate experience and inspiration. If that doesn't work try something else. Outside of having a stroke or something similar it would be really hard to lose your grasp of writing mechanics,so it sounds like just a matter of inspiration and will to create.
     
  3. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your parents tore it up? Why would they do that?
     
  4. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    This is probably going to be an excellent experience for you in the long run.

    Life throws curve balls at you as long as you are breathing. You must learn to pick up and carry on no matter what happens.
     
  5. Soria
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    Soria New Member

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    When you say, 'tore up' do you mean tearing up the paper that the story was written on or really harsh criticism? It might sound like a silly question, I just can't believe parents would literally rip up your story.:eek:

    Your writing skill is still there, it just sounds like you have lost your enthusiasm (which I think is understandable). If you don't have any passion for the story, maybe you should note the idea down, step back and wait until another novel idea comes to you. 'Experience hunting' like Hsnodgrass said is a good way to do this I have found. Rather than starting a full length novel project, you could also write some short stories to get your confidence back.

    Don't give up :)
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    By tore it up, I am assuming you mean in a figurative sense, attacking your writing and possibly your potential as a writer. That can be devastating. Just remember to ignore the personal remarks, but take good note of any specific criticisms of te writing. Some of them may be well founded, aand you will therefore know of some areas to focus upon,

    Set aside vague generalizations about the writing. Those are usually pretty useless, unless you can verify them and narroe them down to specifics. So don't discard them, but don't put much weight to them either.

    Any piece of writing can be improved. It takes a lot of hard work to develop your writing and to build confidence in yourself.

    If you mean it literally, I have no good advice for you other than to keep your writing on the computer, and make backups.
     
  7. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, the old "My parents ate my novel" excuse...
     
  8. Elistara
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    Elistara Member

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    Tore it up? literally? Ouch.
    Use a computer, and back it up. I wrote an awesome scene that made me cry whenever I read it, then I had a program crash that I couldn't recover what I had written from. So I tried to write it again, and it just isn't the same. It lost something somehow, and I don't know what, or how I did it the first time. And that was just a single scene, but I was devastated. Now I save after every paragraph!
    You might want to back it up on a USB keyring and carry it around with you.

    Don't let it get you down - you will find the passion again, and once it is backed up as many times as you need to until you feel secure in it not going anywhere, you will have that comfort, at least.

    If they tore it up with a bad review, on the other hand - ignore it. It was a first draft. If I let people read my first draft they would probably wonder wtf I was going on about. If they don't understand what you are trying to say, they have no basis to review, because they will always think they understand. They do - they understand what is on paper - which may not always be what was in your head at the time. If they are criticizing anything, then maybe they are really saying simply that you missed putting something down on paper that you read into it when you reviewed it.

    Stories can take a lot of reviewing before they are considered ready, or a good story, especially when you have just gotten done writing, and you are all proud and wanting to show it off - you must resist the temptation. By showing it, you may do yourself more harm than good.

    There is the review for making sure everything you wanted down is actually expressed, then there is the review for making sure it is paced well, and flows, then there is the review that makes sure there is enough action in all the right places... then as you learn more about how to write well, you will want to review again for spelling and grammatical errors, and in general making things more interesting on every page.

    Though it isn't as much work as it sounds. At least not for me - it is fun, imo, to re-read my own story - more fun than I would ever have believed if someone had told me I would be re-reading it as many times as I have.

    To me, handing someone a first draft that I am proud of at the time, would be the equivalent to handing someone a lump of flour and water, and expecting them to love your "bread" - which has not yet been mixed, ingredients added, kneaded, left to set, then baked. If you did that, and they exclaimed at how terrible it was, would you then quit ever trying to make bread again?

    One hiccup in a lifetime of enjoyment is but a learning experience. You would have, after all, learned a lot by writing what you did - whether you lost it or not.

    Don't let it phase you. Write for YOU, for the feeling you get from the creation of your story.
     
  9. murphcas
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    murphcas Member

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    Wow if your parents literally tore up your story then that's terrible! I agree with everyone who said back up your work. I'm also gonna add that if they literally tore it up I don't recommend showing them your work again. I've never shown my dad any of my stuff but that's more because I don't want him to realize that I'm serious about being a writer just yet. He'll get that news when I tell him I'm going to grad school for creative writing :)

    If they figuratively tore it up then don't worry. Some critiques can be hard, especially if they're coming from your friends and family. When you have your next story done edit it yourself first then show it to your parents or someone else. Listen to what they have to say but remember you don't have to take any advice you don't like. If you have your story a certain way because of a certain reason but someone doesn't like it then that's their issue. You have a reason for it but it shows that you may have to work on showing why you have the story a certain way a bit better for readers to understand what's going on.

    To get your creative spirit back I agree with "experience hunting." I've never done it but it sounds like a fun way to go about getting your creative spirit and will to write back! Besides that just try to sit and write, even if you think it's terrible. Work on short stories or bits of an idea for a novel you have. Maybe make up some characters or settings you could possibly use in the future. Just because you feel that you lost your spirit doesn't mean it's not inside you hiding out, licking its wounds. :)
     
  10. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    maybe you could do some reading, more of your favorite books than anything
     
  11. I'interieur de ame
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    I'interieur de ame Banned

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    Take a small break and jump start your brain all over. Think of how you put the last one together and make this better. Parents suck. I can't believe they would tare up your work. Sad.
     
  12. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you wrote a vampire romance novel, then show it to someone who reads vampire romance novels, not your parents if they only like murder mysteries.
     
  13. hawkedup
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    hawkedup Member

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    QFT. I would offer more, but I don't know if it is a literal tearing up or a rough critique.
     
  14. Gheala_InFlacari
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    Thanks everyone. And yes, I mean it literally. It was vampire romance like I said. They didn't like the topic, so mom literally took the notebook and tore each and every word to little pieces and threw it in the trash in front of me.
    I should be making backups, yes, but I don't always write on computer. I usually write when I'm not home, out in a park for inspiration, for instance.
    Lol Forkfoot, How is it an excuse? I'm really doing my best to get the passion back. I didn't show them the novel, they just heard from my sister that it's about vampires.
    >.< Hunting. I'll probably give that some thoughts.
    Painful part is: I'm not allowed to write about vampires or draw vampires or read about them anymore. Talk about supportive parenting. @.@
     
  15. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    That is attrocious parenting. My parents don't take a particularly active interest in my writing, but they'd never actually try to discourage me from it.

    If they did something like that, I'd probably hit them, fifth commandment be damned.
     
  16. daturaonfire
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    daturaonfire Senior Member

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    I'm so sorry. If you want to keep your work from getting trashed (literally), you'll need to start backing everything up. If you have to handwrite, type it up on a computer as soon as you can and email 'em to yourself. I usually send stuff to multiple email accounts, in case one goes under.

    As far as getting your passion back...are you writing what you want to write? Can you imagine this story you're writing being a book you'd buy and read yourself? If not, drop it and write what you feel called to write. I second the suggestion to read in your genre--maybe at the library if you can't buy the kind of books you'd like to. What your mom did is completely out of line. It's also pretty common--writers rarely get support from the people you'd expect it from the most. You can't let it keep you from your stories.
     
  17. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm kinda shocked your parents would do something like that, but I'm sensing it's a little off-topic to discuss here. Just saying one thing: Don't let anyone (as in, everyone included) put your creativity in chains. Don't turn your back on the things that sparks it. If you love vampires then keep writing about them, just keep your notebook hidden!

    You'll run into people on a regular basis who will want to squeeze you into a box and put a label on it, because that's the only way they can understand the world. Just ignore it and pursue your inspirations.
     
  18. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    Its simple then write the story still after all its a romance, just don't mention the word vampire, at all, it can be done, after all there is enough mythology around for people to understand they are vampires without having to actually name them as such, and so your parents need never know! I can't think of any novels which has taken this approach although i'm sure there are some, but I would suggest watching something like the TV series Ultraviolet or the kathryn bigelow classic near dark, to see how easy it is to create a vampire story without mentioning the word even once.
     
  19. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    You know what would make them forget all about their daughter's desire to write vampire novels? A facial tatoo.
     
  20. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    Let me guess: Your parents are (A) members of a strong religious group that views such fiction as "evil" or (B) individuals who are strongly controlling, whose personal religious convictions are that such fiction is "evil"?

    My third guess is that you wrote some explicate stuff that was beyond your years?

    Edit: Having read some more of the thread, my third guess is moot... it's all about the vampires. My first or second guess would probably apply -- there definitely sounds to be religious implications in this, as I know of no secular reason to view vampire fiction as dangerous.

    Well, actually I can offer a few alternate guesses... your parents want you to focus on "important" things, not fiction they view as "trash" but I'm still betting on a religious angle.

    What's your take on their motivation?

    Charlie
     
  21. murphcas
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    murphcas Member

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    Do it anyway. If that's what inspires you and if that's what you like to write about do it but do it in secret. It sucks that you have to do it that way but if your mom's gonna trash it then there isn't any other choice now is there?

    As for hiding places for the notebook with the vampire stuff in it: between mattress and baseboard, in a drawer (thats if your mom doesn't put laundry away for you), or if you want to do it harry potter style until a loose floorboard ;)
     
  22. Elistara
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    Elistara Member

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    If they are that controlling, they probably wouldn't allow you to have your own computer. Which is really too bad - they are devastating their own relationship with you. Make you want to leave asap, and never turn back.

    Be patient. Write what you want, but hide it better. Lock it up if you have to. Do you have a locker at school? Would it be safer to leave it there?

    Horuseye - I couldn't have said it better myself.
    Don't let some people's limited views stand in the way of your inspirations and creativity.
     
  23. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're 19 judging by your profile...

    now unless you're lying about your age, your parents are SERIOUSLY screwed up for wrecking your novel like that and forbidding you to write whatever you like. Actually, scratch that first part - parents doing that to their kids at ANY age is beyond wrong. It's absolutely none of their business how you express your creativity in your own writing - they certainly have no right to physically ruin it.


    Why the hell are they this controlling when you're 19 years old?! being this controlling would be scary even if their kids were little. This is way over the top.

    Okay, suggestions - use internet cafe's or libraries and type your novels up there and put them onto a USB key - also make backups on other keys incase your parents hands starting getting bored.

    And sheesh, try to move out as soon as possible.
     
  24. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, hey, read the profile, good idea!

    Hmm... TS is a Muslim, from Egypt. Probably most of the things that we're criticizing her parents for are a bit less abnormal in her culture than ours. Just something to keep in mind.
     
  25. jamiebender
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    jamiebender Member

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    If you want to be a writer... write. If only writing about vampires is where your creativity begins and ends, then maybe your passion is more for vampires than writing. Try focusing on writing something you can show your parents at first. I suggest you write for an hour every day. It doesn't even have to make sense. Just force yourself to sit down and put words on paper/screen. Try recreating some of your novel but for humans. Its a good exersize. And exersize is what keeps a writer's mind in shape. If you are passionate about the written word, your creativity and drive will return.
     

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