1. RevolverOcelot
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    RevolverOcelot New Member

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    Please Help Me?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by RevolverOcelot, Jul 28, 2012.

    I've been writing all of my life. Recently I was inspired to write my first novel, and am about ten thousand words into it.

    My problem is, I just can't get what's in my head to appear in writing. I consider myself a fairly decent writer, but my characters, plot, and places just seem stale and artificial. I can't make the dialogue seem as interesting as I would like, but I really want to write this novel. I think I have some great ideas, I'm just having a hard time making it all appear "real" in text.

    Any tips?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Step back from it and do some writing exercises. You can find them in writing books, or you could even take a writing class (in person or online). Some writing books I have found very helpful are:
    On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
    Writing Fiction, by the Gotham Writers Workshop
    Building Fiction, by Kercheval
    Creating the Story, by Weaver and Rule
    Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Brown and King
    and for a lot of writing prompts, The 3 AM Epiphany (I forget the author)
     
  3. BBBurke
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    BBBurke Member

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    I felt the same way - always had ideas but hard to write down the full novel. I did what chicagoliz suggested: I started by writing short stories. That's not my forte or what I really wanted to do - I wanted to write a novel - but I treated the stories as exercises to work on different aspects of writing. It was much easier to try something, realize that I sucked at it, go learn more about it, then try again and improve, when the story only took a day to write. Trying to do that same process on the scale of a novel would be frustrating and take forever.

    Once I got comfortable with getting small ideas from my head to the paper I felt ready to tackle the novel. And it went smoothly. The practice made all the difference in being able to keep writing and finish the novel. Of course, then came the whole revising/editing which is whole other ball of wax.
     
  4. ck1221
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    ck1221 Member

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    Stephen King's, On Writing is very honest, straight forward and easy to comprehend and also Holly Lisle who has numerous tutorials you can buy(and they are reasonable) and she also sends out weekly email advice, again very down to earth easy to follow. she has a web site but I wont post the link, just google her. Not pushing either or, just what Ive found to work for me.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Chicagoliz has given you a good list , to that I'd add - Head to your nearest used bookstore and check out their writing section. Sometimes books on helping
    children's creative writing ( not-how to write for children ) are just as good - because they're concentrating on sparking a creative flow , not so much on writing
    do's and don'ts. They're really good cause they're so straight forward.


    Staleness for me can be the root cause of a lot of things, not capturing a mood = not having character & setting helping one another out.
    Having a son-in-law meet his in-laws for the first time could be uped by the setting - since he's uncomfortable, amplify it
    by the setting; his mother-in-laws serious beanie baby collection was making his itchy with held-in laughter or a their Jack Russel terrier
    wouldn't stop sniffing his crotch. Or he couldn't find a good spot to sit on their spring-shot couch , one was poking him rather obscensly
    but he kept insisting he was comfortable. An over all dilemma and a small one.

    Believability for me is no-airbrushing. Show your characters warts and all.
     
  6. thecoopertempleclause
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    thecoopertempleclause Contributing Member

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    My favourite book to help me with creative writing has been How Not to Write a Novel, by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. It leaves the main stuff to you, but gives you a lot of information on mistakes which many aspiring writers make which essentially kills their chances of getting published.
     
  7. Tolsof
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    Tolsof Member

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    Something else to take into consideration for the stale characters/dialogue is to watch and really listen to people. Pay attention to little things they say and do. And remember that no one is perfect and neither should your characters.
     
  8. abby75
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    abby75 Member

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    I can't help you as I often have the same problem, but thank you ck1221 I will check out the Stephen King and Holly Lisle books.
     

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