1. smoha
    Offline

    smoha Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Right behind you. No, really. Fine... Australia

    Quick question(s)...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by smoha, Nov 4, 2013.

    One of the things I'm often struck with when attempting to write, is that despite having much to say, I always seem to find trouble translating what I'd like to write from mind to hands. Which is why I usually end up writing short stories, extended passages or corny poems. However, I rarely, if ever attempt any kind of planning, and even when I do, I just get stuck. So, to what extent do you guys plan and do you have any way of getting the creative juices flowing?
     
  2. Aurin
    Offline

    Aurin Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I didn't plan my novel but a lot of it was based on my own experiences. I tend to plot things mentally as I go along.

    I find the best way of getting creative juices flowing is to put on music that reminds me of my novel.
     
  3. sub rosa
    Offline

    sub rosa New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    3
    Absolutely, I daily have the same troubles getting things from brain to paper. It's very frustrating, but it and I have formed a mutually-tolerable co-habitation routine.

    For me, words and ideas are like cats (well, cats who don't respond to the sound of a can opener). I find that, in my own personal writing life, that what I am supposed to write will come to me eventually, but it will only come on its own terms and in its own time. If I try to coax it before it's ready, it will dig its claws into the carpet and refuse to comply and, if I try too hard, will usually resort to passive-aggressive retaliatory tactics such as going outside the box or shredding a roll of toilet paper and blaming it on the dog. But, if I allow it to simply be and ignore it entirely until it chooses to come to me, it typically does in a purring-and-laying-down-in-the-middle-of-my-newspaper-HERE-I-AM-now-worship-me sort of way.

    That is to say: patience is the key, for me. Allowing things to just "be" knowing that trying too hard typically makes things more messy and frustrating. Re-directing my focus to something else (usually working on another writing project or goal). And, finally: acceptance and trust above all else. That is: trusting that if the "perfect phrase" or idea on the tip of my tongue never makes a full appearance, then it just "wasn't meant to be" and something better will eventually come along and make itself clearly known.

    I understand that this line of thinking will not work for everyone and that there are a multitude of various ways to overcome this most annoying of obstacles, but it is merely the way I have learned to deal with it.
     
  4. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Can I be frank? I'll be frank.

    I'm not sure what to think about all these threads popping up as of late about things like "how do you get any writing done?" It's like a runner going "I can't find any energy to go to run."

    Do people just decide they want to be writers for some weird reason and then start forcing themselves to write?

    Unless this is a question of the dreaded writer's block, then yeah, it sometimes happens, and what helped in my case was just pushing away all doubts and thoughts about what I write is crap and just keep on writing down the stories I have in my head. Reading also helped, mainly fiction.

    So, if you want to write something longer, start reading novels, that might help. If you're already doing that and still aren't inspired to write anything longer than 10k, perhaps your strength is shorter fiction, nothing wrong with that.

    Set yourself writing goals. 1000 words per day. If it turns out to be like pulling teeth, you might want to take a break from writing. Go and get inspired by the outside world, and then return to your anvil and start hammering.

    Plan, by all means. What do I want to say with this scene? What kind of an adventure would I like to tell? What kind of characters are needed? What are they goals? etc. etc. I can very rarely just wing it, I almost always plan where the next scene is going. I don't know, that might help me staying motivated and getting all those things I want to say out on the paper. Perhaps something else will work for you. Good luck :)
     
    smoha likes this.
  5. smoha
    Offline

    smoha Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Right behind you. No, really. Fine... Australia
    Cheers Aurin, Opeth it is, and Sub Rosa, I like that analogy. Unfortunately I can be an impatient fellow.

    KaTrian, I appreciate the frankness, believe me. I haven't been checking many other threads (which is a fault on my part) so I didn't know about this kind of thing cropping up again and again as of late.

    It is not a question of "How do I write?" as I've been doing that for years. More of, I've been in a slump recently in being able get my thoughts onto paper without them being muddled up first, or starting a marathon only to come to a staggering stop midway. I end up hating whatever is on the paper and quickly throwing it away.

    Setting goals in probably a good idea for me, seeing as what and when I write can be haphazard at best. I actually have noticed that this year, I've been reading a lot less novels than I have in previous years, so that may or may not have contributed, I don't know, but regardless, thanks for the advice and I shall take it to heart.
     
    sub rosa likes this.
  6. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Yeah, reading did help a lot in my case. I know the feeling of words not turning quite right on paper, thoughts being all muddled. But if you enjoy writing, you'll find a way to "get it right" sooner or later. In all honesty, I don't even write when it becomes a chore, so I don't stick to a word count / day. But I've heard it works for some people who've got the slump. I don't wanna sound like that FB friend of mine who always complains her life is too perfect, but I actually have the opposite problem -- I have trouble controlling the work count!
     
  7. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I'm going to take a guess, here. I suspect that your seeming inability to complete a plan is the same problem as your inability to write anything of significant length - a lack of understanding of how to develop a story from start to finish. The best thing to do is to read. A lot. Not just for fun, but with an eye toward what the author is doing and why. Make notes.

    Writing doesn't just happen. Words don't flow magically from brain to keyboard. It takes a lot of work, and part of that work is learning how the craft is plied. Then you have to have the patience to see it through.

    Good luck.
     
  8. EllBeEss
    Offline

    EllBeEss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Perth
    You don't need to plan every detail but if you don't have a rough path planned out, nothing will go anywhere.

    Don't throw writing away if you don't like it. If you're having issues getting stuff down focus on getting stuff down.
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    next to -0- and almost never... the only time i do any planning is if the work has a slew of time lines and subplots and then i only do up a skeleton 'map' to keep me from getting tangled up in 'em...

    never had to, as i've never been short of 'creative juices' or ideas... for me, despite what ed said, writing does 'just happen'... unfortunately, it doesn't just happen for everyone, so i can agree with all of the advice given in the rest of his post...
     
  10. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    There's a substantial market out there for short stories -- it's probably an easier market for a novice to break in to and a good place to learn your chops. Short story writing isn't quite the same skill-set as novel writing, of course, but some of the skills are transferable, as is an established track record in being published.
     

Share This Page