1. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    So I'm having difficulty with my WIP....

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Samuel Lighton, Feb 21, 2016.

    So far I've written 20k words in one version of my WIP. The entirety of it has progression in the plot, and is going the way I want it to, but I've reached a block.

    I've been using a lot of my anger and frustration to fuel my imagination for the pieces so far, but now I'm at a part where things are calming down and I have no real idea of how to identify and put into words the sentiments and experiences there. I have a loose plot which is definite but allows me freedom to link the points together, and it needs scenes like this but the shift in mental dynamic for this writing is causing problematic. I've tried to shift into the perspectives of the characters and trying to write a 3rd person overview of the observational perspective of what's happening, but again I'm having difficulty.

    So I decided to start a second version, one which has different structure and perspectives in a few places, but I've hit a block even sooner now in re-writing a section where my enthusiasm has fallen off. Now, I know all I need to do is progress through it all until I hit a high again and then revisit that section to see what I've done that didn't sit right, but I'm finding that I'm deliberately distracting myself with other things almost as soon as I've started.

    So, what should I do? I don't think writing another piece that isn't related is going to help, so I might write the end piece of the journey and fill out the middle that way, but I do need some advice from experienced writers on what your best ways of dealing with this are.
     
  2. Caterwaulings
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    Caterwaulings Member

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    I just want to be sure about one thing--You're blocked because your anger/frustration is gone? And that took away your enthusiasm?

    I know that most people say that when you hit a block/run dry on enthusiasm that can mean that something really isn't working. I know you have a loose plot, so it should be possible to drive things in a different direction, right?

    Have you done any plot working in ways like: index cards, plot planners, methods like Save the Cat!, the Plot Whisperer, or any other number of ways to get your plot out from the computer screen/or have a bit more distance?
     
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  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Am I picking this up rightly? You said things are 'calming down.' Do you mean the first part of what you wrote is mostly action, and now the action has tapered off you've lost interest in writing it?
     
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  4. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I you lost your emotional drive because it was anger/frustration perhaps you should make the thing more emotionally complex? Emotional complexity is a good thing anyway.
    On the subject of just general writing blocks, in my admittedly limited experience, i find just step back. Don't force new ideas to come. If you want to make something happen, put it in your mind but don't try and push it out. Let it happen when it happens. Perhaps read research/inspiration material?
    IDK I'm not the best person to answer, but I tried. Hope it helps.
     
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  5. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Well, the Mc escaped from his captivity which is where it starts, then he winds up in a scrapyard where he gets angry and intervenes against two people mistreating another person. He's supposed to follow that person back to theirs, despite them being afraid of his seemingly monstrous appearance and actions, which he doesn't know about or understand properly. After that point they start working together to make an area safe against criminals and become friends, only for the criminals to directly target him later. That's the loose plot. There are additional specific things I know have to happen that aren't relevant to this plot, but the overall plot of the entire series I've planned, but it specifically is the change from captivity, action, anger and intervention to a, sort of, home life that I'm having trouble making interesting to myself despite the fact I know it's necessary for a drama point later on at the end of the book. And yes, my anger and frustration in real life have tapered off which was the driving point for me behind the action/suspense scenes.
     
  6. Caterwaulings
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    Caterwaulings Member

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    I think it might be best to try and develop some more concrete antagonists among the criminals. Maybe if you can develop some antagonists as well as your other characters you could find ways to make their anger and frustration inspire yours. At the very least, knowing what your MC is actually up against in a more direct way could help you through your block. Maybe write a scene or two from an antagonist's point of view?

    Best of luck!
     
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  7. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    I've done a sort of flowchart of major events with free space for minor events to contribute to parts and feelings, like treating someone to a sunrise as opposed to the destruction of a major villain. And on there I've written little snippets of conversation I've imagined to be important.


    I might just write around the parts I'm having difficulty, get all the 'fun' bits that I'm excited for done. That way I HAVE to piece the parts together. I'll see how that goes.


    Also, no my anger and frustrations still exist, I just can't direct them anymore. Like being angry for it being windy today, I can't attribute that to anyone.
     
  8. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    The best thing you can do is just write stuff. I know that sounds a bit trite but it's true. Sit your characters down somewhere and have them bounce off each other some more. Find a conflict between them and stir it up a little. Get your characters feeling/doing something that makes them uncomfortable (or that makes the others uncomfortable) and see where that takes you. It doesn't have to be a big deal but just a conversation in a cafe or on a car journey where someone says something that makes the other characters bristle and creates a little tension can really help you get where you're going. The second you take that first step where 'Huh I guess Dave doesn't like Jake...' it'll lead naturally towards your next plot point. Just these little things that nudge the characters in different directions than the plot is taking them will both give you a nice seam of interesting stuff to write and a way to segue well into the plot. Literally anything will work.

    Just let your characters have a chance to be themselves and let that guide you.
     
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  9. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Uhm, saying it's action is fairly accurate, but it's also meaningful to the plot. It's both an escape and demonstration of power for the character in question, followed by an act of morality from their perspective. Things are calming down for this next section because follows the escape in laying low, they wind up in a fairly neutral area as far as the story goes so there isn't a cause for explosiveness until later.

    Oh but, no it's not that I've lost interest, I'm just having difficulty writing it. The actions bits just flowed out, each bit exciting my imagination to the next part. Now it's just taking a long time to form the more delicate parts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  10. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    The giant machine sat there, tentatively clutching the cup of tea in it's razor sharp talons.
    "Statement: I do not know why I am holding this. I have no need nor means to drink tea." it chirped.
    The ghostly apparition sitting on it's haunches next to it rocked in the chair.
    "Well sweet pea, we all gotta make sacrifices for posterity. Or pretense. I'm not sure which." she cackled out as she tapped the rim of her own tea cup.
    "Well, I think it's nice. We're all sat here, spending time together. Like a family! Ooh we should go walk in the park together!" All of them turned to look at the little girl, who was now eagerly draining her cup.
    "I hardly think a sentient machine, a demi-god and a cyborg could feasibly pass as a family 'walking through the park'. Oh, and parks don't exist anymore. They're all nature preserves/oversized science experiments, not accessible to the public." The scientist said conservatively as he gently stirred his spoon.
    "We should just blow open the gates and take it for ourselves. F@#! 'em. No one stands up against me and lives." The low ranking gangster said aggressively, slamming his cup down on the table and spilling it's untouched contents everywhere. They all turned to focus on him, and just stared for a moment.
    "You have seen how this book ends, right?" they all said back in chorus.



    Hmm, nice. I guess that it works. Thank you :)
     
  11. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I would also recommend think about other apsects of the story if you're stuck at a point. For example, think about who the main characters are, just going over it in my head, profiling them, gave me ideas on how make their dialogue more distinct and accurate to them.
     
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  12. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Thanks folks, your advice all helped me along, I've pushed past the part I was having difficulty.

    I realized the reason I was getting bored is because what I was writing about was, in fact, very boring.

    Incidentally, it was a part where a character was running through a series of alleyways trying to escape something. Unfortunately I went into a level of detail I really really didn't need to, I'm talking paragraphs. So I deleted it, shifted it down a notch and made it smaller so that I could get to the next major point.

    Again, thank you all.
     

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