1. hairofthedog
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    hairofthedog New Member

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    Stuck In A Rut.

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by hairofthedog, Dec 17, 2010.


    Hello,

    Well, I'm Michelle. I've been writing for a while now but lately I seem to be wedged between a rock and a hard place. Its not because I have a lack of muse but rather that I simply cannot pencil the words from my head to the paper. It's completely frustrating.

    I've popped in here every night for the past month or so, and now am I making myself official.

    So hello and HELP ME.




     
  2. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome. :)
     
  3. TheDave
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    TheDave Member

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    Welcome, Michelle. Writer's block is a common syndrome. I beat it, but my road was long.
    About 1990 I decided to write a novel, wrote 80k words, then quit, for no apparent reason (that I can remember, anyway). Around 1996 I wrote an article on local rockclimbing (after asking a national mag if they would want it - they did). That led to my ten-year guidebook writing "career", when I produced (including publishing through my tiny company Deadpoint Press) first and second editions of a climbing guide, plus a smaller book on hiking, mountain biking and climbing - all for the San Diego region.
    Deciding that work was too hard and the money too small, I turned to fiction in 2006. My main motivation was fear: the fear of going back into the "real" workplace. Fortunately, I have a very understanding wife!
    It took only three months to write Heart of the Galaxy, though it was in dreadful need of major edits and revisions. This started out as a short story about a robot who thinks he is a human who accidentally starts an interstellar conflict. Muddling through a few intro pages, another character came to me - a female protagonist named Lola. Instantly, I found my writer's voice, which allowed me to see these characters in vivid detail, and their adventures. Since then I have completed two more novels (plus a collection of short horror stories and novellas), vastly improving my writing each time.
    I feel if you have found characters who resonate in your heart and mind, it is not at all difficult to write their story. It's almost like eavesdropping. Deciding what to leave out can be the biggest challenge.
    A couple years ago I watched a DVD lecture series by Prof. Brooks Landon of Univ. of Iowa (a well-regarded writing school). At the beginning he makes a statement that I think of constantly when I write, because it changed the way I perceive the craft. This is:
    STYLE IS CONTENT.
    Most people think there is this thing call content and this thing called style. They are the same. (*lightbulbs appear*) The same words in different order have different meaning. In order for writing to become prose one must examine the thoughts we are trying to convey, and think of various ways to express them. Write a simple sentence, then figure out how to make it sound distinctive; loose syntax is easy to learn and extremely effective.
    My point is (if your eyes have not glazed over) if you find characters who speak to you, and have a mental toolbox handy for various snytactical strategies, returning to your story every day will not be a chore. It will be a blessing, a comfort place. That is what I have been waking at 3 am for the past 3+ years - I cannot wait to go back to my world and see what my characters will do next.
    Now, if I can just figure out this marketing business . . .

    Hope this helps, look forward to seeing you break free!
    Dave
     
  4. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Welcome.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Welcome, and don't worry - everyone has writers' block sometimes. PM me if there's anything I can do to help unstick you!
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    welcome to the site, michelle!

    hanging around here should be helpful... and if you need one-on-one help with anything, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  7. hairofthedog
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    hairofthedog New Member

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    Hey Guys,

    Thank you for all the tips and support :) From looking around the site I can see it is a very loving community :)
    So where should I go from here, I feel like I'm chomping at the bit to post some work for critique but are there some things that fall before that?
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's all explained in the site rules 'n regs...
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Michelle, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    Please read How to Use the Review Room before you post there. Posting your own writing for people to comment on should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    Also, be aware that posting a piece of writing on any public site, including this one, will greatly diminish your chances of selling it for publication. Removing the writing later does not alter that fact - once posted, it is irreversibly considered published. So do not post anything more than a small excerpt of any piece you are planning to submit for publication.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize constructive critique as a vital writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). Also, please use the same thread for all revisions and additional excerpts from the same piece of writing. See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out the RPG forum for improvisational fiction. Also try our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     

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