1. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    The story takes over

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ladybug of North, Dec 5, 2014.

    I am at the beginner stadium, working on what may be my first novel. I never had any intention to be a writer, but on day a story stared forming. As it grew, I just had to start writing, as I could no longer ignore this side of me.

    But I'm having some doubts. I see all of you recommending different writing processes, and try to follow some of these. No matter how much I work on my ideas before writing, they will not stay they way I planned for. Once I start writing, both characters and storyline has their own life.

    So, my question is: does anyone have this problem? And if so, do you manage to work with it, or does it kill your stories? Mine is not dead yet, I love it, but I am afraid it will never be finished.
     
  2. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    Great spelling in the headline there.
     
  3. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I think most of us, whether we outline on paper, in our heads, or not at all, have this happen to them.
    As you work on your story or think about it, it tends to become more detailed and new things come up on the fly.
    It's just the way imagination works, it's always working in the back of your mind and coming up with new things.
     
  4. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    Thanks!

    This helps me a lot. I tend to doubt my imagination sometimes. I think it's partly because I have made up a very big world in my head, and I fear that people will not be able to follow everything once it comes together. Some of my favourite books are just like that, but as a reader I hate having to look up names in the register. If the book even has one. But I suppose I just have to let my story live, and see where it takes me in the end.

    The more I write, the more I love the story, so I suppose it might be a good thing. It's kind of scary as well, though.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi, welcome to the forum. What is your native language and are using a translator? Translators have significant limitations. These are giveaways that you are using a translator:

    "but on day a story stared forming"
    "they will not stay they way I planned for"
    "both characters and storyline has their own life"
    "beginner stadium"
    "names in the register"

    It's not a bad thing, but it would be good to know what your native language is.
     
  6. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    It's good to try out different writing processes, but when it comes down to it everyone has their own writing process they either create from scratch or base it off someone else's process. Overtime you'll eventually get a feel for what your writing process is. Also like GingerCoffee asked above it would be nice to know your native language.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Don't fight it, just let the story take a life of its own. :D It'll surprise you in ways you never thought possible.
     
  8. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    Haha, you're absolutely right, English isn't my native language. I'm Norwegian, and not using a translator of any kind. I know it's probably not the best idea for me to be writing in English, but the story will not turn out right in Norwegian.

    Last night I was really tired, but could not go to sleep, so I posted in stead. When I write, though, I always read through my material many times, and hopefully I will be able to get most of it right. When I post online, reading things through is not a part of my process.
     
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  9. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You should neither fear that your stories come to life, neither should you fear writing in English. The last story I wrote turned from a dark fantasy story about a murder done by invisible assassins into a lighter fantasy/drama story about a boy seeking the truth behind the assassination of his family.
    Sure, you might end up way off from your notes, but don't worry about that. When the story is given a life, you never know what wonders it will present to you!

    This makes me wonder, are writers (and other story-creators) the only ones that can see the true meaning of a story having its own life, since they are the ones that create said life and see it grow until it blossoms?

    (And by the way, I happen to be from Sweden yet I write in English. It's definitely doable, just make sure that you read a lot in English as well.)
     
  10. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    I have read a lot in English during my life. This is probably adding to my difficulties writing in Norwegian, as English sound far better in my opinion. My English is far from being at its best these days, as I stopped speaking I on a daily basis.

    I hope it will grow into what it used to be, though, as I can feel it coming back. After some more writing, I'm sure it will sound far more convincing. At least, I hope so.

    If someone from Sweden manages it, having a simular language, I should be able to do it as well!
     
  11. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That almost sounds like an insult... :D
    And yeah, you will be able to do it. Just believe in yourself!
     
  12. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    Haha, I didn't mean it that way, I love Swedes!

    Thanks for the supporting words, I feel like I might just be able to do this now!
     
  13. A.J. Pruitt
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    A.J. Pruitt Member

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    Ladybug of North: I have a very good friend here in British Columbia who suffered through the problem you seem to be having: however being more to the truth, "a problem you think you have". Writing is a imaginary creative process. From beginning author to career published authors, our mood, geographical setting, present situation, or time of day will change, in some manner, how our imagination works and what it creates for us. About all I can offer to your dilemma is -welcome to the world of the creation of a story-.

    One more item here without being critical of your feelings towards your story or its characters. If you fall too madly in love with your story or your characters, it becomes more and more difficult to take the advice of an editor to change anything about the story or the characters. It is critical that your characters take on their own lives; however, you must always tell yourself that they are imaginary characters that you have created in your mind.

    The great Ernest Hemingway was quoted as saying, "........authors who are gifted at creating characters are no less than schizophrenics who feel their characters are real people....."

    You are on the right path so, don't stop what you are doing.
     
  14. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    Thank you for the advice, @A.J. Pruitt! It's great being able to log in and suddenly feel back on track. I think you're making a very good point about character work! My characters tend to end up dangerously close to family members, so I have to be careful. I already love them, but who doesn't?

    At the same time, maybe knowing how my family members would react to about everything, could this maybe also be a help when editing? I think it may be easier working alternative scenes in this way.

    I love this forum, it's making me think less like a painter and more like a writer.
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Hi there, @Ladybug of North and very much welcome to the forum. You sound like a very cheery soul who is finding pleasure in getting your imagination into written form. Lovely.

    The thing I find heartening from what you've told us is that, while your story sometimes feels like it's 'getting away from you' a little bit, it hasn't made you discouraged or made you go off and start new ones, hoping they'll be less troublesome. You seem to be hanging in there and rather enjoying the process, and letting your story take you to places you didn't expect to go.

    I totally support that kind of writing. Sooner or later, if you keep going, you will achieve an ending. And then is when the real work AND the real fun begins. By then, you will know what your story is supposed to be. Then you can go back through, during the editing process and remove stuff that doesn't belong, add things to make the beginning match up to the ending, and flick in touches and remove bits to shape your story to perfection. :)

    You will find there will be a lot to do in this regard, but it will make you happy to see the results you will achieve. As far as your family members go ...just don't tell them who they are in your story! Or ...tell them they 'inspired' you, but that you've changed them a lot. Whatever tactful approach keeps the peace.

    Seriously, you sound like somebody who is doing all the right things, and enjoying the process. You 'love' your story. I can't think of anything better than that. And your English is very good, by the way. A couple of phrases are slightly revealing, but nothing that is not easily correctible later on. In fact, as you will discover, there are many people who are active writers on this forum (including two mods) who are not native English speakers. And several are Scandinavians. I am in awe.

    And you hinted you are a painter too? So this means you can design your own book cover when the time comes? Oh, this just gets better... :)
     
  16. Gloria Sythe
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    Gloria Sythe Member

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    Ladybug of North: I agree whole heartedly with the full context of the comment from A.J. Pruitt. We all create stories according to our imaginations. We all do not have the same imagination so, no two people write or tell the story the same.

    Falling in love with your characters is a semi fault all authors suffer through. We hate to change them or change their POV. For the story's sake however, we must make those necessary adjustments as suggested by, what I call, "outsiders".

    Don't ever give up on a dream. If your inner soul tells you to write; then write and write until you fall off your chair.:write::friend:

    Gloria
     
  17. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome, @jannert!
    My story does surprise me, even overwhelms me at times. But I would never give up on it, not this early in the process anyways. How can you give up on something you don't know the true nature of? For me what makes the writing process interesting is just that element of the unknown. If my story had been perfect from the start, the writing would have been to meaningless, too straight forward.

    As for my family members, I'm not even sure to tell them I've started writing a book. Those attributes which makes them perfect inspirations for my characters also makes them very strong personalities. So strong, in fact, that I don't want them to know about this if I'm never published.
    This sound like I don't trust them, but don't get me wrong. I trust their every intention, but don't want to put myself in the position of disappointing them, especially doing something I love. I'm the kind of person who has problems putting myself in a volunerable position, which is why this forum is like a gift from the God's. It's not scary asking strangers for advice, especially if they have dealt with similar problems themselves.
    So I don't think there's any real danger of me telling them which character they inspired. They will probably figure it out, though...

    As for my English, I don't agree, but thanks! Maybe I will be convinced after a few more comments like these

    Yes, I'm a painter, I've been painting my entire life. Part of my inspiration come from my own painting, in fact. I've considered making illustrations for my story, even though books for grown ups don't use them. There's still a long time until this will be a question, though, as I've only written about five chapters.

    You guys are so great!
     
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  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'd say DON'T tell your nearest and dearest that you're writing, if you can possibly help it. The pressure will become immense. They'll start asking 'are you finished, when are you going to get published, what's the story about, etc etc. All well meant, but intrusive and adds stress.

    I didn't even tell my husband that I was writing until I was well along. I had to confess, because I had to do a lot of research. As this project got started in the mid 1990s, the internet wasn't the great source of information then as it is now. So reference books started arriving at the house at a rapid rate, and I had to eventually explain the reason. Again, it wasn't because I didn't trust him—he's been wonderfully supportive—but just because I wanted to keep it to myself.

    It's interesting that I'm now at work on my second novel (while I finish the final edit of my first one, and get it formatted for publication) and I'm writing it in an entirely different way. Because I've got this new one plotted out ahead of time, it's not as much fun to write. It's a direct sequel to the first one, so I don't have the ability to play around with background, etc. I have to work with what I've already created. It makes some aspects easier—and I won't make all the early writer mistakes I made the first time—but it also feels a bit more like working in a straitjacket.

    I guess there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. But I would certainly urge you to keep this project to yourself for now, if you can. There isn't any point in putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, or needing to fend off constant enquiries about your progress. Or deal with outside speculation about whether or not you will succeed, based on what your family and friends think they know about you.
     
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  19. aikoaiko
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    Absolutely agreed! Ladybug of North, I did exactly the same thing with the book I'm working on. No one knew a thing about it until I started to need input, then I went outside my family.

    The thing about writing is that it's hard to do in public. You have to seclude yourself at first just to get the story down, and then you can't let anything in that's going to threaten the germ of the idea. Once you start editing you have to let it go a little, then you publish and it disappears!:) I think it was Stephen King who said to do the first draft with the door closed, and Carl Jung talked about the importance of having a secret.
     
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  20. Ladybug of North
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    Ladybug of North Member

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    @jannert and @aikoaiko :
    I will try not to tell anyone, you both make valid points here. I will write for as long as possible before seeking advice amongst those I know.

    I'm just afraid they'll be hurt by my holding this back, but I guess their feelings are not what's important. I very much want to tell my sister, as she once dreamt of becoming a writer. But I won't, cause maybe she'll feel that I kind of stole her dream. I guess it's easier being forgiven for this later on than ask for permission :p
     
  21. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, and remember it's not necessarily negativity that can be your only problem. If friends and family love the idea that you're writing, you'll get no peace either. Best to unveil it with a flourish after the first draft is done!
     
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  22. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Or when you're a world-famous writer with millions of copies sold. :cool:
     
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