1. ScaryMonster
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    ScaryMonster Active Member

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    The Wall?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ScaryMonster, Feb 14, 2012.

    I’m sitting in a room full of books, which are mostly dog-eared because I’ve read all of them, some more than once, I’ve got a 70,000 word novel on my hard drive which I peck away at like a chicken, I’d say its two thirds done now.
    I’ve written it, mostly to please myself. It’s the culmination of my experience and everything I’ve liked in reading all of these books, I just can’t bare to cull. I rather think I have taken the best of what I gained from reading them.
    I have shown some of this novel to other writers and I have had more favourable than unfavourable comments about it. These people know what they are taking about IMO.

    The problem is I think I’m bored with this novel, I’m now two thirds into it.
    What I need is some sort of cattle prod the get those last chapters out of me, some people have actually recommended alcohol and drugs!
    Hey it worked for Hunter S Thompson and Bukowski why not me? But don’t worry, I’m too much of a health nut to throw myself down that path.

    I can’t say it’s really writers block, more like writer’s exasperation, I just want to get it finished; I know what is meant to happen in my story. When I do struggle to churn out yet another chapter, I really do think, its pretty good on the reread.
    I don’t doubt my capacity to finish the book. However, tearing it out of my brain has become so hard I feel tired after writing ten pages and its slow going, unlike in earlier chapters where everything just flew out of my tapping fingers.

    Have I hit some sort of wall such as marathon runners hit?
     
  2. AMA
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    AMA New Member

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    Oh the dreaded Wall... This is my least favorite impasse, when you can see the light just ahead of you, and you have the tools to get there, but your pant leg's caught in a bush. Here's a suggestion that you can toss aside easily if you wish... Do you have any sort of recording device? Maybe try mixing up the monotony of penning and bruising your hand with speaking it out. Yes, eventually you will have to write it out, but maybe speaking it out will give it some new life, some new fire you've been seeking.. Sounds strange, I know... Just a thought..
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Having run a couple of marathons in my life, I have hit the marathoner's wall. There is a specific physiological reason for it, usually running too hard in the early part of the race (my case), insufficient preparation or insufficient training. It can be planned for and prevented.

    What you describe is all internal, without physiological laws or attributes. So, discovering the cause is something only you can do. I'm not sure what you mean by "I have taken the best of what I gained from reading them" or how much of what you are writing is your experience, but I do find it odd that you never mention your imagination or creative process. Most of us who take on the arduous task of writing a novel do so because we believe we have a compelling story to tell. What or how much we've read in the past has little, if anything, to do with it, other than what we have learned about the craft of writing. I certainly don't write with the intention of pulling in "the best" of what I've derived from Shakespeare, Dickens, Hemingway, Twain, Trollope, Michener, Uris, Wouk, Snow or any other writers whose work I've read and enjoyed. More importantly, I don't write with the intention of telling their stories - I just want to tell mine. I mention all this because one possibility is that you've concentrated so much on the works of others, you've left no time for your own creative growth and thereby stifled your creative process. OTOH, you may have just become somewhat jaded about the project and need to set it aside for awhile. Never underestimate the benefit of a good walk around the block (figuratively and literally) for clearing the head.

    In the end, you have to decide whether or not to push ahead. Good luck.
     
  4. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I've read in a book that if you can motivate yourself to write at particular times during the day for a set number of days a week... eventually it will become habit and you'll just naturally find it easy to write during those times. It doesn't necessarily have to be the writing the novel either... maybe you can just free write something related to the novel that might give you more insight into another plot line you could add to make the story better. Or it could just be something completely different. But say you decide one day that you are going to sit down for four days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday for example) at 7 o'clock at night and write 1000 words. It's better to make it a "word requirement" so that you don't just sit around and do nothing for an hour you set aside.
     
  5. ScaryMonster
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    ScaryMonster Active Member

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    Thanks for your suggestions and comments, I'm just having a whine. I guess it’s a literary version of what Douglas Adams called The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul?
    Just to clarify, what I meant when I mentioned my shelves of dog-eared books, is that when I thought about how this story is coming out. I could trace it back to many different writing approaches that I came across in my reading that captured me. The plot, the characterisation and the narrative voice are original.

    It's a stylistic Frankenstein’s monster, and I've cast myself into the role its Victor Frankenstein.
    I think its beautiful (As any mad scientist would) and hopefully the rest of the world will when it’s unleashed.

    However, it has started groaning at me. Demanding completion.
     
  6. Mr Mr
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    Mr Mr Active Member

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    I sometimes get the same thing. What I do to remedy exasperation or boredom of one story is to flick between two or three at a time. It works for me as my head is just cramped with ideas but I don't know how it would work for others. You could also just take a break for a while
     
  7. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    If something really exciting is about to happen or is happening in your story, you might be more excited to write it. If you're bored with it, it may come through in your writing -- it may even be because you're at a spot in the book that seems to lag. Or, you might have over-thought what's going to happen, the progression of things. If you can, change that progression and create a new twist in the story.
     

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