1. Jonias
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    Jonias Member

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    To write or not to write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jonias, Jan 10, 2011.

    Hi,

    I'm a university student who has had a plot and at least one really good character floating around in my head for a long time. The story idea isn't novel length but is much lengthier than a short story, which makes it sort of hard for me to just take a breath and write it in one sitting. It's sort of a bittersweet, Dickensian low fantasy, rags to riches and back again, with betrayal and tragedy all the way but redemption at the end. Probably a children's story, but I'm not sure...there is not much violence but there is some disturbing content that is essential to the story.

    The problem is, if I'm to be completely honest with myself, my results at writing stories as opposed to summaries have been mixed. Actually, many of my most touching, well written stories have involved almost no dialogue and have been all about the characters inner feelings. They are also usually brimming with suspense, and when it is appropriate I do description very well. But even at my best, I have to be inspired...people tell you just to write anyway but if I'm not the stuff is just SCHLOCK, far more melodramatic and unfelt than most writers would churn out if they weren't in the mood. I went to a creative writing circle last year, and I seemed to be more comfortable writing more whimsical, funny, ironic stuff. They told me I had a talent for comedy (which I think is mixed in and of itself....granted I've some very funny stuff but I think it was more by fluke that the stuff I wrote in there was). So I decided to try out NaNoWriMo when my friend recommended an outline for a comedy I had come up with, but I was going through a difficult time and abandoned it.

    I should point out that when I say "mixed", I don't mean "okay", I mean mixed. I mean ranging from extremely bad to extremely good. I know I'm capable of doing it, but I definitely have my weaknesses, and I can only write around those to a certain point. Plus, the bad seems to be more common than the good and I just haven't been feeling it recently. I've tried to abandon writing, but this story in particular for some reason still calls out to me, begging to be written.

    I just don't know what to do. Writing has this terrible tug on me I just can't escape (I'm one of those people who fancied himself an author at the age of 5, as I'm sure many or perhaps most of you did). And I know I can do it, or at least I have done it. My mind is like turned into a film reel playing the images from my unwritten story over and over again. But to be honest, I'm just afraid to do it. It's perfect in my head...as soon as I get it out on the page it will probably be horrible, un-eloquent (is that a word?) and people will probably laugh at it without understanding what I meant for it to be. I love my story and believe in it...and that's why I can't let out on the page. But I know if I don't, I'm robbing it of what it could become.

    I just don't know what to do. I have a feeling I'll burst and do it someday, but I just can't out pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), except to write summaries. I'm not sure what to do...
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just start writing what is the worst that happens? Don't expect a huge amount from your first, first draft, your writing will improve as you write. There is nothing in writing that tweaking, deleting etc can't improve. That comes after you have written it.

    Also my experience is dialogue improves as you get to know your characters, like with real people some I gel with instantly, some take time to get to know. Some taken time to get to know each other. Interaction varies. I remember starting my second novel thinking I know my characters, this will be a breeze lol. However it was from the POV of a different character, I had to get to know everyone from his POV all over again.
     
  3. Soul
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    Soul Member

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    You should do it man :) . I love my story and believe in it those are most important things said in that post.Your problem is like everyone elses,everyone is afraid of being laugh at for doing what they like to do.Besides it is common think that creative people are always misunderstood and picked on.You should just write for sake of writing that's all.

    Good luck :)
     
  4. Jonias
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    Jonias Member

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    Thanks guys.:) I guess I just needed to hear some encouragement. I guess the key is writing for the sake of writing...then nothing else matters and you can enjoy yourself. But ironically, the story is almost so "sacred" to me that it would be impossible for me to just do it for "fun". As you guys must know, writing isn't just a hobby...you pour your heart and soul into it...even with light-hearted comedies it is a labour of love you can't but become attached to (and afraid for). But ultimately, the person we are creating art for is ourselves...we should never forget that...
     
  5. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    From your description it sounds like something I'd read.

    As all the previous posters have said, have a go. :) And post here if you get stuck or need help along the way.
     
  6. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I guarantee that if you just start writing, after a short time, you will get in the groove, or the "mood" that you're describing. You have to force yourself to write, even if you feel your work will not be that good. A majority of people will write terrible first drafts. Most of your great writing, as I understand it for most people, will come when you revise and perfect. In a way, your first draft IS summary. For me, it is like a guide line. It helps map out what exactly I'm trying to get down on the paper. Why not try writing, and if you're really repulsed by what you create, leave it and try again when you feel like it. It's your schedule. It's all your choice. As for now, my advice to you is write, write, write, and read, read, read.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sit yourself down and write!... it may turn out to be total merde, but you might find you're better at than you think and get better as you go... but you'll never know, if you don't give it a try...

    one of my own 'greatest lines' is:

    "Nothing is impossible till you quit and nothing is possible unless you start."

    why don't you print that out and post it above your writing space, where it'll stare you in the face till you do something about those ideas?...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  8. Alexei
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    Alexei New Member

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    Hey Jonias,

    I'm a new member on here, just joined, and it made me feel good to read about your inner struggle. Just in the way that I can relate so well. Especially when you said that you tried to give up writing several times but couldn't. Anyway, couldn't agree more with what everyone else had to say. You should go for it. Why do we insist so much on denying all of the callings of the heart, no matter how powerful they are?

    I just started a new story recently and in order to cheer myself up I wrote the title, and a couple of sub-titles under it. Like this:

    The Therapeutic Hour

    or

    A ****ty First Draft

    or

    Just Trash. Just Pure Utter Filth.

    That took a lot of the pressure off to make the first run-through perfect! And that's a trick that's been working for me with this story. Any time I have doubts, I just write them right into the story. Like, "And then she walked into the room. OH MY GOD. THIS IS SO F-ING BORING AND TRITE. THIS IS THE MOST TWO-DIMENSIONAL CHARACTER EVER. 'How are you?' she said."

    I think you get the point. ;-)
     
  9. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Ditto all the others - if you feel like writing, just do it and don't worry about the outcome (or lack thereof). Plain and simple, just have fun with life. And if it's writing that's tugging your self at the moment, then let it pull you along a bit.

    If you try it and don't really like it after all, then no big shakes. Human brains are natural story-creating machines, so you'll still be able to enjoy the plots and characters you think up through life.

    But, for now, give it a try and see what happens.

    -Frank
     
  10. pseudonym
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    pseudonym New Member

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    Some advice mate write to your style, if your an inner monologue kind of guy/girl then stick with it. Some of the best stuff i have read is written from first person perspective. Good Luck and I look forward to reading it.
     
  11. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pound that bitch out, bro!
     
  12. Jonias
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    Jonias Member

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    Ha! I do do that a lot too...setting up for things to be as horrible as they can possibly be so I'll be pleasantly surprised (or, if I really do suck that much, at least not be let down:p). I think I'm going to take you up on that advice!;)

    Thanks for the encouragement, y'all.:)
     
  13. Fiona
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    Fiona Member

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    If it's in your heart to write, go with it. As Elgaisma said, what's the worst that can happen? You will find that after a while, you will really get into the "flow" of writing and it will become easier over time... once you get your head in that place you are creating, you'll probably easily become lost in it and you'll find it's all you want to do!

    And if you're not pleased with everything you come up with? Don't worry. Most of us have to go back and re-write certain chapters or delete certain scenes. But you'll get there.

    Good luck :)
     
  14. tanvi02
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    tanvi02 Member

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    even i think you should give it a try......and write for the sake of writing.....the plot is no doubt good......i believe everyone will agree with me...
     
  15. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    You need to write it. Imagine turning 60, and still having that story haunting you and you regretting you never tried to put it down. A story needs to be told. But it sounds like you need to put a plan in place. Start writing out 1 sentence for each key event. Maybe grab a tape recorder and just talk about your book, then replay it and write. It will take effort, and maybe you will give up after the first draft, but maybe a grandkid will pick it up and finish it one day. But for that to happen it needs to exist.
     

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