1. stormr
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    stormr Member

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    trouble getting it from my head to paper?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by stormr, Apr 7, 2013.

    or computer screen to be precise. I'm sure many of you have gone through the same thing as me. I am working on my first book, it will eventually be a 3 part set, first one obviously will be stand alone in case the other 2 never get finished or picked up. Ok heres the deal: Its a very long story, takes place about 300 years from now, revolves around a vampire coven, and small town of humans out in the middle of nowere after a virus wiped out 99% of the human race. It's mainly character driven, with about 3 big action sequences, main one near the end. I have about 10 pages of outlines for scenes which will be chapters, so far about 15 chapter outlines. Problem is that each outline I have about a paragraph that I wrote down for what will happen to who, and whos in this scene, some are just specific dialog that will take place at key moments. Basically I'm at the point were I can sit down read these notes and basically play it out in my head like a movie, including what person will say what, pretty much all of it. So I sit down in from of my computer last week, and decided to go ahead and start banging out at least one of my chapters, so I pick the one I had been thinking about and adding to in my mind that day. And I get about a paragraph in, and nothing. I suddenly realize I just typed out my chapter and its a little over a paragraph long. I know I need to fill it out, by describing the area its taking place in, I didnt bother to describe the characters because this chapter is later in the book. So what do you guys do when you hit this point, I dont think its writers block, just for some reason I just cant write it. I have tons of info already written for the story, character outlines, backstories, the town description, other areas where scenes will take place, lots of stuff, but cant tie any of it together to be readable. Now if I could hook up a video recorder to my head, I would have one great movie, but no book. I pretty much looked at my girlfriend at that point, said "I just cant do this" and closed my folder. Thats why I joined here today and reading up on what I should do. It's been a week and still nothing. Also wanted to point out I am aiming this to be more of a novel than a short story, theres lots to tell, once I can.

    So what do you people do when you get into writing and suddenly cant think of what to write down?

    thanx for any responses
    --Brian
     
  2. Teuthan
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    Teuthan New Member

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    lalala

    I do have the same problem commonly, just let it flow out of you.

    Or get drunk, high, whatever you like. That works for me, but of course when i get sober i realize i made a ton of mistakes, however those can be corrected, and after all i get a something decent chapter.

    Or tell us the movie which plays in your head, and most importantly do it naturally... But if the writing turns out to be bad... Well, then good luck for ya! That's all I could say :(
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your difficulty is that shared by all writers beginning their journey. What ends up in words on paper or screen doesn't do justices to the images in your head, if indeed you can force yourself to risj putting the words down at all.

    In fact, it is true of visual artists as well. It takes time, perseverance, and courage to develop the skills to make the thoughts render, as envisioned, to the creative medium.

    And introducing chemicals into the artist will only get in the way.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You sound like the classic case of someone who has spent all his time world-building, filling out character profile sheets, making plot outlines, and so on, and has never actually written a line of your story. Don't worry; this happens to many people and it's curable.

    First, can you write anything at all? I mean, just make up a quickie little short story of less than 1000 words, one that doesn't relate to the novel series you're trying to write. Maybe just a story about someone at a cafeteria who finds he doesn't have enough money on him to pay for the lunch he just ate, or something like that. Something simple. Don't outline, just narrate. If you can fill a couple of pages of reasonable-looking prose, you're on your way. If you can't, if everything you write seems like a summary of a story rather than an actual story, or if you come up completely dry and can't get even a paragraph down, you may be in trouble. This is a kind of creativity test - can you focus your creativity through your pen, as it were, and get a decent sequence of sentences on paper?

    Next, I'd suggest you pick up your favorite novel and reread chapter one. Then, write a one-paragraph summary of that chapter in the same style you wrote your one-paragraph chapter outlines for your own novel. Then, carefully - and I mean carefully - compare that outline paragraph with the actual chapter. Imagine that you are the author of that novel and are trying to expand that one-paragraph chapter outline to the final chapter you just read. You should find plenty of clues as to how that author did it. You'll see the difference between an outline and an actual narrative. How much of what that author wrote is description? How much is exposition? How much is pure narrative? Does he have the characters spend time thinking about the situation they're in? If so, how is that handled? I'm sure you can come up with many more questions to ask yourself as you do this. Once you gain an understanding of how that author did his work, you should have a good handle on how to do yours.
     
  5. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suggest trying to focus on each scene as if it were its own story. If you hit a block as you're writing, say for dialogue, type in [INSERT DIALOGUE] and keep going. Also, some writers don't write chronologically, but write the scenes that are most intense to them first and then go back to piece their writing together. If setting up the story is giving you trouble, start writing on the second scene instead. Personally, I wouldn't jump around too much because it gets messy, but I often find starting is one of the hardest parts of writing.
     
  6. stormr
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    stormr Member

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    thanks guys that input helped, maybe I just needed someone else saying thats its pretty normal to have that issue, and something you said minstrel pointed out what I think my mistake was that day, my mind kept trying to summarize a story. So basically my mind was saying what its about and my hand wasnt converting the story as a story. It started off as a story, but kinda went nowhere. Thanks again, I am aiming to get at least one page of that chapter done tonight, and go from there, maybe it'll turn into a few pages, and so on. One thing teuthan mentioned about getting drunk, that doesnt work for me, but I do like to have a couple beers and relax while coming up with ideas for my story, it actually helps out alot I've noticed. Anyways thanks again guys, needed a little inspiration at the moment.
     
  7. SidChewsBarbies
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    SidChewsBarbies New Member

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    Just one page a day mate. That way there's less pressure. 2500-3000 words a week. It might take you a year to write and partial edit, but you'll be better off for it.
     
  8. Quoux
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    Quoux Member

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    I'd like to offer some advice! :D

    This is an old trick that many pre-victorian writers would use when they had writers block.

    Narrate to yourself or a friend! (friend works the best, but I find that hardly anyone has time to listen to me ramble other than myself). When you do this you begin a sort of story-telling phase, that humans are naturally accustomed to. Skill is another story, but you aren't looking for oral story-telling skill you are just trying to break through your writer's block.

    Don't get caught up in mechanics. Just talk. Start wherever. start by describing a character, even! But whatever you do; don't use your references for this. References are just only for sustaining, so to speak. They are like your water supply: you should drink from them when necessary, but avoid over-indulgence (Cause then you'll get water-intoxication and run the risk of death o_o)

    I hope I could help!
     

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