1. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    Two Problems.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AfterBroadway, Aug 13, 2011.

    Number 1: Prolificness

    I don't write very often, but when I have a great idea, I usually execute it well. I feel like I should and need to be writing more than I am, though, no matter what the form is.

    I've heard authors talk about this problem before, usually when the subject of writer's block comes up. Some say to keep writing. It doesn't matter what about, or how stupid it may seem, just keep writing to get over the hump and use it as practice. And some say just simply don't write if you don't feel like it.

    So how do you deal with problems such as this?

    Number 2: Writing for myself

    My second problem has a lot to do with writing a first draft. When I complete it, I feel like it's completed, no matter how much better I know it could be if I rewrote it a few times. I feel like I know how the story should be, and if I can't execute it as well as I know I could, then oh well. Because I know how it is in my head.

    Anyone else feel like this?
     
  2. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    The first one, it's about as common a problem as being tired. It'll pass.

    The second :) For myself, I rarely seem to be able to catch all my mistakes. I'm thinking other people have the same problem since people make a living being editors. Just write, shape it up as best as you can, and submit it to the chop shop (review forums or editor). You may agree or disagree, but at least you'll have a second opinion or more.
     
  3. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    For the first problem, I only get like that very rarely. Especially when I have a lack of sleep.

    For the second problem, I always have a hard time catching my mistakes. That and I choose words over other words because of some sort of attachment to them. I am also extremely blind these days to my own writing. Because all my best ideas come to me at night time. I have enough brain function to write, not enough to fix SPAG.
     
  4. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    My problem isn't that I need to correct mistakes, it's just that I guess I'm writing more for myself, and I don't care too much about rewriting the story because I know how it is in my head, if that makes sense.
     
  5. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Interesting - do you take this approach with all your tasks in life? I mean everyone is different, but the successful people usually strive towards a certain type of perfection, or originality even if they don't achieve it. Mostly they take this attitude with other problems in their life also. Perhaps you don't re-draft because you have no self confidence, perhaps you don't feel that you are good enough. Even if this is true, if you ever want to get better, you're going to have to tackle that issue. I'd get on it straight away. If however you sincerly aren't bother, then it suggests that you'll settle for mediocracy. And that's okay for many people - I wouldn't beat your self up too much.

    Have I ever felt like that? With a piece of writing I believe in? No. I however am in a contrant state of strife.
     
  6. Summer
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    Summer Member

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    Not everyone benefits from taking a step back and leaving their writing alone for awhile--but I think you sound like an example of a person you might.

    Spending some time away from your writing (completely away, as in not even thinking about) and coming back you may forget some of those things that you knew are supposed to be in the writing and realize you didn't actually put them in. Or you will be more likely to catch some unclear parts.

    I've got the same problem and leaving ideas and writings alone for a long time helps me sometimes... if it doesn't help it is most likely an idea or plot point that I cannot fully understand for whatever reason.
     
  7. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I usually take little breaks every time I finish something, just to not burn myself out. I've never managed to go more than a few days without writing though. If I do, it seems to be mainly because I'm into a book.

    I rarely bother doing more than two drafts of my works. I mean, when the day comes when I feel ready and skilled enough to have something published, I'll probably do eight to ten drafts before I'm even remotely happy, but as for now, I'm writing for myself and as practice. Even the editing I do is for practice alone.
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know some people who don't really re-draft... And if you write for yourself it really doesn't matter since you're the only one who sees it.

    Perhaps the best thing if you do want to publish it would be to share the work - pieces of it here, or the whole thing with friends or family. Make them give you honest feedback about anything that bothers them about the plot, such as inconsistancies and weaknesses. There are people who publish novels which were only one draft plus the editor's touch, and they're not bad... Just sometimes there's niggles or things which I feel really ought to have been developed more, but it just didn't occur to the writer at the time - especially if it's something at the start they forgot about towards the end, or something that later writing made it obvious was more important, and could have been built up more to begin with when the reader had the chance to get to know it or something. I dunno.

    If you're already a technically good writer, then the style shouldn't be an issue. But writing a novel slowly and only one draft is just crying out to have dissonance between the open and the close. It's honestly best to close your eyes and knock the whole thing out in a month or two in terrible prose and edit it, just so everything matches throughout and you don't forget important themes and characters and events are all fresh in your mind.

    So writing deliberately badly might also be an option. It can also be an awful lot of fun :D And will force you to redraft.
     
  9. proserpine
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    proserpine Member

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    #1:

    I don't think you should force yourself to write, if you don't want to. However, it's good practice to regularly write something, even if it isn't what you are working on.

    I used to work 50+ hours a week, and went years without writing anything besides poetry. I was always thinking about what I wanted to write, but I never made it a priority. I find that making writing a priority seems to get ideas flowing. I feel like I am telling the story that already exists, versus trying to create the story from scratch.

    Everyone is different, though.

    #2:

    If it's good enough for you after one draft, and you have no intentions of publishing it, I don't see the problem in leaving your original draft intact. Perhaps if you save your writing, and go back in a few weeks or months, you may feel differently, and have a new view of the story.

    Good luck with your writing.
     
  10. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    Haha, holy shit. Are you trying to make me kill myself?

    I feel like I have enough confidence in my writing. I think maybe the problem is laziness and fear of showing someone else. It's not that I feel smarter than others, it's just that I don't know how many people will actually...feel it. And that's what I want, I want people to feel it.

    I appreciate the comments everybody.
     
  11. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Actually this sounds like a complete lack of confidence - that what ever you write it will in some way be a failure. Just remember you need to make mistakes before you can correct them - but you need to correct them to get better.
     
  12. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    Trust me, I know what it sounds like. I even laughed a little typing that.
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hahaha you're funny!

    Just write. Have fun with it :)

    Oh and with regards to your 2 problems - writer's block, very common. As for your second problem, if you keep that attitude up, that's fine if you're writing solely for your own pleasure, and there's nothing wrong with that if that's what you want. But if you wanted to become a published, professional author, then I'm afraid your attitude needs to change. It doesn't matter how well YOU know the story and world and what it should be like if you can't communicate that same image to your readers, and ultimately it will do your world and story injustice because your readers will inevitably have less to guide them, and therefore, imagine it quite differently and perhaps even distort it. If you really wanna tell your story, you will care about how others will understand it.

    Oh and another thing - the reason I wanna polish up my writing is more a case of personal pride anyway. If I know I could do much better, do my story justice, and well, yeh show off my writing skills (inevitably we all wanna be recognised as good writers, even great) - then why would I leave my writing half-done (quality-wise)? I wouldn't be able to rest knowing I haven't done my own story justice and that I haven't done my best.
     
  14. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Both solutions work. Try a 20 minute journal: open a word document, and start writing without even thinking. Do this straight for 20 mins, literally anything about anything, it doesn't have to make sense or anything don't stop to fix spelling just keep going like how this sentence seems to keep going. . .

    That will help you I promise.

    2
    You need another form of motivation. Yes, writing for you is great. But afterwards, you either feel a sense of "Now what?" which would lead you to improve your piece over and over. If you honestly do not feel that motivation, then maybe you were meant to only write these first drafts. Save them. One day when you're older you will go through them and maybe you will have motivation to make them better.
     

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