1. Den
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    Den Member

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    Unable to write

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Den, Mar 15, 2009.

    I know what I need to write, and I actually want to write it. The problem is, as a person, I'm pithy. I get straight to the point. I find myself writing, but quickly finishing dialogue.

    I think I'm asking for help on prolonging scenes without making them mostly useless. Scenes that should be long are empty and short. It feels like I don't have much energy or words, and I've hit a little writer's block. Any idea to get my juice running again?
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Try not worrying about it, and go out for a walk or somthing. Watch a movie and write a review on it, look at a picture and write what you see; and you'll soon find muse so don't worry about it.
     
  3. hyperknees91
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    hyperknees91 Member

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    It's better to get a point across rather than drag a scene out.

    Reread and have other people read your work so that you can see what needs changes. Remember when making a rough draft it's best just to get the ideas down first.

    I listen to music to help calm me down and get me into the mood, so do whatever helps you best.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Benska
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    Benska Member

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    As writers, we see our work very differently to the reader. I think we're all farmiliar with making a big deal out of something that is really quite a small deal, just because we're the ones writing it, and possibly reading and re-reading it too many times. The cure? As Lemex said, distract yourself for a while. You will gain a new perspective on the matter, hopefully. Just as an artist would look at their peice from a few steps back, or even from across the room.

    If you still feel the same after a while, I would say post some of your work in the review room; hopefully you will get a good review, and someone will pinpoint the problem and tell you how to fix it. Also, it's probably a good idea to ask for help in that particular area of your writing. But make sure you adhere to the rules: you must first post atleast two constructive criticisms of other people's work before posting your own.
     
  5. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    I like Lemex's idea of taking a walk. That is what really helps me write and have my best ideas. (Obviously I don't write while I walk though. :p) But everybody has their own meditations, so your's might be shaking infants or stepping on snails, who knows!? :D
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    That just happons to be my way, actually. :)
     
  7. Cherokee
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    Cherokee New Member

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    I usually write off to the side a quick and to the point scene to satisfy my urge to write it. Then by adding more dialog and details I tie it into my rough draft, and if it's no good then I'll just go back and repeat it until it is.

    I find that whenever I want to write out a scene really bad but my draft doesn't call for it until later; I'll just make a quick jab at it off to the side. That way I can put both my excitement and emotion together in one scene rather than lose interest later on.
     
  8. Nervous1st
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    Nervous1st Senior Member

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    I am exactly the same. In real life I have no patience for small talk or insignificant details, especially at work. All my characters at some point turn out like me - blunt and to the point (I know, it’s hard to believe when my posts are so long winded) But that's where the fun is - creating characters that are not you.

    On the contrary I love to read novels that are slower in pace. I can't stand stories that are full of action or skip through scenes too quickly. It helps to slow down my mind which is in constant overdrive.

    And here is the challenge for us who are hasty - slowing down and working through the process thoughtfully. I outline the scene and/or dialogue and then go over it adding pieces where necessary. Don't worry if you go through a piece too quickly, it's just a start point.

    I would love to see your work in the review room.

    Good luck
     
  9. joe
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    joe Member

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    Sometimes I run into the same issue.

    One of my favorite writing professors back in college said this about first drafts: "Don't get it right- just get it written."

    And if it doesn't work, you can always change it.
     
  10. becca
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    becca New Member Contributor

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    If your dialog feels stilted, because you rush through, I have to wonder if you have a clear sence of who you want your characters to be.

    Maybe try an exercise of having each of your 'characters' write a letter to another 'character'. You don't have to use them in the story, but it might give you a better sence of who each character is and how they would express themselves.

    Another thing to try would be to get some people you know, friends or family, and assign each one a character and have them read the dialog aloud to each other, as if they were having a conversation. If there is any problem with dialog you will surely know when you hear the words out loud. Your participants might even help by giving you suggestions to help your dialog sound more normal.

    Good luck. :)
     
  11. Aeroflot
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    Aeroflot Senior Member

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    I have the same problem. What might help you is inserting your own opinions into the character's thoughts. Say, when a character passes a Wal-Mart, and you hate that store, you can 'detour' and write a paragraph on that and why the character hates it. Makes the person seem more real if he's inserting his own opinions.

    It should come pretty naturally though.
     
  12. lilix morgan
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    lilix morgan Contributing Member

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    Not to totally agree with the others, but just take a break from it. Walk away, do something to get it off your mind. Cook. Walk. Breathe. Play Halo 3 until your brain is mush.

    I find that sometimes when I least expect it, the ideas come to me. I might be casually washing a dish, rinsing it off, when I suddenly know what happens, how it could happen, anything like that can happen on a whim. Don't push yourself. If you just don't feel it all coming naturally, that means the story, details included, are still cooking. It's like bread; you have to let it rise before you can take it out of the oven.
     
  13. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    My tips for overcoming writer's block:

    • Take a break from writing, or at least that story you're working on. If it's becoming a drag, you owe it to your characters to take a break. How would you feel if a friend hung out with you when they didn't really want to, just out of obligation? That's how your characters feel. :p
    • Explore new sources of inspiration, or take a look at old ones again. I usually get most of mine from watching anime, but it's going to be unique to every person.
    • Stop and think about what is lacking in your story. Is it the plot? Is it your characters? Is it clunky paragraphs? Spend some time just going over what you've already written and try to make little improvements and remember why you were excited to write it in the first place.
    • Get to know your characters! Imagine them with you as you go about your daily life and try to imagine how they would react to the things you're experiencing. It's not only helpful, but it can make boring school lectures a lot more interesting. Who needs to take notes....
    • Don't be afraid of change and rewriting. In a novel I'm currently working on, I ended up rewriting a whole chapter because I wasn't listening to my two main characters and was trying to force their interactions to be a certain way. If you find you don't have the "umph" to write some day, consider rewriting something you felt needed work.
    • Along those same lines, remember that good writing takes effort. Never loose sight of your goal for the story you're working on (i.e. never stop being excited to finish it), but expect there to be some rough times when it's more "work" than "play". That's normal! Just power through it, champ. ;)

    I wish you the best of luck and inspiration with your undertakings! :D
     
  14. TereFaerie
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    As has been said, get it finished. Once your story is complete, then you can look back and see what your story needs to build your world, or your characters, or add foreshadowing. You can look for themes in your work and add light symbolism where necessary.

    I don't see a problem with your writing style at all. I have the opposite problem and am always trimming. It will probably work to your advantage if you are as thrifty with what you add as what you write in the first draft.

    You have the opportunity to make every extra sentence do double duty; advance the plot, build character, reveal something about the story that was previously unknown.

    Since you mostly stick to dialogue when you are writing, I bet you have very concrete ideas of how the characters speak, look and act. Let the reader know that through judicious use of descriptive dialogue tags and unconcious gestures, etc.

    But most importantly, finish the story.
     
  15. Moira
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    Moira Member

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    I skimmed through the thread but didn't really read everything. (It's 1:30am here so I'm about to pass out.) This might have already been said, but I like to read to get my battery recharged. Reading a book that is truly great reminds me why I love to write and gives me the kick in the butt that I need to move on farther... I also like to take a picture and discribe the scene in front of me. I'm not talking about a scenic picture either. Take a picture of two lovers embracing, write a short story about why thier holding onto each other. Were they apart and reuniting? (Oh man, I bet my spelling is awful right now) Or are they hugging after a long days work. Add in dialog...

    "I thought about you everyday that I was gone." He whispered into my hair.

    Scenic is nice, but it only helps you develope a better visual discription, try and add charachters into the practice.

    My eyelids are drooping closed, I hope this makes sense in the morning when I re-read it. Lol.

    Goodnight, and good luck.
    M.E.
     
  16. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    As long as you're just jotting down what you're thinking, without too much deliberate planning, even to-the point works good. The only scenario where you'd need to stop would be running through the story.
     
  17. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I don't really see what your problem is if your writing is specific and relevant to the story. I suppose, if you're bent on padding out your writing, you could utilise the senses experienced by your characters as they react to their given circumstances. It adds colour and texture to the writing and has the benefit of allowing the reader inside the character's head. I wouldn't go overboard, though. In my opinion, pithy is good.
     
  18. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Over coming Writers block is tricky.

    I still suffer from it alot and can find my whole book will shudder to a halt.

    The best cure I can find is to read a fantastic book, maybe something by a favourite author.
    Also write a 2nd book along side your main book. Whether this is just notes for a 2nd book, or a short story, it doesn't matter, just something that allows you to be creative in a totally new environment, something you don't care too much about at this stage, where nothing is set in stone. It will allow your mind to use some flare and then re focus on your all important book.

    A bit of excerise helps too, but I'd be careful not to move too far from reading or writing, as you will soon find yourself putting your book off more & more. Finding new excuses to 'solve' writers block.

    The key is to work through it, not hope it goes away. Sit at a desk and hand write it, rather than looking at a PC screen.

    Hope that helps
     
  19. rsandz
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    rsandz New Member

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    You can get rid of that writer's block by changing your focus a while. May be write down your feeling when looking a picture. As I do in my blog.

    Take a break for a moment is a good idea to relief our stress.
     

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