1. tashaa-jayy
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    tashaa-jayy Member

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    What helps you write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by tashaa-jayy, Jul 11, 2010.

    What helps you write?
    i mean inspiration, not just what you see on television, or what you have read.
    What makes you keep writing from just the one idea???
    I need some help with my story, i start out fine and then i some times go back and fourth to the point where feels like im on a roller coaster.And then i sometimes re write what i have wrote in a different way can anyone help me out With this at all it would be great for anyone to give me a little hand or some tips for me to be able to stop doing this.
     
  2. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    You don't want to stop rewriting: that is how you turn a mediocre manuscript into a good one, and then a great one. Get used to rewriting and revising. It's tough, yes, but you owe it to yourself and your fictional creations to give it your best, right? Right. Don't get discouraged!

    As for the inspiration/motivation problem, we all deal with that. There are days I wake up and don't feel like writing, cave in to the temptation, and don't, but I always come back to my stories because I genuinely care about them.

    I think I can best sum up why I keep going by sharing an insight I had about writing the other day. I was hiking alone at a trail park about an hour from where I live. I reached the top of a hill out in the middle of nowhere, and there amongst all the golden grass, all by itself, was a California poppy. It was a beautiful flower, as all California poppies are, and since I was tired from climbing the hill, I stopped to look at it closer. I wondered if anyone else had ever been through here before me, and if so, had they stopped to admire this flower too? Was it even here back then? Maybe not. Then I thought to myself, What a waste. What's the point of a flower blooming up here if I'm the only one to ever see it? I actually felt bad for it. I wanted to erect a little sign there so that other people might come check it out after I was gone, but alas, I did not have the necessary tools with me. (Of all the days to leave my bandsaw at home.) I just couldn't stop brooding over the injustice of this little flower blooming where no one else would likely ever see it. Why even bother? Why bloom at all?

    Then it hit me: flowers don't care about where or how or why they bloom, they just bloom. (Profound insight, I know.) That lonely little flower never asked itself, Is this a good spot? If a hiker passes by from the east, will he catch my good side? Will he pick me? Take a picture? Criticize the hue of my petals, critique my stamen, curl his nose at me for using the "I'm a pretty flower" cliche? Will he call me unoriginal? Will he like me?

    No, that flower never pondered those things--it just bloomed because that is what flowers do. And like that flower, I write because that is what I do. Because writing is what writers do. It's something you feel in your soul, a not-always-burning-but-always-persistent desire to share the world inside you with those who live in the world outside. It's the desire to bloom. You either have it or you don't. If you do, you will know it, and you will open yourself. Sure, you can--and probably will--close from time to time, maybe because you're scared, maybe because you're tired or busy or both, but you will always blossom again because that is how you give back to the world. That is how you share yourself with it. And who cares if you never get published. You aren't writing for the fame (Ha), the fortune (Ha, ha), or the groupies (Hahahaha). You're writing because that is what writers do. If you become successful at it, great. If you can make a living at it, even better. But don't forget why you do it. And remember: the flower doesn't need to be seen by everyone to be beautiful.

    Just bloom.
     
  3. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think every writer has the inspiration/motivation problem. It's okay not to write daily, and take a break from a story. As long as you keep caring for the story and characters and regularly go back to it, then you'll eventually get it done at your own pace. It may be helpful to set yourself some achievable targets to give yourself that drive to get it finished too.
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Ever watch someone making pizza? The dough starts out as a thick lump. It gets slammed down onto the table, and then it gets flattened and slowly spread out. The cook might toss it up and catch it, allowing gravity to drag the edges a little further away from the center, spreading it thinner and thinner, until finally it is large enough to cover the baking pan.

    Your idea is the dough, and as you work with it, it gets spread further and further away from that one central concept that you started with, but the center is still the center. You add action, drama, pain, joy, love, hate...stirring scenes with language that may be dazzling or devastating, maybe take some chances and break some rules, showing us something completely new and untried. Just like the pizza maker tossing the dough high in the air and catching it.

    I often walk away from a story when I feel like I can't come up with something, or if I feel like I'm forcing it or going down the wrong road. At such times, I might play around with an idea that will one day become my next project. When I was able to run, running used to be a great way to clear my head and find new approaches. Now that I'm older and arthritis limits my running, I walk instead, and long walks are a wonderful way to ponder writing problems.

    Where do you find your inspriation? That's like asking how do you decide what tastes good? Whatever strikes you.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i only need help to stop me from writing... ;-)
     
  6. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    When the urge strikes me to write there really is no stopping me. I will make up any and every excuse to go be by myself to write. :p Same with making art. haha

    So how to focus on one thing? Good question. I struggled a lot with that when I first started writing. There are so very many possibilities it's all too easy to get caught up in all the ideas. I suggest writing down all your ideas in a central location so you don't forget them or finding a way to incorporate them into what you are currently writing. I find sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to force myself to stay on that one project and not start another one. I'm extremely scatterbrained. I'm very bad about thinking about up to three different things all at once. When you write though you have to focus all of your attention on that one thing and not all the other ideas and things going on in your head unless it pertains the story that is. :p

    Think about where you want the story to go and how amazing it will be when it's finished. Think about what an accomplishment that will be to have it totally finished. That helps me when I start getting to caught up in other ideas. It gets easier to focus on it the more you do it. I don't have too much trouble with that nowadays. I think it was more of a just starting out thing for me. When I first start a project and when I first started writing more seriously is/was when it plagues me the most.

    You've got to force yourself to plow on with that one story. I find it helps me to listen to music and go be alone when I write. It makes it easier for me to get in the right state of mind for writing and it helps me to focus and block out other distractions. Best of luck and never give up! :)
     
  7. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    I just get an idea in my head and BAM! I'm on my laptop writing the story :)
     
  8. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    I'm the same as MM!
     
  9. Garfiun
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    Garfiun Member

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    I find just looking at the surroundings when im out walking, driving or at work, help with certain things i'm writing.
     
  10. OvershadowedGuy
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    OvershadowedGuy Member

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    The best help for good writing is a gallon of coffee...
     
  11. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    If I am unable to find natural inspiration to write, I detach myself from what I'm writing and come back when I'm ready. When I do return, I flesh the story out and make it miles better than whatever it was before. The goal is simply to get the story down, after that everything is easy.

    Best of luck with your issue, though :)
     
  12. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Just not being in an anxious mood...

    I have a mild case of OCD and I'm quite an anxious person. Lately I've been unable to write like I usually can with so much free time. When I'm feeling myself writing is not an issue at all, so, like I said, not being in an anxious mood...

    I can get inspired by practically anything. Movies, classical music, favorite books...

    And yes, coffee.
     
  13. tashaa-jayy
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    tashaa-jayy Member

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    See, With me im scared that if i do get inspiration off a story or something like that i think that i will copy it to much even when i do change it stills ends up basically the same.
     
  14. Kileyizzle
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    Kileyizzle New Member

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    Something that helps me to keep writing is word banks.

    For example -

    Hospital Beds:
    Crisp; Fresh; Bed Linen; Steel racks; Contraptions; Durable heavy blankets; Mechanical; Daunting; Prison like; Powered by remote; Untold Storys; Moments lost; Solitary confinement ; Bonding time in dire circumstances; Reunions; Apprehension; Waiting; Loss

    Another thing that helps me are mind maps. Also journaling; And a somewhat mundane attempt at a blog.

    However like most writers your biggest enemy is self criticism..

    hopefully that helped
     
  15. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Never thought about a word bank. Useful idea.
     
  16. tashaa-jayy
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    tashaa-jayy Member

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    yeah i have never tried or even thought of one of those before thanks heaps for that great new idea
     
  17. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    I write best when I don't (or, even, can't) think. Y'know that early morning daze? When there's not enough coffee in your system, and you're still a little groggy from not enough sleep, and only auto-pilot tells you where the bathroom is? That is my golden moment.
     
  18. OvershadowedGuy
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    OvershadowedGuy Member

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    Also music strangely enough really helps. I'll put my Ipod on repeat on some song I know pretty well (Billie Jean by MJ works good), and listen to it for pretty much the entire time I write. I get really annoyed by the click-clack of the keyboard so it helps tune that out and it kind of puts me in this place where all I do is think about the story. I dunno if that helps anyone else but it works for me.
     
  19. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've only been writing for six months, I started by accident instead of doodling whilst watching TV, I started writing a story I had, had in my head.

    I am another one with writing diarrhea, I write an awful lot. But I also find it much easier to delete a lot of pages when I come up with a new idea that will help the plot. My husband was shocked when I took my story right back from around 30,000 words back to around a 1000.

    I use a word box for when I introduce a new character to allow me to get a feel for how they speak.
     

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