1. martial_wolf
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    martial_wolf Member

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    When is it time to walk away?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by martial_wolf, Jul 25, 2011.

    Hey everybody,

    I've just been thinking about this lately. Sometimes I feel like writing on the "novel" that I've been "working on" for years now but lately the magic has just died. I'm no longer interested in the characters, and my urge to keep working has been near the zero level.

    So is it time to leave it be or just push through? I'm currently trying to push through but that doesn't mean I'm not considering.

    Anecdotes welcome :D

    And thanks.
     
  2. suddenly BANSHEES
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    suddenly BANSHEES Contributing Member

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    If you're not feeling it, don't try to force it, but don't completely disregard it, either. Maybe someday you'll want to pick it up again, or at least recycle some things from it. For now, though, if it just isn't working, put it on hold and work on something else.
     
  3. heather_ashcraft
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    heather_ashcraft Member

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    dude,what you got is simply called "writer`s block",like that person above me said,trying to force it will only make it worse..my advice,lock that novel in a safe and go do other stuff,only come back to the novel when you have some fresh inspiration to work with

    same thing with stocks,if a stock in your portfolio is holding its value reasonably well,but isnt advancing an inch ( an allegory to your lack of interest in your novel),you dont just sell it right off the bat to move to a more risk adverse/higher potentional gain stock,you keep your value holding stock that youve put alot of work into,and wait until the eventual time when the price of it jumps by a large degree,and even then only sell a portion of the stock given it`s good preformance
     
  4. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    First up ask yourself why you are writing it. Personal achievement? Kudos? Wealth?

    If you have gained satisfaction from what you have done and it was only ever for your own personal enjoyment and benefit then there's no reason to make it a misery to complete.

    Otherwise yes, just keep pushing through it. The love of it will return, but not if you dump it and walk away. Also, remember there's a reason editors are so important :D just bash out anything to keep the momentum going. Quality can be sorted out later.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Dude.
     
  6. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say if you have already planned it out you should force through it. My inspiration level goes up and down all the time while writing, which is why I like to have a plot outline. That way I can write without feeling it, and usually some of the inspiration comes back to me after about fifteen minutes of writing. However, if you're just making up stuff on the fly, forcing your way through it usually results in terrible writing that can't be used anyway, so it would be more productive to write something that does inspire you.
     
  7. One90proof
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    One90proof New Member

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    Have you already blown the ridiculously high advance from the publisher on hookers and blow? Oh, there's no advance and you don't have a publisher?

    It's a hobby. Writing is what you do for fun. Set it aside and work on something that makes you happy. Barring a hard drive failure (you do backup your work, right?) it will still be there when you are ready to dive back into it.

    Why spend time on something you've lost your passion for when you could be working on something that brings a little joy to your life?
     
  8. martial_wolf
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    martial_wolf Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts guys. I think I'll see parts of it through and devote some time to a short story to get myself really back on the ball. This is a project I would love to finish some day, seeing as it was my first real idea of substance.

    One90proff, I have even written the initial bits on the typewriter so yep, I'm pretty good about backing up lol.
     
  9. MJLowson
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    MJLowson Member

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    I'm in a similar boat here.

    In Feb and March I handwrote my novel - took me about seven weeks, but that was going at least an hour each day at it. Yet, when I come to type up the draft - I just dont seem able to make any sort of start on it. Any advice?
     
  10. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that writing can be fun, but realistically it won't be all the time. There can be many difficult moments along the way, but that's what makes it a challenge.

    Imagine how you'll feel when you've finished that first draft. It's an amazing feeling.

    So have another crack at it and see if you can re-capture some of what made you write in the first place.

    How far along are you?
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds to me like you're past the point where the best thing to do is to put the poor thing away in a closet and see if you can write something else...

    if all you have in you is that one novel, then it might also be time to face the awful truth that you may not be cut out to be a novelist...

    that won't necessarily mean you shouldn't try other kinds of writing, if writing is really what you want to do, though... if the urge is still strong, then try short stories, or articles for magazines, or personall essays, or whatever else you feel like fiddling with...
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I second this. Strongly.

    I also want to add my own comment of no body should say that good writing is easy.
     
  13. LostInFiction
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    LostInFiction Senior Member

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    How far have you got with your "novel"? Is the whole thing planned out? Maybe this roadblock could be an opportunity to to review the story and characters, partcularly if you don't feel too emotionally connected to it at the moment. Maybe discussing elements of the plot or characters will help revive your interests? This forum, or a writers group if you have one local to you, may be a good chance to try to re-engage before walking away from all your hard work. Even if you never get back to finish your current work in progress you may inspire something else out of the experience.
    Good luck!
     
  14. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say keep it! You may want to start again at some point? I remember taking a large break at the start of universtity because I wanted to focus on rowing and studying. When you return you return twice as motivated :D Seems you just need that break.
     
  15. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    why hav u lost interest in your characters and story? maybe u should evaluate that :p
     
  16. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, it's not always easy.

    But that's why I think writers need to perservere at times. I wanted to throw in the towel many times when writing my would-be book, but I'm glad I didn't.

    Unless there are major flaws in the story that can't to be ironed out, and especially if the book is close to being completed, I'd still think it's worth giving it a final go.
     
  17. heather_ashcraft
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    heather_ashcraft Member

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    easy for you to say o_O,im still trying to get going,i got 2 pages typed down so far and most of it is horribly punctuated..not to mention the fact that my grammar in it as rather patchwork...luckily i have a sibling who is more than willing to edit the final product for me...

    just getting to the final product...ima need more coffee

    (by the way have you tryed coffee?i drink about 5 to 9 pots of coffee a day)
     
  18. martial_wolf
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    martial_wolf Member

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    I went through and did a bunch of planning a while back. This includes character bios and things to that effect. As for actual writing I should have a word count, but I prefer to go by pages at this point, so about thirty pages in.

    I have written a few short stories which I do like doing but I frequently get the urge to try following some other stories into novel form.

    Ah well. Did alright last night so maybe I'll be able to get back into the groove by starting at later points in the story. Who said I have to be chronological right?

    MJ, been there. If you are really having trouble simply transcribing why don't you allow yourself to edit a little too? Change a word here and there or get rid of a sentence. Do whatever you have to do to make it exciting.
     

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