1. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Writing a Novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Killer300, May 8, 2011.

    Okay, I'd like to write a novel, but find the process daunting. I know that's part of why it doesn't happen, i.e. you think about the length than it doesn't happen, but that element is still there.
    But, there's also that I'm seemingly assaulted by my muse, who lets say is a fruit tree, every day. It would be like if you had an apple tree that never stopped dropping fruit, rain or shine, and you never had anytime to do anything with all of that fruit. I can't ever focus on one idea long enough to turn it into even a novelle, much less a novel. Also, many short stories end up coming out like novels that got shrunk, a lot. Well... maybe I have wrote novelle length before, at 15,000 to 20,000 words I'm not sure whether that's a short story or a novelle.
    Anyway, so, do I just need more focus, and then I'll be fine? Or, is there more to this? Help please.
     
  2. Brandon P.
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    Brandon P. Senior Member

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    I have the exact same problem. Maybe it's a lack of self-discipline?
     
  3. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    THANK YOU! It's good to know I'm not the only one. Maybe, but maybe not, hopefully this thread will help us arrive at an answer.
     
  4. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    Discipline, definitely. Furthermore, I also have too many ideas but I found out I can just somehow bend and twist them so they would fit into one work.
    If the ideas are too opposite to fit into one work then create two but no more. Like I said, this attitude works for me. Thanks to that my works are quite variable but so is the life.
     
  5. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Ah, thanks. Okay, so I should just get the ideas to flow together into one plot, instead of tons of different ones. That should fix me problems.:)
     
  6. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    I'm similar if we're still talking about the ideas thing. On the one hand I can have way too many ideas in some areas, whereas in other areas, I'm shrunk/stuck with writer's block.

    However, amazingly, I always cringe when I try and blend "amazing" ideas into a story that I know is perhaps not the best suited for that particular idea. I somehow get this feeling that I'm going to end up using all my ideas in one story and then have no more original ideas for the next one -.-...

    Writer's can have very weird thought-processes sometimes.
     
  7. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Well, fortunately me running out of ideas is about as likely as at this point as the Soviet Union rising from its grave. Weird analogy, I know, however it works. My problem is just trying to get the ideas to stay, "put," in a sense for me to write them into something more fully constructed.
     
  8. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if this will help. Hope it does. Just write and write and write until the idea is out. Then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until you've chiseled out the novel that is in there somewhere. That's what I do. If at the end of it all there's a high enough word count to be a novel, great; if not, then it wasn't an idea for a novel after all.
     
  9. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Okay, I'll try that in the future.
     
  10. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    My suggestion is focus on one thing at a time, but take note of all ideas. I have a word doc called Random Plots, where every plot gets about a page or so (outline, characters and other things you think of). If you write them down like that, then look at them again just a few days later, you can often see better if they are good or not. Sometimes when you get an idea, they immediatly seem so brilliant you can't let them go, when if fact, they were really bad. This has helped me focus on just a few projects at a time and seperate the good and bad ideas.
     
  11. chaoserver
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    chaoserver Member

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    Idea overload, or distraction/laziness tends to cause this. One moment you have this great novel lined up, and the next your whittling it down to a short story.

    You will either need to crack down on discipline or will need to reevaluate the kind of writer you are and move to short stories.
     
  12. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Thanks guys, this has helped me a lot. And, I'll try to do the idea organization thread.
     
  13. Jonathan22
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    Jonathan22 Contributing Member

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    I think the most important parts of your novel have to be characters' construction and where it is you want your novel to go in the end. If you can decide on a solid and and definite ending then you can find your other ideas will probably quite easily, with a bit of thought, fit into your plot. The characters are so important, too. If you can really develop them strongly and make the reader empathise with them, by making them realistic and personal, then you are on to something. That is what I certainly look for in a novel: well constructed characters.
     
  14. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Well, since I have characters screaming in my head all day details about their lives and so on, yeah I think I can do that.:)

    The ending, sometimes I have an idea of it, but no earthly idea of how to get there. It's time to try though.
     
  15. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    I have the same thing with the ideas, though, they don't plague me.

    Lol, someone once described me as a "snowball," because once I got one idea, I keep getting another and another and it doesn't slow down or stop. I just get bigger.

    But regardless of how many ideas you get, I would assume that there should be some level of measurement in which you can differentiate strong ones from weak ones. In my case, I find that the strong ones haunt me and every other idea that I get after it sort of molds itself to make those strong ideas stronger because the strong ones want to be written.

    Either way, I'm not sure. Perhaps you can try small writing exercises to help you. Make a bullet list of random ideas (that do not tie to each other,) then randomly pick two that and label them strong and two that should be weak. And write a story on it.

    Your piece should focus on making the strong ideas strong and your weak ideas merely a support for your stronger ideas. It's like working within a set circle but allowing you to use other ideas... but just making sure that you are focused on what is important.

    Anyways, good luck.
     
  16. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Thanks, this thread is really helping me out.
     
  17. Simplistic
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    Simplistic Member

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    Build yourself a mapout of what you want to do with your story, write your ideas on paper. Memories and ideas may fade, but lead and ink are permanent on the paper.
     
  18. Deleth
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    Deleth Member

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    Ah Tangents, don't you love them?
    I don't.

    However they can be very important. For instance, the novel I am working on right now has a plot and a setting and two Main Characters, these two facets of the novel are in their final form now. Having undergone the following transformation since its inception:
    Science Fiction story Original write out (got to chapter 5)
    name change for one of the main characters
    second write out (got to chapter 8)
    name change for both main characters and plot tweak
    third write out (got to chapter 2)
    major plot change for beginning of story rewrote chapter one
    kept writing (got to chapter 8)
    plot tweak again to add a non human race
    kept writing (got to chapter 15)
    kept writing on a roll (got to chapter 20)
    major plot tweak, rewrote chapters 5, 8, 12, 16, 17, and 18
    Kept writing STILL (Got to chapter 27)
    DEAD END!!!!
    ...........................Idea!
    Merged current story ideas (to chapter 27) with three other Ideas that had come to my mind WHILE writing the above.
    Setting overhaul to fit a High Fantasy setting instead of Scifi
    Major plot tweaks to fit High Fantasy Setting instead of Scifi
    Setting technology re-imagined.
    World Re-Imagined to fit new setting.
    Characters re-imagined to fit new setting, both major characters names changed again.
    Singular Antagonist becomes three, Re-imagined to fit new setting.
    Plot, Setting, Main Characters, supporting characters, technology, antagonist 1, 2 and 3, fleshed out to the point that the Plot is now three distinct stories.
    Idea is crowned a Trilogy. Fleshed out to the point that each story is now complete and unique.
    First re-write of the original idea that had been re-imagined currently in progress, about to reach chapter 3, and going strong. I truly feel that this current incarnation is complete.

    This process took 12 years, from when I started writing original work instead of fanfiction, until now. The reason for the biggest lock in time is that I periodically took breaks from it to write fanfiction again, or work on other creative projects, or because of life, or when I worked on writing Music for a year instead, or whatever. But I am now in a position in life to just hammer it out, I know now that it is my true passion, and that is what I am doing.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, It doesn't matter how you get to finishing your first novel, as long as you get there in a way that works for you.

    Not sure if this helps, this is just the experiences I have had, I Don't write ideas down personally because once I do they go away, it will stay in my mind forever if i don't, and if work on or fleshing out other ideas helps your main idea (as it did for me) then go for it!

    Good luck!
     
  19. eMotive-
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    eMotive- Member

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    I'm encountering the exact same problem as well. The longest I've ever written was about 10 pages, before the plot ends and I find myself looking for new plots to write about.
     
  20. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write out the main points of the novel idea you fancy. Then expand on those points. Turn them into scenes, and summarize each scene in one sentence. Bridge these scenes with more one line scenes, then bridge those with additional scenes. This won't happen in a day. Once you have at least a page of writing that basically summarizes an entire novel, not just some vague idea, read it out and ask yourself if you're impressed with it. If the answer's yes, you now have a credible platform to work with and you may just have something that you know for sure is worth writing. That might be the inspiration you need.
     
  21. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    This is a good way of looking at it. It is a good way to help you write more, maybe even novel length. If you have more characters and sub plots that all connect into one super duper plot... well you get the idea. It makes for a much better read, and a longer read as well.

    This is pretty much my motto. lol. One can never go wrong. Just keep writing, see where the words will take you. At first glance, it may be useless, but really, it's not. It is a great exercise to just write gibberish for, say, 20 minutes. In fact, I just did that before visiting this site. I find that it make me focus more, it makes me feel lighter.
     

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