Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sukimitsu, Jun 8, 2010.
Ive been writing some ideas down that i could be writing about but i just can't get started
Why not? What's stopping you, specifically?
The best thing, when I can't get a piece started, is to sit down at the computer, and keep at it until I get a begining I'm happy with, no matter how many times I have to start over. I don't know if it will be any help in your situation, but I find that persistence is often the key.
I would also offer that you should not be afraid to start your typing in the middle of the story or elsewhere. Write the part that comes to you when it comes to you. The process very often becomes self directing from there. Also, there is the phenomenon of the middle sometimes actually being the beginning in disguise.
Isn't that a song?
Force yourself. If it's inspiring enough to you, you will be able to power through it - quality be d*mned.
Thinking "I can't do this because of X,Y,Z" is the worst thing i could do in a writer's block situation personally.
Work on an outline or something to ease into it. A writing exercise, something, anything to get those creative juices flowing.
The worst you could do is nothing.
Imagine you're watching a film. Imagine it's a film that grips your attention, something you would definately set the recorder for.
What's happening in the scene?
How many people are there?
What are they doing?
Just go from there!
I proffer this advice, even though you cannot get started, ask yourself, is it the "begining" you are having trouble with, sometimes starting off with an idea, maybe it is something in the middle of the novel, or maybe the ending.
However, the idea is to WRITE.
As you do so, more ideas will crop up and you will find that the dripping of ideas, will soon become a flow.
You just have to write. It will come to you.
Whenever I get stuck, it's because I'm being too picky about what is being written. Just write the damn story, and you can always come back later to touch it up.
Just start writing; an idea will pop into your head sooner or later, and thus you will have a story.
Usually when I can't figure out a start to my stories I look into these things:
1. What I want to happen later on in the story
2. Where I want my characters to go and to end up
3. What kind of an ending am I looking for?
Often times when you focus on the rest of the story first, it'll give you an idea for the beginning. I started writing out other scenes of the story before I could even manage the beginning of one of my works.
Basically, all you're doing is just writing, but not about the beginning and stressing over it and spending useless hours sweating over a blank screen or a blank sheet of paper. I found that if you focus on the rest of the story first, it makes the beginning a lot easier.
Thanks for all the help
Possibly an outline might help. Another possibility is that there is additional research that needs to be done that subconsciously you know needs to be done, so you are not ready to begin. A third possibility, which a few others touched on, is that perhaps what you see as the beginning is actually not.
In another thread, I just cited one of Vonnegut's 'rules' of story writing--here is another. Start the action as close to the ending as possible.
I suggest trying to identify what it is that's stopping you. Generally it seems to be some sort of inhibition. I know it has been that way with me sometimes. Or I worry too much about what people who know me would think of my book and I've let that stall me out. Recently I decided to throw caution to the wind and just write. It's helped a lot.
Struggling to begin
This has never been a problem before, but right now I'm struggling to kick-start any new projects whatsoever. This isn't through lack of motivation or lack of ideas; the problem has been in what I perceive to be a lack of quality in my opening paragraphs. Once I'm beyond those paragraphs, I'm fine and I can make progress fairly swiftly, but I want to hook in the reader as well as set the scene to my own satisfaction.
This could just be an issue in confidence (in the past I have been known to delete entire documents because my nagging doubts in my own ability have led me to believe it just simply isn't good enough), but the whole thing is starting to frustrate me. I'll be spending a couple of hours a day at least in front of the computer trying to get beyond an opening paragraph, but I simply can't manage it at the moment, for whatever reason.
If anyone has any advice on how to get over this problem, it would be much appreciated.
Simple solution: Begin with chapter 2. Or 5. Or the end.
If the opening paragraphs is the problem leave them for later.
You know what, I had the same problem: trying to write the perfect first para and feeling frustrated when I can't. Well, remnants of such feeling still remain but now I don't torment myself when I don't have the perfect opening, I just get on with the story. Because I have learned that usually what seem like the perfect opening is not so perfect after I complete my story. The story/plot that I had in my mine when I wrote that opening invariably changes (however subtle it might be) as I invest my thoughts deeper into the story while I write. I believe that the opening should have a bearing on the whole story (not necessarily foreshadowing), and you'll never know your story until you actually write it. Personally, editing the opening after completing the first draft is a MUST DO. I also sometimes find that the second or the third para of my first draft is more suitable as the opening. Also, if you have ideas about a scene in the middle of a story, start writing that.... you can always come back to the beginning later. There is no such rules saying that you have to start writing your story from the beginning.
I guess what I am saying is that don't get fixated on writing the perfect first para. Keep it fluid until you prepare your final draft.
I often think that the first Chapter/Paragraph/Whatever is great when it leaves the reader confused and wondering what its about, for example, if there is a "baddie" then write a short scene about him explaining to someone what his "evil plan" is or if he has none, show that he is evil, or that he is actually good inside. Just show the reader either a part of the plot, or a big chunk of the sub plot
I'd say, forget the opening paragraphs. There's no rule that says that you have to start writing with the beginning of the work. Pick a point in the action and start writing there, and trust yourself that you'll be able to write those opening paragraphs later.
My Problem with Getting Started
Recently, I discovered what my problem with actually getting started on my novel is, and I was curious if anyone else had this.
I have a lot of ideas for novels on my computer, mainly of the plot points, the characters, setting, etc. A lot of them are almost ready to be written, but I just can't find myself able to. Once I have the outline done, I procrastinate (which isn't my problem, I procrastinate all the time). And then when I come back to it, I start to compare it to other stories. I realize the theme isn't that good, there's no metaphors, not everyone can relate, etc. I find myself comparing my storie with great classic books and what's in them. Then I'm completely turned away from my story, and I just can't find myself to write it!
I feel like the Beethoven of writing. Everything has to be perfect before I can release it.
Does anyone else experience this? Or does anyone have any tips?
I had a similar problem before I got moving on my current project. I had about a dozen ideas, a brief synopsis of each, a few characters, some plot elements, settings etc... I would ponder and daydream about how great the stories would be when I started writing them, but... I never started writing them!
What worked for me to get out of this trap might also work for you?
Basically I just focused on the one idea that I felt most drawn to and pushed aside all others. This worked better than I imagined as the story became tighter and more coherent, the characters took on a life of their own and I can't even imagine writing anything else until I finish this project.
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