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Difficulty converting imagination into written story

Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Kevin7777777, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I either hear in this, you thinking you cannot learn to write, or you looking for a way to skip the hard work it takes to learn.

    Writing takes skill that some people naturally have or pick up faster than others. But it's not a matter of being a natural or one is out of luck. Take it a step at a time. If you have the story idea and the dialogue, pick something like writing description to learn next.
     
  2. Kevin7777777

    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    You hear right. Believing I can't learn to write is an issue I have. Part of it is because I struggle to retain the rules. I took a english course couple years ago to update my english writing skill and my teacher believed I was a great writer that I was picking things up and I was applying them. Most of what I was learning about grammar rules seem to have completely escaped my mind. I don't know if it's adult ADD that runs in the family if that is an excuse for it, but It is a frustrating thing that I seem to have this lazy block between me and learning how to write properly. It's even more frustrating cause I know I love writing and creating.
     
  3. Kevin7777777

    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    I should heed Jack Asher's advice here when he said I could maybe alternatively write screenplay. Converting this full bullet form story into screenplay? Requiring writing skill still, but I imagine it will need more just editing afterwards. Unlike a full fantasy story would need more completed manuscript before reaching the editing stage. I know difficult to say cause you don't have my sotry in front of you, but Jack Asher you really think screenplay could be a better option for my writing?
     
  4. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just a side note: I took one look at your name and called you Kevin Seven Sevens.

    :)
     
  5. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There's a big difference between the grammar and the writing skills I am speaking of. Your posts are articulate enough, almost every writer needs a final edit (usually by a professional) for the grammar mistakes.

    Forget about the grammar for now and get started writing. Then get feedback on a page or three, read books or web pages on writing skills, read this forum, then go back and edit. That is how I'm teaching myself how to write. I think it might work for you as well.

    Writing a screenplay vs a novel depends on personal preference. Try it, see if you like it or not.
     
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  6. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I think that if all you are writing is dialogue you should write all the dialogue and then choose what you want to do with it. Screenplays still have setting descriptions and sometimes blocking, but that's very different then trying to describe things in a novel.
     
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  7. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Keep in mind that a screenplay is not a finished piece of work. It's only the first stage. It has to be turned into a movie before an audience can appreciate it, and that requires a ton more work by many people and a lot of money. A novel is a finished piece of work, ready for the reader almost as soon as you write The End.

    If you write a screenplay, you still have no access to an audience. But if you write a novel, you can self-publish (if that's the route you want to take) and have immediate access to an audience.
     
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  8. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    And writing a screenplay is no guarantee it will ever be a movie. Most studios use in house script writers. The most you could hope for is that you submit to one of these companies, they read the screenplay and hire you.

    Then you end up writing snappy dialogue for the new Jem movie.

    But you will have written something, and if what you want/need is practice and confidence then that's a really good start.
     
  9. Kevin7777777

    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    Wow! You are all so helpful with your time and advice. I really appreciate it. I've decided to just finish it up with the bullet form I'm doing now, and once it's done I will just try and connect it all removing the bullets. Some bullets are dialogue going on, some bullets descibe the environment or details of that moment. So really all that will be needed is bringing it together without the bullets by making it flow and adding some more description as I see it.
     
  10. Kevin7777777

    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    Thanks for the great advice. You inspire me to go out on my own with this story. Where would you recommend I share a page or two? I can probably share a first chapter if that is a safe thing to do online?
     
  11. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    From the FAQ
    • Posting in the Writing Workshop requires 2 or more constructive critiques of other members' work for each new posted work.
    • You must be registered for at least 14 days and have made 20 posts before you can create a thread in our workshops.
     
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  12. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I found a local writer's critique group through MeetUp. I had to go to a couple of them to find one that worked for me. Posting here in the workshop, going to a writer's group, those are just personal preferences.

    You can learn a lot here though, reading people's critiques of other people's work. That's a starting place.
     
  13. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Do you remember such an occasion? I remember reading creative writing books from my school library - those ones for really young children - and really taking the advice to heart. There was once when I'd include one sentence for each of the five senses to describe a scene lol. Over time, I learnt that, while it's great advice to include sensory details, it's not necessary to include all five every time. I think describing a scene is a little like a skilled and vivid summary in a way - knowing which detail to pick out to represent what you want to convey.
     
  14. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    When I sit down outside or inside I practice by describing the scene around me inside my head. That's either good practice or the habit of an introvert turtle.
     
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  15. Kevin7777777

    Kevin7777777 New Member

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    That's an interesting idea. That is like exercise for that writing skill. Thanks for sharing.
     
  16. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find this happening a lot. Sometimes it's because I'm trying to write too late at night or when I'm too tired or stressed out about other things.

    But most of the time I have difficulty getting things down because the scene in my mind is not continuous though I imagine it to be. I'm hearing great lines in my head, seeing and feeling perfect bits of action and emotion, I think I've got it all straight, but in reality the parts and pieces jump around and overlap. So I'll start writing the scene down and get stuck because, hey, I need to put in this great bit of business but it doesn't flow naturally from this other bit I've written down already here, and what was I going to do with that other piece that's so essential over there? What you conceive in your mind is next to something you'd see in a dream, and it takes work to make it all come straight.

    If I can think the scene through several times over and make sure it flows before writing it down, that helps a great deal.
     
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  17. Autumn Hazel Rain

    Autumn Hazel Rain Member

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    sit down and do some writing sketches of an idea you have. Example, character sketch, setting sketch, theme sketch. Then do some free writing, get the mind flowing, write whatever comes to the mind. And finally, come back to this idea. Flesh it out, let it breath in your creative conscious. If it sticks, and you feel excited, go with it. And as always, use life as an inspiration. I have the same dilemma. Most of my story ideas live and die in my mind before ever coming to paper. But it is all about timing and the sweet muse coming to visit.
    best wishes!
    Autumn
     
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  18. Christine Ralston

    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    It's not difficult to learn rules. What's difficult is how to apply them in a way that is interesting to others. We can spend a lifetime perfecting our technique.
     
  19. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I just read this thread for the first time, so please forgive me for coming in late.

    I wonder if you might try a little bit of fun. You said you write children's stories. Have you ever TOLD children stories out loud, making them up as you go along? Here's a bit of fun. Why not write your story with a child in it? A child who is listening to you tell them a story about ...say, a giant. Something like this:

    "Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a giant—"
    "How big was the giant?" Julie asked.
    "Well, let me see. I think he was about as big as a house."
    "Our house, or grandma's house?"
    "Oh, definitely grandma's house," I said. "He was definitely a two-story giant."
    "What was his name?"
    "You know, right now, I can't remember it. What do you think it might have been?"
    Julie frowned and put her lip out. "I don't know. Maybe ...Fred?"
    "Okay, we'll call him Fred." I cleared my throat and began again. "Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived a giant who was as big as grandma's house. Everybody called him Fred, but we're not sure to this day if that was really his name."
    Julie chuckled. "It wasn't his name. His name was really Alex."
    "Julie," I said sternly. "Don't you want to find out what this Fred Alex giant DID?"
    "Yes," she said, after a moment of thinking it over. "What did he do?"
    "Well, anyway, he—oh wait! I forgot to tell you. He only had one hair. Right on the top of his head! Only one. It was orange, it was VERY long, and it glowed in the dark. That was one of his problems you see. Giants do their worst work in the dark, but FredAlex never got away with any of it. People could always see him, and he always got caught."

    You get my drift here? You will automatically get lots of description into the mix if you're actually telling the story to somebody. And what you can do later is go through and remove the manufactured audience. Just leave in the story. I think you'll find you'll have created quite a lot more description, setting, etc, than if you sweat and stew over trying to write formally. Once you get into your stride, you probably won't need to do this trick any more. But it really REALLY helps to visualise an audience taking in your story, and maybe even responding to it.

    If you're writing an adult story, just pretend that somebody you know and like will be reading it, so tell it for them specifically. Again, you can overcome lots of blocks by taking this approach. I know, because it worked for me.
     
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  20. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Lol well, of course. That's why whenever a thread pops up when someone says, "I want to write. I know nothing about writing and really want to read some how-to books first. Any recommendations?" - that's when the entire forum pretty much sings the chorus of: Go and write! Knowing how to apply the rules in a way that's interesting to others will come only with experience, and that means writing :)
     
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  21. Skaruts

    Skaruts Member

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    I'd say reading Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is a great way to learn what details one shouldn't include in a story, because, even though his story is awsome, he clearly belonged to that alien race you mentioned, judging from how annoyingly in depth his descriptions are...
     
  22. koushiro

    koushiro New Member

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    I realize that this is also a very late post, but I thought I'd throw in my 2¢.

    I took a creative writing class in high school. We spent about a third of the semester writing fiction, so we had to write lots of 500-1000 word stories. We did lots of different exercises to strengthen different aspects of our writing. To develop dialog skills, we had to write a story from the perspective of somebody listening to a conversation while not able to see the conversers. To develop our descriptive abilities, we had to write a story that was 75% description. I think these are common exercises in creative writing classes. For example, the story focused on description was called The Four Visitors, and the plot was that the protagonist encounters four different people that are progressively more something. In my story, the four visitors were progressively weirder, which I thought would be fun for a descriptive story. You can probably google The Four Visitors and find more information on the exercise and/or stories people have written using the template.

    But I think exercises like these (that put you outside your comfort zone as a writer) are great. You normally tell a story through dialog? Try writing a story with as little dialog as possible and as much description as you can manage.

    You can also give your stories (or just a particular scene) to somebody to read. After they read it, ask them to describe the setting to you. If they provide a description that differs too much from what you have in your mind, revise to describe the setting better.
     
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  23. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

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    I also have this problem, Kevin. I create amazing stories in my head (they are amazing to me) yet the ideas do not translate through the channel of creativity from my brain to my fingers and onto the page. It's so frustrating! I doubt with your passion it sounds like laziness more lack of skill. HAVe you shared any of your work to WF - I'd love to read it :supersmile:
     
  24. The Mad Regent

    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    I didn't read through all the posts in this thread, but I got the gist of it.

    I've thought about this myself at times. I tend to visualise the scene in my head, but find it difficult to put it on paper. However, what I found helps is making lots of notes. Simple one line, or even one word, notes. You can even be more practical by taking a sheet of paper and imagining your scene, and then, near the bottom of the paper, write something like wet tiled fool. At the top of the sheet of paper put panelled ceiling with artificial lighting. And in the centre put doctor in green overalls. You can probably see where I am going with this. Essentially, you are creating a visual scene that you build on and can refer to.

    Another thing I found helps to get your abstract psyche on to the paper is vocabulary. Increase it! Knowing a lot of words can open up possibilities and unclutter your sentences dramatically. Every time you come across a difficult image that you want to translate to words, with a good vocabulary you will be like I know how to write that.

    I must stress that I'm no expert, but I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  25. Amy Brahams

    Amy Brahams Member

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    The only tip i can give is that when u decide to write, just keep on writing whatever comes in your mind. Don't care about errors. Once u get done that u can fix the errors.
     

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