1. Veltman

    Veltman Member

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    Theme Getting lost with overflowing ideas and themes?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Veltman, Oct 14, 2018.

    I don't know if people here are into MBTI. I am an INFP. I find myself rarely able to calm down and center into working on a single project. For example, I am now in the planning and worldbuilding stage of my dream writing project. a Edwardian-esque fantasy saga.

    Even if I'm just getting started, which is normally the phase where you're hyped for it and can't think about anything else, I already find myself thinking about different plots and ideas, for example, a mid-century hardboiled detective story and then, trying to focus on the current project, I end up cramming some aspects of the other ideas that keep coming up in the story and that forces me to change and adjust the setting from the original plan. This almost never works out and I end up feeling lost and losing all motivation to write.

    Anyone else went/goes through this sometimes? Any words of advice? What can I do?
     
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  2. David Lee

    David Lee Member

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    Yes. I say go with it. That's your muse trying to keep you thinking, creating...
     
  3. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Supporter

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    It depends on your personality. Spread yourself too thin on multiple projects and you can't focus on the main one(s). Focus on one project and you might get bored, stuck or blocked. Those are really the issues and there are no right answers here, but there are some wrong ones. If you find your main project collecting dust for months then you know you've made a mistake with your approach.

    Isaac Asimov had 3 or 4 typewriters going at the same time, each with a different story. Whenever he got stuck on one story, he'd move onto one of the others. You could go the same way. The trick is to ensure that you keep on writing, no matter what.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I'm INTP :)

    Some of the most important characters from some of my WIP are

    Lead Protagonists
    • ISTJ
    • ESFP
    • ESFJ
    Secondary Protagonist
    • INFJ
    Lead Antagonist
    • INTJ
    Supporting Antagonists
    • ENFJ
    • INFJ
    • INTP
    Do you also like D&D Alignment? ;)

    Anytime I come up with a new idea, I always ask myself what it is about my new idea that I like better than my old and vice versa, and this helps to guide me in why I might find it more important to pick one than the other (and possibly improve it in ways that are based on my new idea ;) )
     
  5. Veltman

    Veltman Member

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    @Simpson17866 I know what It is but I'm not that into it. I'd be Lawful Neutral. I like your last suggestion. Sometimes when I think up a new plot it's so easy for me to fall in love with it and forget what I was previously working on.
     
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  6. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society

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    Because why not, I have done MBTI for my major characters a few times.

    Conclusions:
    Sarah- INFP, the Mediator (it's you!)
    Jade- INTP, the Logician
    Alex- ISTJ, the Logistician
    Damian- ENTP, the Debater
    Ashling- ENFP, the Campaigner

    I do come up with random new ideas pretty easily. I haven't found it too hard to focus on my WIP though, just the occasional foray into secondary things. More likely to procrastinate by watching TV shows or playing games or something. I have found that the more I flesh something out as an idea, the easier it is to focus on it. It gives me more to think about and work on if I have a broader picture of what the thing is about.
     
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  7. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    Are you identifying conflict in any of these scenarios? I suspect that might be the key to getting a story framed, within the worlds you're creating. It's conflict (not necessarily fighting, but creating two or more opposing goals or ways of doing things) that will make a story. Worldbuilding is just scenery. Characters need to have something to work for and against, for a story to develop. I'd concentrate on finding that point of conflict and working from there. It might be just the boost you need.
     
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  8. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I’m Chaotic Neutral ;)

    My ISTJ protagonist is Neutral Evil
    My ESFP protagonist is Lawful Evil
    My ESFJ protagonist is Chaotic Evil
    My INFJ protagonist is True Neutral

    My INTJ antagonist is Chaotic Evil
    My ENFJ and INTP antagonists are Neutral Evil
    My INFJ antagonist is Lawful Evil

    Happy to help! Best of luck :)

    ... Uh, my Doctor Who fanfiction stars an ENTP named Damien as one of the three leading protagonists :D

    This. So much this :)

    One of my favorite pointers from Steven James’ Story Without Structure was that “What happened over the summer?” won’t get as compelling an answer as “What went wrong over the summer?” ;)
     
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  9. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    What a great, simple way to illustrate that concept! :)
     
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  10. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    It really is ;)
     
  11. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Active Member

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    Edwardian-esque fantasy saga - LOVE IT ALL READY!

    I used to be like that and it drove me mad because I would never complete and project. I'm also a perfectionist and a worrier - not about anything else in life just about my writing. My home can look like the first scene of Saving Private Ryan but I can't bare my writing to be messy. I like bullets and organisation otherwise I feel like my head will explode.

    I never tried to fight it or change. That's just me. Writing is my biggest passion and the only thing I do that no one needs to nag at me to do. I'm chilled out in life so it doesn't worry me I get obsessive or writing - I think it's just because I care so much that it's good and that I improve.

    If you feel it's a real problem for you in general there may be some help you could find that might calm you down. If you're asking out of curiosity, I'd advise you to roll with it but keep some sense of discipline. Maybe write smaller projects. Maybe failing to finish can make you anxious and lose confidence.
     
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  12. Veltman

    Veltman Member

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    Well well. That certainly is motivating. I'm glad you're interested. Could you elaborate more on why you liked it? What's your general taste on reading? I might need a beta reader to review some of the top secret parts of the novel. It could be you. :D
     
  13. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Lively Fred

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    I get lots of ideas too. Generally I note them down on a word document so I feel safe to 'forget' them and keep focused on my main project. (I work best on one thing at a time.)

    My first novel I tried to cram every idea I had into it. Bad idea. I find it much better now that I've got the mindset of 'simplify'. What is necessary to this story? I can add the cool twist I came up with to another book, doesn't' really fit here. That sort of thinking.
     
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  14. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The Ceiling Fan Rule!
     
  15. DeeDee

    DeeDee Senior Member

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    Try plotting a full story. Try different methods of plotting (like Snowflake etc) in order to get a whole story out. Once you see "the end" you get a taste of it (it feels goooood). If you come up with an idea for something completely different, start a new project. Don't be afraid to start many projects and don't be afraid to leave them unfinished. It's perfectly normal. At some later point you might come up with an idea of combining two or more different projects into one. That's also normal and perfectly fine. You're not doing anything wrong, it's just all part of the normal writing process :agreed:. Write things, delete them, mash them, divide them. It's called editing and revision and happens all the time:D. And don't expect a book to just appear in front of you overnight. Some take decades and many, many rewrites. That's normal, too.
     
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