1. Oguru

    Oguru New Member

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    Getting over a creative slump

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Oguru, Dec 7, 2018 at 11:17 AM.

    Hi

    I recently started writing my first novel and as i wrote, the idea i had of where it was going has changed. I had a general idea of what the villian was going to do and how they were going to get there but as i've been writing, i realised the idea wasn't particularly consistent and had to change. Now i'm not really sure what's going to happen and i stopped writing a few weeks ago.

    I was writing 300 words a day without fail for a few weeks and then suddenly i stopped. I have issues with motivation and depression in general anyway which can make it difficult, but without knowing where my story is going i'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions how to get over this and if any of you have been in similar situations, what you did? I'm not sure if this qualifies as writer's block, it's more about not knowing what my story is. I had no problems writing when i knew where i was going.

    Thanks
     
  2. EBohio

    EBohio Member

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    Some people say you have to write something everyday to get over writers block. It doesn't have to be on your novel...it could be a short story or just a journal. You'll soon start thinking about your story again. Try outlining your story so you have an end in mind again. It doesn't mean the end won't change again when you start writing, that is normal for most as the characters evolve and change the ending.

    Another tip I heard once was to write back stories (bio's) of your characters during the block and that might kick start you again.
     
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  3. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    Hi @Oguru

    This sounds pretty normal to me...

    I have two "trunked" novels and set myself a target of at least knowing that I can write a third (and subsequent) book in the same world before starting the self-publication journey; I have started the third one at least three times, got to 4-5,000 words and thought no, no, no! Each time I have been very happy, but it gets to a point where I have to start again rather than continue - the overall plot hasn't changed, I just need to re-write how we're getting into it.

    I also have two WIPs in different genres which have hit a similar wall at about 20,000 words

    I know they will all get there in the end; I just have to figure out the way through the forest.

    I think writing other stuff might help as @EBohio says - maybe try writing flash stories with one of your characters, or something completely different, but one of the key points about being a writer is writing - even when it seems impossible - and having the faith that you know you will get there in the end

    There is only one way to give up smoking, and that is not to smoke!
     
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  4. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Active Member

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    Walking helps a bit with a depression.

    It sounds weird, but it really helps. Just walk without destination every day. Not sporty type of walking but "walk and let your thoughts wander" -type.

    Aggressive upper body exercise burns stress hormones.

    Physical activity helps mental activity.

    Stress & depression shut creative & intelligent functions of your brain. (And parts of immune system.)

    Sleep deprivation does the same. It shuts your ability to create.
     
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  5. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    This.

    It depends on your personality. Writing something else might work for you, especially something like a journal, but as a highly goal-driven person I often find that trying to write every day while under major stress or dealing with depression is counteractive because as @Alan Aspie pointed out, depression shuts down the creative part of the brain, so I end up with unusable dreck that was nothing more than a waste of time and energy. That makes me feel worse, which can lead to a vicious circle.

    What works better for me is to focus on not worrying about the writing part, but doing something connected to it instead, such as SPAG edits, research, organizing my notes, or temporarily shifting focus to a writing-connected skill, such as learning more about the markets or about self-publishing. Then as my creativity starts to come back I shift toward watching writing advice videos. That way I'm learning needed skills until I get my creativity back, and I haven't wasted time.

    Caveat: If you have an addictive personality, this route might not be productive. Different people need to push themselves in different ways, and it's all about finding a balance of what works for your personality and your goals.
     
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  6. Carriage Return

    Carriage Return Member

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    And your ability to get that walking and exercising in, which leads to poor sleep, which leads to...

    a very negative feedback loop. Ugh!
     
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  7. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    To be honest I never know where my story is going. I have a vague idea but most of the time it gets changed.
    I just finished a novel about a young boy becoming a major star and his up and down relationship with a director. I had two endings in mind as I wrote -- one was that the story would end tragically with him at thirty years old but I realized I couldn't make it to that time jump and had to reconsider the ending. I wrote and wrote and wrote having no idea where the story was taking me and it took me forever to find an ending but I did.
    It happens.
    One way of finding the ending is looking at the conflict and deciding how is it going to be satisfactorily solved for the reader. I.e. when you read Charlie and the Chocolate factory the most satisfying ending is having Charlie come live in the factory but if Dahl played it realistically it would be -- tours over go home. So allow your conflict to built and think about ways to have it climax and then wrap it up.
     
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  8. Oguru

    Oguru New Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful responses, i'll give everything a go! The main problem is i decided to have a day or 2 off writing after getting stuck about where my story was going, but then i never got back on it. I can still write some scenes even though i don't know where i'm going at the end.

    Yeah, i know all about this! :p I make electronic music as well and when i try to do anything when i'm depressed it's always awful and i feel worse after. I've made goals before of doing something related to music even when i'm down like watching tutorials or something so the same thing could apply to writing. The only problem is finding the motivation to do that as well, but i guess that's something i need to work on. I do tend to sleep enough and do intense exercise at least 3x a week, not sure how much it helps though.
     
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  9. Veltman

    Veltman Member

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    My creativity grinded to a halt and I'm completely blocked, I'm in the middle of writing a sci-fi novel, a fantasy epic and a historical fiction story set in the 40s. I just put them in the freezer and started writing a horror short story that might just become a novel.

    I might never finish any of them, but at least I'm doing something.
     
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