1. Kerilum

    Kerilum Active Member

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    Hardest part about writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kerilum, Feb 12, 2017.

    For me, the answer is tricky. I would say wording is one of the hardest parts because I always seem to magically forget a lot of adjectives. It's as if the word is always on the tip of my tongue, but I have to look it up for 5 minutes to find it. Whenever I'm not writing, I can always think of any word.

    What about you guys?
     
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  2. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    Finding the most efficient way to deliver dialogue. Saying something in only a couple of words that has the same effect as several lines of dialogue.
     
  3. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I found staying focused to be the bane of my endeavours. Belated ideas, that'd dupe me into feeling they're too good to ignore, trying to muscle into stories. I cope with that issue now by closing the doors to inspiration (after a time), and poss. entertaining the notions as their own entity/spinoff at a later time. I can't pantse, I've learned, as things get unwieldy.

    Also suffered as you have @Kerilum with immediate word selection, and some not availing themselves on demand, even though intuition promises they exist. Placeholders now [they're [for] the future] hold their seat till either something's forthcoming of foraged from a thesaurus.

    @Phil Mitchell — the sense of accomplishment felt though when cracking such a challenge.
     
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  4. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    The come-down after first draft high.

    'Brilliant, brilliant, marvellous, incredible...darling read this please, please it's only 2000 words, hah hah, I am so good.'

    ...

    'Oh no, no, no, this shit doesn't even make sense. It is actually stupid and shit. I sent it to the Times of India, The Wall Street Journal, Private Eye, nnnng...'
     
  5. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist

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    Wording is definitely up there. But I think the hardest thing for me is writing a piece only to find that it reads nothing like I envisioned and having no idea how to go about fixing it. It's why I end up with so many recycled story pieces than actual stories.
     
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  6. S A Lee

    S A Lee Senior Member

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    I'd say balance.

    When to be descriptive, when to be terse. When to tell, when to show, getting this balance right is mastery of the craft.
     
  7. izzybot

    izzybot Oportet Vivere Contributor

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    Polish, for me. The editing and revision and 'bigger picture' thinking, I guess, that's required for turning a raw product that's middling decent into one that's actually worth seeking publication for.
     
  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Senior Member

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    For me, it's knowing what the hell I'm writing about. I've got no problems putting words on a page, but because I pants most of my stuff around a handful of ideas or key scenes, it takes me awhile to realize what I'm saying. Most of the time it's different from what I set out to do. Usually I'll finish a draft of a novel, look up, and exclaim, "Holy balls, this is a revenge story! Where the hell did that come from? I thought I was writing about baseball!"
     
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  9. SadStories

    SadStories Active Member

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    Endurance. Continuing when no one is telling you to with no certainty of success for months and months and month.
     
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  10. Daniel

    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    For myself it is dialogue and character development.

    Descriptions, facts, and wording all seem to come natural. I believe I can be very thorough in that regard. However, when it comes to creating characters that seem real and developing a reader's connection to those characters, I definitely struggle.

    That's probably why I write mostly non-fiction.
     
  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Plot. Plot. Plot.
     
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  12. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    I'm a pig in mud whenever I'm working on character development or researching historical details to inform my narrative. But when it comes time to develop the plot... I am tempted to hide all sharp implements in the house for fear of gouging out my own eyes. I second guess every single freaking plot development: is that red herring too subtle? Of is it just too bloody obvious and therefore ineffective? Is that plot twist not actually interesting? Will my readers see this coming? Am I diverging from the main path too much? Do I need to diverge more? Is everything I'm writing too predictable? Is this even realistic?

    Agony.
     
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  13. sprirj

    sprirj Senior Member

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    Just general motivation. I love my story and I love writing, but I always can find something else that needs to be done and far more important, like replying to this thread.
     
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  14. Jaiden

    Jaiden Member

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    Subplots. Subplots. Subplots.
     
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  15. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

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    Overcoming the inertia of not-writing and starting to write again. Easily.
     
  16. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's becoming harder over the years to find the headspace I need to conceive stories. I used to have a lot of time to myself where I knew I would not be interrupted, but that seems to be gone forever. In fact, as I wrote those two lines I had two interruptions that had nothing to do with the price of eggs. (One was a question about a book that's lying on my bed, the other was a question about a plastic bag.)

    I can get me-time to actually write (if I snarl and put signs up on my office door) but it's the space I need to daydream and conceive stories that is sorely lacking. I no sooner start to think and drift into story mode than ...somebody wants something, the phone rings, he's just got to ask me one teeeeny little question, somebody's at the door, bla de bla. And if these things don't actually happen, I'm on edge expecting them to happen.

    What I need is about a month, here at home with my research materials around me, where nobody speaks to me AT ALL.

    Life has changed a lot over the past year and a half, and I'm just not adjusted to the 'new normal' yet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  17. iRoppa

    iRoppa Member

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    Staying focused. When I start writing, my brain kicks into overdrive. Words just fly through my head. Ideas come thick and fast and it's hard to pin them down. Then I can't sleep properly, ever, when I write. And if I manage to dream...I dream in words! It's really weird...it's like my mind takes my dreams and narrates them to me through a novel being written as it's happening. After 3-4 days of this, I'm exhausted, my work/home life starts to suffer and I have to stop.
     
  18. DueNorth

    DueNorth Senior Member

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    Agree with @ChickenFreak, plot, and @Jaiden, subplot. The rest is the fun part.
     
  19. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Time. I need AT LEAST eight hours of solid sleep a night to stop me being a grumpy twat the following day, and I need winding down time after work to calm my little introvert soul. With family commitments, it doesn't leave many hours for writing.

    I find it very hard to come up with ideas, but I only need one 3x a year so it isn't a massive problem.

    Sometimes I can't translate the scene in my head to paper--can't get across the emotion I want to. That's very frustrating.
     
  20. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributor Contributor

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    I'm in much the same boat as you, @jannert . Too many exogenous shocks and I'm no good at rolling with them, can't just finish some household chore and then sit down and write/think for 15 minutes and then go do something else.

    A few tricks I've learned that may help: I use the "notes" app on my phone to keep a running list of ideas, then when I do have some free time I copy all those over into a word document on the computer I use for writing. I always have my phone with me so I can write things down as they come to me, and then writing them down a second time helps keep them fresh in my mind. Then I can revisit them when I do have more time.

    I've also, through a bit of practice, gotten good at writing one or two page less-than-drafts but enough to get the ideas/feel of a story down. I'll just write up as quickly as possible a scenario, maybe the beginning of a plot, a few setting and character descriptions etc. in a loosely narrative fashion. Then I can come back to it later, come up with an ending and polish them up a bit. That approach really works better for something flash or short story sized though, not sure you could use it with a chapter of a novel.
     
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  21. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    For me it is hammering out that first draft. Plotting, revising/editing and such, that's much easier (and more enjoyable) as I see it.
     
  22. Megs33

    Megs33 Active Member

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    freaking WRITING. i have my 30-day trial of scrivener primed on my computer, about 30,000 words of thoughts and ideas in a massive word document, and a constant penchant for daydreaming about new plot twists and character ideas. but when it comes time to put pencil to paper (whether literally or otherwise), i am a masterful excuse-maker. right now my brain is telling me that i just need to find a less stressful job, THEN i can find the time to write the way i want to. because that's totally how it works.
     
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  23. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I do lots of that stuff as well. I've always got a notebook handy. However, I need the freedom to daydream, and that's what I don't get. There are no ideas to jot down if I can't get the space I need to think them up. Somebody said once, "You need a holiday." I said, "No, I don't need a holiday. I need everybody else to take one!"

    For me, envisioning scenes and allowing the characters to inhabit these scenes is crucial. It's not 'ideas' I need, it's pictures, sounds, environment, feeling, etc. And that's what I need time and uninterrupted space to create. I'm working on how to do this, in my 'new life.'
     
  24. 123456789

    123456789 Banned Contributor

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    Being an amateur writer, the hardest part of writing for me is always the phase I have no experience in. It used to be staring at a blank word document, then it was making 140k words coherent, then it was cutting those 140k. Now it's trying to write queries. I suspect that after that, trying to figure out all the rejections will be the hardest part, and so on.
     
  25. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Contributor Contributor

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    Sticking with the idea and having the fortitude to go through with it even if it looks terrible upon first revision.
     

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