1. Taina

    Taina Member

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    I can't understand my own writings

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Taina, Sep 27, 2017.

    I think I may have developed an inability to understand what I write (this is not a handwriting issue, I type).

    The recurrent symptom of the condition is: I read my paragraphs and I'm not quite sure of what I'm talking about. Plus, every paragraph seems to be referring to the same thing.

    Has this ever happened to anyone?
     
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  2. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    [​IMG]

    ?
     
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  3. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    Are you just ruminating as you go? It's not a sin, but if you're stuck . . . Maybe you should enter the paragraph and tell yourself its purpose as you start. Then flesh it out live, and at the closing, tell yourself what the next paragraph should accomplish. It sounds like you need to guide yourself through to keep the story moving. Don't be afraid to talk it out.
     
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  4. Taina

    Taina Member

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    I do use this method, but sometimes words rebel and start to write themselves
     
  5. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    You described writing source code, then going back and refactoring it.


    Occasionally when i go back and edit there will be a paragraph that I'm not sure what it's original purpose was. In those cases, I usually just delete it. If it's not important enough to remember or derive from context, it can probably be cut.
     
  6. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Sometimes if I work too long at a stretch my thoughts start going all circular and I start rewriting things over and over again without really realizing it. It's kind of like an anti-writers block, where I have no problem actually writing, but I still don't make any progress. If I notice I'm doing it, I'll usually get up and make myself a cup of tea or take the dog for a walk and try to think of the plot point just past where it is I'm stuck. Getting some fresh air usually helps my brain start working properly again.
     
  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Yes, although it manifests itself slightly differently in me. Sometimes I write a sentence which I know is right, but for whatever reason I then begin to question everything about it; the grammar, syntax, meaning, how it sounds when read.

    I'm also developing a bit of a obsession with semi-colons. I'll use a full stop, but then convince myself the sentence that follows relates to the previous, and change the full stop to a semi-colon (no doubt incorrectly).

    I think we're back to the creative fatigue I talked of in another thread.
     
  8. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Sometimes I'll use a word I've used a million times before and then I'll sit there staring at it on the page/screen wondering if it's actually a real word and why it looks so weird.
     
  9. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Happened to me about ten minutes ago. I wanted to describe an empty road and used '... void of other traffic.'. I became utterly convinced I was using 'void' wrongly, and I'm still not sure.

    I started thinking about those scratch cards and the warning which says, 'Void if exposed' and said, well that can't be right then, because 'void' must mean cancelled or something.
     
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think you meant devoid of other traffic
     
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  11. Taina

    Taina Member

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    Really? Can you explain this a bit further? Sounds interesting.

    This is the feeling, indeed. And usually taking a long, long break can mend the confusion. Sometimes I go to the movies and watch something silly.


    I fear I may develop this problem too, so I avoid using semi-colons entirely.
     
  12. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    That's probably not a bad tactic. You seldom see them in fiction anyway.
    I think that too. Thanks.
     
  13. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Banned

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    Are you talking about computer programming? How are you connecting that with the OP's issue?
     
  14. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    It was a joke. Often you go back to things you thought you'd written brilliantly only to not be able to understand any of it. The rest of my response was a real one.
     
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  15. Taina

    Taina Member

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    @newjerseyrunner Ahh that's too bad, I thought for a second this was a real thing.

    It's not that I've written cryptically or anything like that, it's just that after reading the same paragraph over and over it starts to lose its ability to communicate.
     
  16. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Actually, I think the refactoring metaphor works really well.
     
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  17. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Replying to myself on that theme:

    DRY/Don't Repeat Yourself: when you have a line like

    Joe clenched his fists and shouted angrily, "I'm really mad!"

    you're repeating the information "Joe is angry" four times. That piece of information should be presented only once. (Yeah, that rule isn't nearly as firm with writing a with code, but it's a concept to think about.)

    YAGNI/You Aren't Gonna Need It: Don't explain your world's geography, every detail of the magic system, and every good and bad event of your character's childhood before you need it. In fact, depending on your style, don't even decide on it.

    Going on to the other acronyms would mean imposing a lot on different authors' styles. I would recommend against Big Design Up Front; others disagree. On the other hand, Separation of Concerns is IMO totally wrong--everything should be a tangle of functions!

    But that's imposing coding concepts on writing, so I'm kinda joking. Slightly more seriously, when I'm editing my writing, the process feels not entirely unlike refactoring code.
     
  18. Radrook

    Radrook Banned Contributor

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    The closest I have come to that is suddenly coming upon my own writing and not immediately recognizing it as mine. I start to read it and then say "Wait a minute! This is me!" That's when worry sets in. I think that perhaps it has to do with a bit of mental exhaustion reinforced by slight sleep deprivation or hunger. Just my take on it, However, if the symptom persists it's best to tell your physician so some tests can be done in order to make sure that it isn't early onset Alzheimers that might be creeping up on you. This is very important especially if one of your parents passed away from it as in my case.

    https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/early-onset-alzheimers#1
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017

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