1. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Staying focused on my WIP

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Millyme11, Aug 10, 2017.

    I'm finally getting back into reading and writing after a few months away from it. I'm wanting to leap back into my WIP, however my mind keeps wandering to another novel idea I have. I'd love to complete a WIP, but I've not even completed a first draft. I'm not sure what to do about this as I can't seem to get the other idea off my mind.

    Another issue I'm having is sticking to my next Chapter in my current WIP. I just want to skip this Chapter and move straight onto the next. I know this means my current Chapter must be boring and definitely changed. My other thought is that if I can just plough through it then I can change it later in the second draft.

    Any advice is much appreciated, thank you in advance.
     
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  2. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    Advice the first - write what you want to write most. It's like how you want pizza, and the more you don't eat pizza the more you spend time thinking about pizza. But seriously, if it is actively interfering with your ability to write your primary project, you need to get it out of your system. Spend a day or two working on it, then get back to the main project.

    And as far as the skipping thing goes, I'm a huge fan of it. But that's just how I write. Tap out scenes, see where they fit together, and once I have a critical mass put them together. Ultimately, the main gist of any thread like this boils down to "you do you, dawg." So if you really want to, bite down on your mouthpiece and keep on going. I've just found that writing is generally difficult to do, so it really helps to write what you are feeling.

    At the same time, for my first novel, I almost never allowed myself to dive into other projects, because I had that "have to finish" mentality, too. So both ways work. Just have to pick which road you want to travel, because with enough effort they'll both get you to the same place.
     
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  3. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Thank you. I may look more into my other idea, perhaps just research wise. My fear is that I'll never finish a WIP, that why I'm so adamant to complete my current WIP. I really want to have at least a first draft of something. I may skip this Chapter after all.
     
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  4. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    I'll be honest, it was a real struggle for me, too. There were days where I was all about moving on to other projects, and shifting focus can really cause things to get away from you. I ended up really just taking notes on other stuff to get back to. And at the end of the day, you really are better sticking with the WIP because it'll get you used to staying on project when you eventually have deadlines you'll have to meet for publishers.
     
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  5. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I would recommend staying on your current work, but working on whatever you feel like working on within that work.

    It sounds like your current work has lost its charm for you. But the charm may just be about novelty, so when you move on the next thing may also lose its charm around the same time, and the next thing, and the next thing.

    So I would suggest writing the bits of the current work that you want to write, in the hope of recapturing the charm.
     
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  6. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    I think you should write the piece you are thinking about. It may inspire you with your WIP (or it may not, just depends).
    Maybe for your chapter problem you can just throw in something little you find interesting and perhaps it'll set a spark for finishing that chapter.
     
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  7. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Thank you for all the the feedback. I'll have to let you all know how it goes. Is it bad to keep flitting between notes on the same day for different ideas and my WIP as well?
     
  8. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    Nope. Of all the things, that is least bad. Always take notes when you have ideas for a piece, or you'll lose them.
     
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  9. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Thanks! I normally feel bad for thinking about both in the same day as I feel that I'm giving my current WIP my full attention.
     
  10. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I don't feel tardy.... Staff Supporter Contributor

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    So long as you complete something at some point in the not too distant future there's nothing to talk about. But if a few years go by and you have a desk full of incomplete manuscripts, you have a different kind of nothing to talk about.
     
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  11. A.S.Ford

    A.S.Ford Active Member

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    This has happened to me throughout my entire writing life (and I have been writing stories since I was about 5 or 6 years old) but I have never (or rarely) experienced getting a new idea, and the overwhelming desire to write it, while I have been working on my current novel/work-in-process which was, and still is, a great surprise to me (especially when it started as a random idea that I was only going to use as a short story for my undergraduate dissertation then grew to become half a novel already in the space of a year and a half). That's how I knew that I had finally found the right story for me that I should be writing at this moment in my life.

    So, my advice would be to keep writing whatever grabs your heart and overwhelms your head. Write until you find something that won't let you go no matter what you do! In this respect, it is my opinion that stories are like relationships: if there is no passion then its not the one for you. These are just my thoughts but I hope they help you in some way :)
     
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  12. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Myself, I am of the "bull my way though" school, but then that is the way I live my life. My advice would be to take a few days off, and think about why the second story is distracting you. It may be that you want to avoid finishing the first, or it may be that, as @A.S.Ford said, you have lost the passion for the first story. Look on this as a relationship with your story, then make a choice and don't look back. Though if the choice is to move on two number two, keep what you have already written. Half-finished stories are not like abandoned lovers - you can go back to them any time you like!
     
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  13. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I'd say just skip that chapter for now, and move along. There is probably a reason you're avoiding it. It could be that it just doesn't feel right, and maybe it's not even needed. I'm a big believer in writing the big scenes first. You'll find a way to link them together later on. No chapter should be a chore to write, in my opinion. If it's a chore, then maybe it's not needed, or you're not ready to write it yet.

    As to whether or not you abandon this project and move to another one, that's up to you. But be aware you might be developing a very bad habit. The only way to finish a WIP is to finish it. What happens when this new project runs out of steam—and it probably will, at some point? You can go back to your original and work on that, I suppose. You can certainly go back and forth between the two until they are both done. But if you abandon project 2 and go onto project 3, etc etc, you will have a lot of starts but no finishes.

    If it were me, I'd jot down the ideas for your new project so you don't forget them. Then skip the chapter you're struggling with and write the next one in your current project. And see how you get on. Writing and getting published does require discipline, and one of the disciplines is to finish what you write. It's a mindset, really. Instead of letting your mind develop all sorts of new projects, turn your development mind on solving the problems in your current project.

    Of course this doesn't mean to always carry on with something that's definitely not working. It's just that when abandonment—instead of problem-solving—becomes a habit, your writing will be in deep doo-doo.
     
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