How to get your ideas out of your head and down on paper..

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Thread: How to get your ideas out of your head and down on paper..

  1. #1

    How to get your ideas out of your head and down on paper..

    This has always been a major problem for me. My job allows a great deal of time to continually go over what I want to write... The creativity is really flowing during this time too!

    Pull up anything to write the thought down on and POOF!! Nothing..

    Is this common? A form of writer's block?

    It's like my inner mind is saying that it will not be good enough. It can be better. Besides the old write, write, and write some more.. Has anybody ever fought with this cursed-demon before? And is it something that can be overcome?

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thx...

  2. #2
    Write it badly.

    You can edit it later. Or it will be a good memory for when you later want to totally rewrite it. Or it will be good practice for later writing better. Whatever excuse you can give your brain for writing badly.

    Been there. I have given myself writer's block; I have had other people give me writer's block.
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  3. #3
    Wɾ°ʇ°∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Yes. I fought it for twenty years, from the time I was told by my college's English department that I was "an embarrassment to the faculty" to the moment I realised the shit inside my head was a story. Meanwhile, talk to people; develop your language and voice; watch - and copy - the way people you respect speak; love words and accept no second best for your writing. Good luck

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  4. #4
    The way to get the idea from your head to the paper is the same as it always has been. We call it writing. And therein lies your problem. Ideas are easy. Translating that idea into a form that will entertain, and give the reader the feeling of living the story in real time is a bitch. We not only have to make the reader "know." we have to make them care. It's easy to say that Charlie goes into a dark basement, where he meets a vampire. But where's the excitement in that? We have to convince the reader that while dark, there is in reality, nothing to worry about—as the character sees it. And at the same time we have to make the reader a little uncertain, and create a spoor of gooseflesh up their back—and keep on nudging it to greater and greater intensity, so that when the protagonist hits the critical point we're shouting, "Run, you idiot!" But at the same time we must understand why the protagonist isn't running, and agree that he has a valid reason, no matter how misguided it is.

    So we manage tension. We make the reader know the situation as the protagonist does. We involve the reader emotionally. And that leads to: do you really believe we can do that with no more than the writing skills we learned in our school days?

    How much time did your teachers spend on managing the scene goal? How much on how to present thoughts? Did they explain the elements of a scene and how it differs from screenwriting scenes?

    My point is that while you have the desire and drive to create stories to entertain the reader, unless you've researched the tricks of the writing pros, you're missing some pretty important tools: the tricks of the trade. They're no harder to learn than were the general writing skills we learned in school, but they focus on what entertains, as against what informs. So putting some time aside to look into the skills of the fiction writer would be a wise investment of time, and perhaps a few dollars.

  5. #5
    Generally, the more you write, the easier it gets. (And, of course, the less you write, the harder it gets.) So, while "write, write, write!" isn't always what we want to hear, it's almost always what we need to hearóand do.

    Worried it won't be good enough? Write anyway. Start small, if you need to. Flash fiction's a great place to start.

    Oh, and make sure you're reading regularly to fill that Imagination Tank.

  6. #6
    Here's a possible way to go. Put ideas on a post-it-note or note pad then transfer the ideas to a full piece of paper or your computer and expand on the ideas. Try to formulate an outline for one or two of the story premises you create. Finally chose one to begin writing. Once you start writing it become easier to get the thoughts down. As people mentioned already, don't worry about the quality. Quantity is more important for you at the moment. And remember to keep the act of writing enjoyable, otherwise you're only giving yourself more work.
    K.S. Crooks- Dreamer and Author

  7. #7
    you know, I think I might have a version of the same problem.

    I love to construct scenes in my head, and visualize them like graphic panels. I speak the vocal bits (parents' think I'm cuckoo when I do that) and act out the actions, or say how I would write it to myself. but when I try to sit down and write them, they come out wrong, or not fast enough, or broken, or they go off on a different tangent and I loose them.

    my solution, was to talk to someone, on a chat, or through email, so long as it's someplace that will record your stuff after you've typed them. sounds like creativity isn't a problem, so all you have to do is to find a medium to get it down so that you don't loose it.

    if you're comfortable with hearing your recorded voice, then, keep a little good quality mic with you on all times, maybe? whenever you're struck with inspiration, record yourself! I don't do it, because I hate my voice, but if you don't maybe it'll help capture the creativity?

    then, write it. if you get it wrong, you always have something to fall back on. sounds ok?
    -changing keys are tension-

  8. #8
    Thank you all for the ideas! There's some really good ones too!

    Being very honest here.. There's times I just wish the idea of putting the storys down on paper would just go away! But, for some unknown reason, which makes absolutely no sense to me, it keeps coming back. I could do this, do that better etc.

    As Jay earlier said, I understand how difficult it is to write well. I've spent way to much time researching that. Voice, style, structure, hook the reader etc etc.

    Part of the problem might be a mental block that deep down I will probably never be able to properly put down on paper what I want. My mind playing some devilish trick on me lol.

    BUT I will not stop! I can't!

    The flash fiction I haven't tried yet. Sounds like a good place to start again. Thx all for the replies! I VERY much appreciate the input!

  9. #9
    Sometimes that blank screen or piece of paper can feel intimidating somehow. One way I've found to break through is with freewriting, stream-of-consciousness writing, whatever you'd call it. In other words, set a timer for ten minutes and start writing immediately, whether on the computer or by hand. Write down anything and everything that comes into your mind and don't worry about punctuation, full sentences, or even making sense. When the timer rings, look back and don't be surprised if you have the makings of a story in there somewhere and you do feel like writing it then. Sometimes you really just need to get out of your own way. I feel like there's an "everyday" mental mode you have to break out of to get into the (deeper) writing mode in your mind. And even if it doesn't work, so what. It's only ten minutes.
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  10. #10
    WF Veteran voltigeur's Avatar
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    I think if there is one universal fact that applies to all writers is that: Your brain (thoughts) move much faster than your hands.

    One writing teacher says give yourself permission to write the worst crap in the world. When you are writing a rough draft you will skip words sometimes entire sentences!

    One technique I use to keep this from becoming a creativity block is to use beats.

    Beats are nothing more than key points in a scene or chapter. Like the spine of the story. It's a form of outlining but simpler and more flexible.

    So for example if I have an idea of a kid in the south in the 1950's, goes to the store on a supper day to get ice cream. So let's say I sit down with this vivid scene in my head and can't make the brain paper connection. I write sentences that list the key events.

    Tommy gets 50cents from his mom.
    Heads to the store for ice cream.
    Bullies try to steel his money.
    His dog chases the bullies away.
    He continues to the store and buy himself some ice cream and his dog some beef jerky.

    When I go back into this the sentences become paragraphs and I can add description and flesh out characters later. But I won't lose the story line.

    Just a note: I don't do this with an entire novel. Just a scene, chapter or short story.

    Actually the more excited I am about a scene or chapter the harder it is for me to write. For exactly the reason you describe, my brain is running too fast for my hands to keep up.

    Hope this helps
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