How do you get anywhere?


Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: How do you get anywhere?

  1. #1

    How do you get anywhere?

    I suck at writing. Not at the craft itself per say, but at getting words on a paper. Whenever I sit
    down my brain tends to just blank out, and I can spend several hours just rewriting a few
    sentences while changing nothing meaningful. This is because I need absurd amounts of time
    to actually figure out how to execute the plot of each chapter, e.g. if the plot is "guy kills guy
    because he's angry, then what takes time is figuring out how to make that happen, and during
    that time I can't write for ****. This makes it so I can usually only write about a chapter per
    month, if even that, and as I also have a penchant for long, convoluted fantasy books
    (Tolkien, The first law etc.) this makes ever finishing a project an impossibility.

    Does anyone have any tips for how to actually get writing, without doing so horridly?


    PS. I've been gone for a while due to school and scouting activities, but now I should be able
    to get back to writing again

    I'd like to think I'm actually a nice person in real life


  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Solus View Post
    I suck at writing. Not at the craft itself per say, but at getting words on a paper. Whenever I sit
    down my brain tends to just blank out, and I can spend several hours just rewriting a few
    sentences while changing nothing meaningful. This is because I need absurd amounts of time
    to actually figure out how to execute the plot of each chapter, e.g. if the plot is "guy kills guy
    because he's angry, then what takes time is figuring out how to make that happen, and during
    that time I can't write for ****. This makes it so I can usually only write about a chapter per
    month, if even that, and as I also have a penchant for long, convoluted fantasy books
    (Tolkien, The first law etc.) this makes ever finishing a project an impossibility.

    Does anyone have any tips for how to actually get writing, without doing so horridly?


    PS. I've been gone for a while due to school and scouting activities, but now I should be able
    to get back to writing again
    Hi Solus. Sometimes, when I see questions like this, I think how is this possible? Writing things down is so ingrained in me, long before I ever realized that I actually wanted to write, that it is difficult to relate to what you are going through. But a couple of thoughts come to mind.

    First of all, what motivates you to write? Right before you "sit down and your brain . . . " what is going on in your head? Do you think, crap, I'm going to have write now, or is it something more positive, more energizing?Do you write for pleasure, or is there always a goal in mind, like an assignment or a challenge? You say it takes you about a month to write a chapter - that tells me you are either bored with what you are writing, or you don't believe in it.

    And I guess part of this is - why do you write? Is it possible that writing is not your "thing," no matter how much you want it to be?

    Second of all, if you truly want to improve, I would suggest getting really organized. Look at it like you would a job, where you give yourself specific times during the day (or every other day) to only write. Are you an early riser? Do you write better in the morning or at night? I am basically a morning person, so my creativity and promise are stronger then. Make a schedule for when you can write and stick to it; then if you get an idea at alternative times, you can build the tension by telling yourself you have to wait until your scheduled writing time to get it down on paper.

    Let me tell you what happened to me yesterday. It was a humid, rainy, generally unpleasant day here in the Midwest. I got up early and started working on my project. At some point, I did manage to get out of my pj's, but - seriously - the next thing I knew it was after 5:00 p.m.! So, even though I love to write, I have to be really careful about the days I select to spend time on it. My world simply goes away when I am in my book.

    I hope this helps Solus. Keep writing, kiddo
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  3. #3
    You're writing, which is the best start possible. Many don't get over that hurdle. After that, authors set their own pace. Unfortunately, it is a learn-on-the-job profession, so the more you do it, the more you see it start to morph into shape. Have you tried writing small and often? Even it's just a snippet of conversation you want to use in a scene? A small piece of action. Something like that? Freestyle writing is another option: do a list of six names, six items, six locations, then pick one of each. You then do 10 minutes just writing about those three things.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  4. #4
    Maybe some preplanning or brainstorming could help you. I will quote a critique I wrote to ken 11. I wish I would do this myself before starting a writing project but I pansted it once I had the idea in my head.

    Two odd sentences I spotted after reading it(tense is in present and should be in past).

    It's a story with a theme on immigration.

    I liked the description. This has a lot of plot, I just wish you would explore the characters more. I wish you had characterized more but I am just as guilty of committing this mistake. To dramatize the characters you can show which actions they take that cause trouble imo.

    I suggest you incorporate a relationship conflict in this story, and maybe internal. Character versus character, since it is only one person experiencing trouble but not doing much to solve it. Maybe then you can focus on characters and they way they behave to solve the problem. I hope this helps. I recently wrote a story and wish I could try this. It's easier with drama to do this. With science fiction the focus is on technology. And other genres as well have their focus.

    I hope this helps. I am thinking I need to focus on these areas as what I wrote has these issues most likely. What actions could the characters take to solve the immigration problem at a local level? For example someone dances for money for a charity. Or does something else. Or tries to teach them by giving them a home. But the fact is this is a temporary solution. Until they decide to leave. The trait in this case could help them deal with problems. It can be considered a strength. Donates blood to a hospital.

    It helps if you create problems, by using maybe what if by helping you create some problems. What if giving them a temporary home creates resentment. Why if a dance charity is a problem for the other characters because they are living on welfare? They become greedy. What if you combine these problems, and people are staying temporarily at the home. There is a dance competition. Keep adding problem after problem for your story.

    I know you said not to suggest a plot. I am just doing some thinking on how to make this better than it is. This is just my opinion.

    The character is a witness to something, it needs more of that danger element and taking risks.

    The point is there are many kinds of conflict. Sacrifice and risk creates a good plot to keep it short. That's a paraphrase from orson scott card's advice on characters and viewpoint.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  5. #5
    Not an expert here, but..

    Quote Originally Posted by Solus View Post

    Does anyone have any tips for how to actually get writing, without doing so horridly?
    ..do it horridly. Rip through a chapter or even just a few pages. If you fret over one or two beginning sentences, you'll get stuck in a loop and never get anywhere. Perfectionism stifles creativity. So just write. You may be surprised with what you come up with.

    Don't sit down to write without even the tiniest kernel of an idea. I think that sitting down in front of a blank piece of paper and struggling to begin only reinforces your negativity. It's like lying in bed when you're not tired and trying to force yourself to go to sleep.

    By the way, you do have absurd amounts of time to figure out your plot. How many hours do you sleep at night? Eight? That leaves sixteen hours a day to work out ideas. Keep your story/plot in the forefront of your mind as much as possible throughout your day. Think of it while you're making breakfast or going food shopping. Look at it from different angles. Hold onto ideas you aren't completely happy with and see if you can mold them into something that works.

    Stay off the internet and social media. If possible, throw your smartphone in the river. Watch people. Look at trees. Look inward for ideas. They're there. You'll find them.

    And when you do, run, don't walk to the nearest keyboard.

  6. #6
    The worst thing you can do is hold yourself to an impossible standard (such as long, convoluted fantasy books) when you clearly don’t have the mentality, the skill, or both to execute.

    Thats not a dig at you. You want to write epic fantasy? Great, you can absolutely do that, but the irksome old saw of “walk before you can run” has some truth to it in writing. Tolkien didn’t start with lord of the rings, or even the hobbit, he started with short stories and academic papers.

    That’s fairly typical. There’s certainly a reason most of us don’t launch our career with long, complex novels and that reason is because they are bloody difficult to do well. You don’t HAVE to start that way. But clearly the way you are starting isn’t working for you. So it’s something to consider.
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  7. #7
    What helps me the most, is when I'm trying to sleep I think up various crazy situations. And from them come so many ideas, and then I write all of them down. And though out the day, I'll listen to music at the gym and day dream. And then come up with many more ideas. Once I have a large pad of ideas, I then begin to assemble them and put together a story based on them. So all of the hardwork is already done. I have all the core details, and then I just keep to type away filler for the ideas. Getting small buffer things is my problem.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Solus View Post
    I suck at writing. Not at the craft itself per say, but at getting words on a paper. Whenever I sit
    down my brain tends to just blank out, and I can spend several hours just rewriting a few
    sentences while changing nothing meaningful. This is because I need absurd amounts of time
    to actually figure out how to execute the plot of each chapter, e.g. if the plot is "guy kills guy
    because he's angry, then what takes time is figuring out how to make that happen, and during
    that time I can't write for ****. This makes it so I can usually only write about a chapter per
    month, if even that, and as I also have a penchant for long, convoluted fantasy books
    (Tolkien, The first law etc.) this makes ever finishing a project an impossibility.

    Does anyone have any tips for how to actually get writing, without doing so horridly?


    PS. I've been gone for a while due to school and scouting activities, but now I should be able
    to get back to writing again

    In the afternoon I talk-thru my scenes. Literally act them out as I drive or work.
    Then in the morning I write those scenes.
    They flow because I have already pantomimed them the day before.

  9. #9
    Thank you all for your suggestions. I think my greatest issue is, having thought over the ideas that you have written, is a mixture of perfectionism and underpreparedness, as wierd of a combination that might be. Iíve usually tried to figure out my plots along the way, letting my imagination run loose and picking reconstructed ideas from past works Iíve consumed. Sometimes this backfires, leaving me with pretty okay plots that I have no idea how to execute. And then we have my perfectionism, ripping into my failings until Iíve managed something less coarse on the eyes, taking ludicrous amounts of time. Sadly, Iím one of those people whoíd rather spend a hundred hours making something good, rather than ten making something thatís pretty good.


    As for what you said SueC, I do actually enjoy writing, even if I may not come off that way. Itís like music for me; at times I will be bored with some hard song I just canít get sounding right, but the result makes it all worth it. Funnily enough, this forum has been a huge motivation for me. Just knowing that someone out there found my work good enough to take the time to critique it is a bit mind boggling for me.

    Regarding what you said luckyscars, yes, I should probably start with smaller projects. Problem is, it tends to bore the hell out of me. The whole reason why I love reading and writing is to build a world and populate it with characters who are alive and changing. I easily grow enamored with these beings and so I write as if they will be around for a while. Despite this, in the future Iíve promised myself that I will work on a smaller project and try out how itíll work. Thanks for the advice

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Solus View Post
    Regarding what you said luckyscars, yes, I should probably start with smaller projects. Problem is, it tends to bore the hell out of me. The whole reason why I love reading and writing is to build a world and populate it with characters who are alive and changing. I easily grow enamored with these beings and so I write as if they will be around for a while. Despite this, in the future I’ve promised myself that I will work on a smaller project and try out how it’ll work. Thanks for the advice
    You can world build in short fiction! That’s actually what many of those early Tolkien stories were - a lot of them ended up getting rolled into the Silmarillion or whatever it’s called. They were set in Middle Earth and laid the groundwork for his long projects. People make such assumptions about what is possible in short stories...
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.