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"from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs" (1 Viewer)

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
so about a month ago, I was at a really low point self-esteem-wise with my writing. I got over it, and had a burst of inspo, I was feeling it and the words flowed. I'm not like I was before but that moment of confidence/burst of energy died and died quickly. I am left to question if can finish what I started. I've been hopping between ideas a lot before I landed on this one...should I just write things and hope for the best? I want to push through it and get excited about what I'm writing again but I've made a mess with something else before and don't want to do that again.
Any tips for getting through those low points? and uncertainty that your writing/story will be any good? 🤷‍♀️ 🤷‍♂️
I know editing is a thing but when I don't like something I hate leaving it.😬
General drafting tips would be good too :)
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
so about a month ago, I was at a really low point self-esteem-wise with my writing. I got over it, and had a burst of inspo, I was feeling it and the words flowed. I'm not like I was before but that moment of confidence/burst of energy died and died quickly. I am left to question if can finish what I started. I've been hopping between ideas a lot before I landed on this one...should I just write things and hope for the best? I want to push through it and get excited about what I'm writing again but I've made a mess with something else before and don't want to do that again.
Any tips for getting through those low points? and uncertainty that your writing/story will be any good? 🤷‍♀️ 🤷‍♂️
I know editing is a thing but when I don't like something I hate leaving it.😬
General drafting tips would be good too :)

I saw a video of Stephen King where he said ideas are like rocks and sand through a sieve. The important ideas that we should act on will be the big rocks that will stay and the ideas that won't matter as much will filter out over time. So if there's been some ideas in your mind that persist, that's what to go with according to King. I still have to keep telling myself it's a good idea and has stuck with me so I know it's a good idea. I need to keep doing that too. We will persevere.
 
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Non Serviam

WF Veterans
It's easy to write when you're inspired but you won't finish anything until you can make yourself write when you aren't inspired.

This is why I recommend outlining. When sick of one part of your book, you can go and work on another part of your book that does inspire you.

You will end up with a string of scenes you enjoyed writing, and the task becomes to stitch them together into a coherent draft.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
It's easy to write when you're inspired but you won't finish anything until you can make yourself write when you aren't inspired.

This is why I recommend outlining. When sick of one part of your book, you can go and work on another part of your book that does inspire you.

You will end up with a string of scenes you enjoyed writing, and the task becomes to stitch them together into a coherent draft.
I'm picking up a lot of good advice from you! I appreciate it!
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
It's easy to write when you're inspired but you won't finish anything until you can make yourself write when you aren't inspired.

This is why I recommend outlining. When sick of one part of your book, you can go and work on another part of your book that does inspire you.

You will end up with a string of scenes you enjoyed writing, and the task becomes to stitch them together into a coherent draft.
I have outlined some ideas, but when I start them they just don't feel right. I can't imagine not writing in order because I'm a pansters and my ideas tend to shift as I write. I have different scenes in my head but there's a lot of stuff that needs to be filled and the only way to fill it is to just write and see what happens because when I try to think too much about it won't come to me.
I look at my writing and go ew I want it to be good right away. As an author said on youtube "embrace the first draft suckage'
to your point tho, one thing I think I can do more that would help is to use placeholders for scenes and come back to those later.
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
I saw a video of Stephen King where he said ideas are like rocks and sand through a sieve. The important ideas that we should act on will be the big rocks that will stay and the ideas that won't matter as much will filter out over time. So if there's been some ideas in your mind that persist, that's what to go with according to King. I still have to keep telling myself it's a good idea and has stuck with me so I know it's a good idea.... and me too. I need to keep doing that too. Yep... we will persevere.
I have seen that video, so I know what you are referencing. The ideas that I like the most I don't want to write. I want to get better at my writing and gain more skills before I tackle those. I've been trying to have fun with the idea I started, but I'd like it to be somewhat decent even if it's not my best idea.
I remember he said in a video that he started 'under the dome' but left it because the idea was just too big for him at the time.
 

Non Serviam

WF Veterans
I have outlined some ideas, but when I start them they just don't feel right. I can't imagine not writing in order because I'm a pansters and my ideas tend to shift as I write. I have different scenes in my head but there's a lot of stuff that needs to be filled and the only way to fill it is to just write and see what happens because when I try to think too much about it won't come to me.
I look at my writing and go ew I want it to be good right away. As an author said on youtube "embrace the first draft suckage'
to your point tho, one thing I think I can do more that would help is to use placeholders for scenes and come back to those later.

I've suggested this before, to pantsers: try writing the ending first, so you know where you're going with your piece.
 

TMarie

Senior Member
It's easy to write when you're inspired but you won't finish anything until you can make yourself write when you aren't inspired.

This is why I recommend outlining. When sick of one part of your book, you can go and work on another part of your book that does inspire you.

You will end up with a string of scenes you enjoyed writing, and the task becomes to stitch them together into a coherent draft.

When I'm going through a discouraging period of writing, I change my writing "style" to bullet points. Regardless of being in that low vibe, my stories are always percolating in my head so getting out bits and pieces like that, is still writing and it keeps the flow going even if it is just a trickle.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I recommend a book that teaches how to plan creative writing. It will change how you approach writing but it is a lot of work. If you have a lot of free time the approach is well worth it. (look up Yoggar Lefossa's book) (this is the book with a homeschooling program on creative writing which is accessible to everyone that is in high school or not. Perrine sound and structure, the before last edition, supposedly teaches fiction.
For a view on how to write conflict using biographies I recommend:

I have yet to write a story using any of these methods. But I read the whole book. She is a professor at new york university and has had high schoolers write screenplays and they have sold them. There are other books she has written.

I recommend the paperback and not the kindle edition. It is also much cheaper. That's because you'll want to refer to it as you answer the questions. On kindle, you can't do that since there are pictures and tables that can't be filled.
(both can probably be best used after you photocopy the exercises to fill out the information with a printer/scanner. Then use the relevant information to write your story since these are worksheets and it is a workbook on planning. It's used by some creative writing teachers. You can find more information by visiting the website that sells the book written by Yoggar Lefossa. And as mentioned, schools in new york have used the other book I mentioned that is in the hyperlink in the state of New York. It's good for practicing. You'll most likely write more by avoiding the fear of the blank page)
 
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JBF

Staff member
Global Moderator
For whatever this is worth, I had no less than four false starts on the current short.

I knew what was going to happen. Before the first attempt, I had already worked through the characters, setting, mood, and all the underpinnings that may or may not be apparent. Having percolated for a while, the story itself was for all intents and purposes already done. Getting it on paper, though...that's going to be the trick. Meantime, I know that if I can put it all together it'll be readable. Not great. Possibly not even good. But readable.

Failing other options, there's nothing wrong with parking a substandard piece for a while and returning in a better frame of mind.

And, absolute worst case, a failed project that winds up in the boneyard means an opportunity to steal parts later on.
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
For whatever this is worth, I had no less than four false starts on the current short.

I knew what was going to happen. Before the first attempt, I had already worked through the characters, setting, mood, and all the underpinnings that may or may not be apparent. Having percolated for a while, the story itself was for all intents and purposes already done. Getting it on paper, though...that's going to be the trick. Meantime, I know that if I can put it all together it'll be readable. Not great. Possibly not even good. But readable.
I'm writing a piece that is longer than 2,000 words this time around. I got ideas but it's a very rough outline of what I want. I will probably come to a stopping point to look at it and see if it's even worth continuing. Can I make it readable? Sure... coherent, how coherent does it have to be to be readable again ?😂
Failing other options, there's nothing wrong with parking a substandard piece for a while and returning in a better frame of mind.
I guess that's the issue isn't it? All of my pieces are substandard lol
And, absolute worst case, a failed project that winds up in the boneyard means an opportunity to steal parts later on.
Yep...maybe one day I can rework a piece and actually make it coherent haha. I just want to improve as much as I can...I have improved just being joining a few months ago so I guess I just keep on keeping on with whatever I'm doing...
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
IMO it doesn't hurt to read non-fiction. Or stories for that matter to study them for their genre's conventions. I might purchase the book that inspired one flew over the cuckoo's nest. Well the book itself says the hospital talked about in the book was used to film that movie. The setting is character. Because history is character. I am also looking for other books. Places with controversial histories. I added them to my wish list if I don't purchase them right away. There's an old piece of advice I read from a book that said to turn an essay, into a poem or turn a story into an essay. Each of these unique forms can be used to inspire to create a new work. I just happen to like nonfiction. Which is a vast amount of inspiration. I realized very late into the process that if I wanted to research a setting, it out to be from a source that is well researched rather than using the internet. So every book I buy will be for that. For setting which is a character, and research purposes. Poems are just one form that can be used to tell a story. Philosophy can create rich character motivations. I am currently eyeing a book that is philosophical but is mainstream enough for any reader. So narrative poems old ones I assume can be read if you need a source for a story. I usually don't seek inspiration but it could be very well worth the effort. Reading is important. That's what a lot of writers say. So they say ideas are endless. That's because many people wrote many different books/poems/different genres that were not intended to be stories. That said I will be working to rewrite an old story. It never hurts to know craft either from someone knowledgeable. Not every writer depends on craft. Hemingway was sort of a journalist who knew a lot about style. He never went to a university to learn how to write. There are people who call it research. But fiction tells a lie and not a truth. So when reading anything that is true it's going to be a lie if made into a story, I'd buy several books to read on different settings rich with history. I would even read bestsellers when possible. But I think we miss the point so often when someone says reading will inspire. That being said everyone needs to be encouraged and this advice here is meant to do just that and not suggest anyone is ignorant. Rather I like to help. I hope this is an optimistic tone, and hope people share these opinions that it is. Because I consider this sort of advice repeated but misunderstood it seems to me. That is reading can inspire great works and must be done more often. That way you can stay inspired. That's where a lot of a writer's inspiration and muse will come from I bet.
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
IMO it doesn't hurt to read non-fiction. Or stories for that matter to study them for their genre's conventions. I might purchase the book that inspired one flew over the cuckoo's nest. Well the book itself says the hospital talked about in the book was used to film that movie. The setting is character. Because history is character. I am also looking for other books. Places with controversial histories. I added them to my wish list if I don't purchase them right away. There's an old piece of advice I read from a book that said to turn an essay, into a poem or turn a story into an essay. Each of these unique forms can be used to inspire to create a new work.
I have done some outlining but I haven't done my story in an essay/ synopsis format...that may be an interesting exercise/ idea to play with. Help me sort ideas and what not.
I really like listening to music, one thing I've been considering lately is to turn a song type or a line of a song into a short story. I might help me be more creative and have better /more interesting prose. I feel the way I tell a story is quite boring at times.
I just happen to like nonfiction. Which is a vast amount of inspiration. I realized very late into the process that if I wanted to research a setting, it out to be from a source that is well researched rather than using the internet. So every book I buy will be for that. For setting which is a character, and research purposes. Poems are just one form that can be used to tell a story. Philosophy can create rich character motivations. I am currently eyeing a book that is philosophical but is mainstream enough for any reader. So narrative poems old ones I assume can be read if you need a source for a story. I usually don't seek inspiration but it could be very well worth the effort. Reading is important. That's what a lot of writers say. So they say ideas are endless. That's because many people wrote many different books/poems/different genres that were not intended to be stories. That said I will be working to rewrite an old story.
Rewriting an old story would be a fun, I think it can help a writer see how far they have come too. Are you still journaling btw? I know that was something you were wanting to get into more.
It never hurts to know craft either from someone knowledgeable. Not every writer depends on craft. Hemingway was sort of a journalist who knew a lot about style. He never went to a university to learn how to write. There are people who call it research. But fiction tells a lie and not a truth. So when reading anything that is true it's going to be a lie if made into a story, I'd buy several books to read on different settings rich with history. I would even read bestsellers when possible. But I think we miss the point so often when someone says reading will inspire. That being said everyone needs to be encouraged and this advice here is meant to do just that and not suggest anyone is ignorant. Rather I like to help. I hope this is an optimistic tone, and hope people share these opinions that it is. Because I consider this sort of advice repeated but misunderstood it seems to me. That is reading can inspire great works and must be done more often. That way you can stay inspired. That's where a lot of a writer's inspiration and muse will come from I bet.
I stopped reading/ writing for a long time. Since getting back into writing I knew I would need to read more. I am a big fan of movies but a book can just have so much more characterization and other details than movies. I finished reading 14 books this year and on my 15th. (I started a couple of others but decided to out them down for whatever reason) it's not a lot but it's the most books I've read in a year. (If you don't count comic books that is lol)
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
Rewriting an old story would be a fun, I think it can help a writer see how far they have come too. Are you still journaling btw? I know that was something you were wanting to get into more.
No. That seemed to be a waste of time and money for me since nothing tends to happen at home no matter the techniques ( if at school or university it would be worth it or while going to church). My brother who lives with me is a workaholic and sometimes doesn't like to talk about his job. My mother and father do social networking. We are still doing social distancing and we all remain isolated.

And since local news is dead I plan to buy books with newspaper headlines. All I see nowadays online is news about coronavirus and politicians usually. That is another source for inspiration but I won't sign up to a newspaper since its cheaper to buy forgotten news.

I stopped reading/ writing for a long time. Since getting back into writing I knew I would need to read more. I am a big fan of movies but a book can just have so much more characterization and other details than movies. I finished reading 14 books this year and on my 15th. (I started a couple of others but decided to out them down for whatever reason) it's not a lot but it's the most books I've read in a year. (If you don't count comic books that is
What matters is now. We are still in time to make it a habit and you are not the only one who needs to read more though it is now in my plans.
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
No. That seemed to be a waste of time and money for me since nothing tends to happen at home no matter the techniques ( if at school or university it would be worth it or while going to church). My brother who lives with me is a workaholic and sometimes doesn't like to talk about his job. My mother and father do social networking. We are still doing social distancing and we all remain isolated.
All you need is a computer and keyboard or pen and paper to journal...even if your life is uneventful you can still write about your thoughts or feelings instead of events. I don't think there is any special techniques you need to journal. All you need is your thoughts really and of course those things you don't have to share. Could be a good exercise to develop voice when writing your stories. 🤷🏼‍♀️
And since local news is dead I plan to buy books with newspaper headlines. All I see nowadays online is news about coronavirus and politicians usually. That is another source for inspiration but I won't sign up to a newspaper since its cheaper to buy forgotten news.



What matters is now. We are still in time to make it a habit and you are not the only one who needs to read more though it is now in my plans.
I know you like sci-fi supernatural, fantasy are you interested in trying out other genres? Recently I got into more dystopian sci-fi type books.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
All you need is a computer and keyboard or pen and paper to journal...even if your life is uneventful you can still write about your thoughts or feelings instead of events. I don't think there is any special techniques you need to journal. All you need is your thoughts really and of course those things you don't have to share. Could be a good exercise to develop voice when writing your stories. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I know you like sci-fi supernatural, fantasy are you interested in trying out other genres? Recently I got into more dystopian sci-fi type books.
This is also true thanks. I guess you are right about the feelings and thoughts part of your advice. I could do that and I appreciate the suggestions. I will give it a try this time around using my feelings and again thoughts as the basis of the journal entry. I also agree it can help with voice.

We will see. I always have liked literary works because I would read them in school and would like to see and read some considered classics. Faulkner, and maybe Eudora welty ( she wrote a good story of nursing homes comparing old people there to sheep). Thanks for the advice. I am also curious of forgotten classics from people who won the pulitzer.
 
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