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strange force that needs a name{other than writers block.} (1 Viewer)

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Senior Member
I got a question. I swear I was writing and I couldn't write anymore buttttt... i switched stories and all the sudden I am writing again... what would you call that strangeness? It's not writers block. I did it twice now. I will get to a point were I cannot physically set in front of the computer to write till I switch stories.. I can do it over and over but if I went back to a story I was just writing..... nothing..!!!! can't even get myself to focus. sometimes can't even get myself to even set there till I move on. It's not writers block. what is it though???


Senior Member
Maybe creative stagnation? Like you're pushing through a muddy swamp and just get to the point where you can't push through anymore. Switching up stories is a good way to get around this, as I've had to do it a few times. Sometimes it just is better to take a step back and reexamine your work. Might help give you a fresh head to jump back into it.

Kyle R

WF Veterans
Some authors calls this "the shiny new idea". It's alluring to start a new story, instead of working on the old one, because the new one is sparkling and different and untouched. You haven't yet had a chance to screw it up.

But once you start working on that shiny new thing? Guess what? It, too, will soon lose its luster. Then you may feel tempted to go looking for another shiny new idea. (And so on, and so forth, into infinity. :grief:)

If you want to break the cycle, you have to figure out what, specifically, is making you want to bail on your current story. It could be boredom. It could be uncertainty. It could be fatigue. Once you figure out the cause, then you can figure out a solution. :encouragement:


WF Veterans
That, my friend, is the muddy (or saggy) middle.

You'll either have to push through, or figure out a way to write around it.

I push, that's just who I am. Some people choose to write some scenes out of order. Others may try to figure out an outline of sorts to give them direction. But ultimately, it'll be up to you to figure out how you're going to deal with the part of the story that you became bored with.

This is why writing an entire novel is tough.


Honoured/Sadly Missed
Personally, I value spontaneity, to the extent that I am motivated by novelty and find follow-through harder work. That could be because I write for recreation; though I have to say it is the creation rather than any repeat of it that inspires me. I am more of a starter than finisher and I tend to prioritise other people, so once I'm interrupted I may find it impossible to recollect where I was.

It may be that you value inspiration above aspiration. That could lead to rust-out when people ask 'how is the writing going?' They may intend to motivate you, but some part of you sees them as nagging.

It is good that you gain energy from new works and it sounds as though you have saved enough manuscripts to have a choice of what to proceed with.


Senior Member
The "idea" of the story is almost always going to sound better than an actual early draft.

If you're struggling a lot to focus on one project at a time and you still want results, you could always try flash and micro fiction (if you don't already).

K.S. Crooks

Senior Member
I started off with the same problem. When I got to wanting to start my fourth story I finally forced myself to complete my third story, even though I wasn't crazy about it and wasn't completely happy with the ending. The point is to finish which begins training your brain to not jump to start every new idea.


Staff member
Apologies to people who have read this before, because I tell this same story often. :)

The only time I've had that happen in a big way was in the middle of my first novel. It caused me to simply cease work on it for a very long time, and I did start a couple of other projects.

What I eventually realized is that I really didn't like what I had just written to end the latest chapter, and because I really didn't like what I'd done there, I didn't know how to continue it. My solution was to recognize what I didn't like, why I didn't like it, delete back to where that started, and rewrite with something I could continue from. Once I did that, I finished the novel in a relatively short time. I just wish I had the experience to have realized the issue much sooner.

My other issue can be "writing myself into a corner". In that case it has nothing to do with what I just wrote, but no good plan for what comes next.

I had pantsed more than half of the novel. To make sure I didn't again run into either issue, I plotted the rest of the novel --not quite scene by scene, but a lot of detail--and considered those notes until I was certain I was comfortable with that story. I only wound up using about 2/3rds of the planned scenes in the notes, but I was never lacking for an idea of how the story continued.
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