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What Weaknesses Are You Planning On Strengthening In The Next Year? (1 Viewer)

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TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I'm writing this because I've had an epiphany about something that's bothered me for years. It's to do with 'premises'. I'd have a great premise and begin writing my story, every scene related directly to that premise clear in my mind. Then there would always come a few sticking points. I'd wake up, go to the keyboard and suddenly feel 'I've lost it'. For some reason the words wouldn't come, my style breaks down and moving forwards feels like wading through treacle. It happens in nearly every story longer than flash fiction. Anything that requires a broader story. But today, I realised why.

A premise isn't a story. Yeah, I already knew that of course but never took it as seriously as I should. During the process of writing Apparition, I've had to find links between scenes and scenes I didn't envisage having to write. These have become the sticking points because they're not directly related to the premise. In fact, only two scenes in the entire story so far are directly related to the premise, and I've still not actually got to the crux of the premise. Those two scenes are the opening and the apparition in the barn. Everything else has been seat of the pants stuff I never considered I'd need. And considering those scenes take up a good 90% of the story, you can see the problem. lol

So, the stop, start, stop, start feeling I'm getting is because I flow smoothly when I hit scenes directly linked to the premise but then struggle when I write scenes not directly linked to the premise. One scene that wasn't directly connected to the premise that I DID just flow through was the bedroom scene. That kinda wrote itself. Everything else (apart from the premise scenes) has been 'torture!'

For the next year I'm going to be working on planning more. It's as simple as that. I've always been a pantser with a little planning and I don't intend to change that much. All I need to do is make sure I fill out the story in my head more before I begin. Or on paper.

What are you going to be working on in the next year? <- THE REASON FOR THE THREAD.
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
Mine is probably withered sub-plots. I'll have an occasional sub-plot which might have been a major focus, but the story winds up moving in a different direction, and that sub-plot, while not dropped, doesn't get enough attention to make it full and satisfying. I don't leave them as loose ends, but I wind up skimping on the details. I should flesh those out even if I go over my word budget for the novel. :)
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
Mine is probably withered sub-plots. I'll have an occasional sub-plot which might have been a major focus, but the story winds up moving in a different direction, and that sub-plot, while not dropped, doesn't get enough attention to make it full and satisfying. I don't leave them as loose ends, but I wind up skimping on the details. I should flesh those out even if I go over my word budget for the novel. :)

Yes, that's actually the reason I've started three novels and never finished them. They get out of control and the more I add later, the more I have to go back and change sections to make those future plots possible/feasible. What I intend to do next year when I do actually start (AND FINISH!) a novel, is to keep it as simple as possible.
 

LadySilence

Senior Member
I want to improve the dialogues. The interruptions between one dialogue and another. Otherwise it looks like a script and not a novel.
I would like to find my writing style. Now, everything I write looks ugly.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I want to improve the dialogues. The interruptions between one dialogue and another. Otherwise it looks like a script and not a novel.
I would like to find my writing style. Now, everything I write looks ugly.

Dialogue is something I'm constantly working on. It's so easy to continue with your narrative voice and forget to make mistakes, something people do when they talk all the time. As far as interruptions are concerned, I wouldn't worry too much about it. The idea (and the thing I'm constantly struggling with) is to give the dialogue a sense of reality whilst at the same time recognising it's not.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
To have more stamina. I have discovered that my method is to plan out all of the important details of the plots, so I know what events have to occur to get to the end. And then set out ample settings and develop characters well enough so I have the vehicle to get there. But my style is heavy on dialogue. My focus is on making the conversations realistic, but clever and entertaining. It's not possible to plan those. So every time I sit down to write I have to dig deep in some corner of my brain. It's like I go to this huge library of memories and scour around looking for the hidden gem. And then I rely on serendipity. And it usually happens, but it's tiring. So typically, I can only write between 500-1200 words a day.

And I mentioned in another thread that I also get anxious just before starting to write. I suspect for the same reason. The fear that the serendipity won't flow this time. And although your thread question is about strengthening a weakness, I'm not really too sure how to remedy the anxiousness or build my stamina. But that is my goal this year, to tackle those two areas.

 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
To have more stamina. I have discovered that my method is to plan out all of the important details of the plots, so I know what events have to occur to get to the end. And then set out ample settings and develop characters well enough so I have the vehicle to get there. But my style is heavy on dialogue. My focus is on making the conversations realistic, but clever and entertaining. It's not possible to plan those. So every time I sit down to write I have to dig deep in some corner of my brain. It's like I go to this huge library of memories and scour around looking for the hidden gem. And then I rely on serendipity. And it usually happens, but it's tiring. So typically, I can only write between 500-1200 words a day.

And I mentioned in another thread that I also get anxious just before starting to write. I suspect for the same reason. The fear that the serendipity won't flow this time. And although your thread question is about strengthening a weakness, I'm not really too sure how to remedy the anxiousness or build my stamina. But that is my goal this year, to tackle those two areas.


I think it's pretty common for the blank page to intimidate writers. Perhaps instead of trying to get over it, accept it. :) I've run out of things to break, so I have no choice.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
I'm going to finally teach myself how to write a book by finally writing a book. God only knows what weaknesses I still have to work through to get it done but that's what has to happen. If I focus on my weaknesses and think about them, I'm not thinking about writing.

So my goal is to write resiliently and not quit. To end up with a manuscript.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I'm going to finally teach myself how to write a book by finally writing a book. God only knows what weaknesses I still have to work through to get it done but that's what has to happen. If I focus on my weaknesses and think about them, I'm not thinking about writing.

So my goal is to write resiliently and not quit. To end up with a manuscript.

I think that's a great attitiude. We are all here to support you in writing that book! :)
 

LadySilence

Senior Member
Dialogue is something I'm constantly working on. It's so easy to continue with your narrative voice and forget to make mistakes, something people do when they talk all the time. As far as interruptions are concerned, I wouldn't worry too much about it. The idea (and the thing I'm constantly struggling with) is to give the dialogue a sense of reality whilst at the same time recognising it's not.

I love monologues, but they don't always go well.
I'm re-reading Robert McKee's "Dialogue" again.
I want to find the correct way between short dialogues and monologues.
 

Irwin

Senior Member
Voice. There hasn't been a specific voice in any of my writings up until now with the exception of perhaps a few posts, but I'm working to change that. Once I have my voice nailed down, I'll start writing my novel, which is fully outlined at this point. That said, I'm sure some things will change along the way, like when you plan a road trip, sometimes you see something interesting along the way and say, "Hey, let's check that out!" even if it wasn't part of your itinerary. Those little detours are often the highlights of the trip.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I have so many weaknesses that it's hard to narrow it down. I'd like to get better at description and dialogue, and plan to travel and see new things and meet interesting people to remedy that deficit.
 
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