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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 9/22/2008 10:24 AM PDT
I'm new here, and I hate to be a fly in the ointment (ooh, watch those cliches!), but I think stopping what you're doing to write something else might not be a good thing, unless you've got another idea that is keeping you from concentrating on your current project. It sounds like you've been in this position before, since you've got a bunch of other unfinished projects. (Kudos on being so creative!) A truth about writing is that great stories aren't written, they're rewritten. Revising and editing are a fact of life for a writer. So push through, and allow yourself to write lousy stuff, because you can come back and fix it later when you've got your first draft finished. I know you want your story to be perfect first time around, but it isn't going to be perfect if you get so frustrated that you never finish it. Right? So make up your mind each day that you're going to sit down and write for a certain amount of time (I don't like word counts in this regard), and do it. Whatever comes out comes out, even if you think it's drivel. You're exercising those writing muscles (and it WILL get better). For right now, stop being so hard on yourself. Once you push through this writers block you're going to feel so much better.
Posted: 9/22/2008 7:18 AM PDT
Thanks for the good advice, everyone. I guess I need to take a break from this story -- you guys are right that it's better to be writing something new than nothing at all. I do hope I eventually finish this one, though, because it means a lot to me.
Posted: 9/20/2008 7:33 PM PDT
When you sit down to write; say you have an idea; could be a sentence, just start
to write. Don't worry about names, times, places, just keep writing. It might not
immediately 'fit' into what you have...for it might be actually Chapter 32 which you
are writing, and you haven't writen 10 to 31 yet. Don't worry. Get where you want
to write, and later on you can do the previous chapters.
Right what is "going to happen next in the story", forget how you get there, it
will come. Just write the 'next' so it's there, by itself, and you'll figure out
how to get there.
But to kill your muse because you don't have the bridge yet, no.
I often have a central concept, and write that, and when I reread it I
know what has to lead into it, so that the beginning; i.e. chapters
1 -10 are actually written after 11 -15 and chapters 31 -37 are writen
after 38 - 40. When I go back and start to write the 'leads' to chap. 11
it kind of flows.
Posted: 9/20/2008 2:51 PM PDT
I like to think of it like cooking-- I've got a back burner and a front burner. If I shift something to the back burner, I may not finish it, but I'll always be able to add it to something else and create something new and interesting. So if you're stuck, don't let it get in the way of writing!
Posted: 9/20/2008 1:15 PM PDT
When that happened to me - it happened twice, in fact - it just meant I had to stop writing that story. It was a good story, but if I can't write it, I can't write it. After a while, you might want to try going back to it. It probably won't work, but who knows?
Posted: 9/20/2008 7:41 AM PDT
I'm a little afraid to just start something new, because I have a lot of unfinished stories along with the 3 I have finished. I don't want this to become one of those.
But I did go to the 911 Writers Block project and write a little story with one of the endings from the pay phone thingie. I don't like it very much, but it's the most I've written in two weeks -- so that's good.
Posted: 9/20/2008 6:35 AM PDT
When I write, I like to think of myself as a really lousy pool player. I keep a lot of balls on the table at once, but I'm only capable of moving them an inch at a time. I nudge one ball towards the pocket as best I can, and when its path gets blocked, I work on another one until it gets clear again.
So I suggest starting a new story! To those of us who were taught growing up never to quit, this can seem like a cop-out. Don't worry about it. When you're blocked, it's often much easier to start something new than to keep forcing something you're stuck on. Don't quit the story forever. Just start something brand new. Write until THAT story starts to slow down, then go back to the other story. If you still can't make any progress, start a third story.
Try not to start more than two new stories. I've found that when I have three stories going, I can almost always find the energy and inspiration to work on one of them, but if I have more than that, they all fizzle out. Believe it or not, I do actually finish stories using this method.
Posted: 9/20/2008 6:02 AM PDT
Well, maybe not totally. I can write, but only my groceries list. :-/ For a while there I was writing everyday, but then I stopped. I have a story that's half finished and every time I sit down to work on it, I can only write a sentence or two. Then I get frustrated and stop. What's going on? I have a pretty good idea what's going to happen next in the story, I just start to feel all antsy when I sit down at the keyboard. I can't make anything sound right. It's driving me crazy! Help.
Before this, I finished three short stories I'm happy with and I hope will get published one day. I'm pretty new to writing. But I really like it, and I don't want to quit now!