July 12th, 2001, 12:41 PM
Help me direct my writing
I've been inspired and have begun work on a saga, and I've got lots of ideas but can't seem to get any real flow going. I have several subordinate plots for different characters but can't really weave them together very well. I believe my ideas are good, but I guess one of my problems is that I've created so many characters that I like it's hard for me to follow the action of one over another.
I'm also a bit of a perfectionist and I tend to write and rewrite a chapter obsessively until I think it has a real good feel. In dealing so much with one chapter and those characters I tend to lose motivation or passion for the others.
No general helpful encouragement, please - though it is appreciated. I really want specific motivation that helps concentrate my efforts on flow between my characters and their individual storylines.
Thanks for any advice.
July 12th, 2001, 04:25 PM
Keeping The Equilibrium
Well, Mirror, what a challenge you've thrown down for us all!
Firstly, I have to commend you on your choice of handle. Mirrors feature predominantly in my own fantasy series, The Erebus Equilibrium, book two of which has just come out in paperback, BTW! But I digress...
The first thing you need to do is decide how hungry you are to complete your novel/saga. Without the commensurate drive or desire, you will never get more than a few words on paper! Secondly, in my opinion, you need to relax a little with your planning and rewrites, and character development, and let a little more of the story flow. Telling a story is all that writing's really about after all, and you can always go back through a chapter (something which you should do many times anyway) once more of the tale has been translated from the fragmented ideas inside your brain onto the many pages of dog-eared paper, that should hopefully be starting to resemble something akin to a workable manuscript!
Tell your story, Mirror! It's as simple as that! And that should be motivation enough, otherwise, perhaps the story just isn't ready to be told yet. Just put your fingers on the keyboard or pen to paper and see what flows from your imagination. You can worry about the editing later. But, be careful, you might just be surprised what comes out when you relax a little and let the story tell itself!
I really hope this helps...
[This message has been edited by erebus (edited July 12, 2001).]
July 12th, 2001, 05:26 PM
I had a similar problem when I first started writing. My book started with an idea. A brilliant idea. A scene with two lovers on the run. It was a beautiful scene. And it got tossed, along with just about everything I originally thought up. Those lovers are now adopted siblings. There is absolutely no romance between the two now. In fact the only thing I kept is that their sex, basic age, and that they have a very close relationship (brother / sister instead of lover). It sounds as though your story isnít fully developed in your mind. My guess is that is why you are having trouble connecting the characters and events.
Also, you may need to get rid of a few characters. That doesnít mean you have to kill them or write them off completely. Perhaps you could break the story into 2 or 3 books, each book dealing with a handful of characters and their particular story lines. The stories would be somewhat interwoven, but it would take some pressure off you pushing the characters all together in one story.
And last, Erebus is right, sometimes you have to just write. Iíve found that if I allow myself to become obsessed with a particular chapter or scene, Iíll never move on to the rest of the story. Itís easier for me to write a draft then go back and rewrite later. This allows me to get the basic story down and the rewrites allow me to be creative. The rewrites also allow me to work on the craft of writing.
July 12th, 2001, 05:47 PM
Thanks erebus, KATS
One thing I need is to figure out when I'm starting to get too focused on one particular point of the story, but I need to have a good working picture on paper before I'm satisfied enough to be able to move on-plus, it doesn't help having a computer with a Thesaurus where I can check and revise every word I write.
KATS, you have a good point. Maybe my story does still need more development. But everytime I think about it I get excited.
Keep up the good advice. I really appreciate it.
[This message has been edited by Mirror (edited July 12, 2001).]
July 13th, 2001, 03:27 AM
Another quick thought, do you use an outline? Using an outline gave me a rough idea of what I wanted to accomplish in each chapter. It also allowed me to figure out what was going to happen at specific high points of my stories and what needed to happen between those high points.
July 13th, 2001, 05:52 AM
My suggestion: Start with the beginning and the end, then work on how to connect them and throw away everything that is not needed for the journey.
-- John Morrison http://ganymede-project.com
July 13th, 2001, 12:25 PM
You know KATS, it's funny that you should say that because as many outlines as I wrote while I was in school for essay after essay I still haven't solidified an outline for this. Well I guess I should go ahead and back up a bit and turn my notes, storylines, and ideas into a frame. Thanks.
July 14th, 2001, 03:27 AM
Keeping The Equilibrium
Well, Mirror, it certainly seems like you have a renewed zest to start writing again. By all means, give yourself an outline, but don't get too bogged down with it
Sometimes, the best words you'll ever string together will flow straight from the unlimited creativity of your imagination. When that happens, and it keeps on flowing, it's a great feeling. Then, when you read it back, you may find yourself asking: Wow! Did I write that?
[This message has been edited by erebus (edited July 14, 2001).]
July 25th, 2001, 06:57 PM
I don't know how well this style will work for others, but this is how writing really works for me.
write the story, but don't concentrate on what you are writing, concentrate on what you are tryong to achieve.
When I write, I don't read my stuff at all. I write very fast, because I found that if you second guess every little thing you put onto paper, then you lose track of what you are trying to do and you end up stunting your creativity. In the book I just finished, I created neraly half of my ideas while in the process of writing. I found that while my brain is worrying about the subject matter instead of the actual words, I think of more and more ideas of things I can do later. And it also makes the process of writing feel more enjoyable and not so much like work.
The only problem with this style is that you will most likely have to do a lot of corrections your second time around. By writing in this style, you end up with a lot of errors in the grammar department. But i consider it a worthy trade simply because of how many ideas that came from this format.
And another thing that really helps is having someone that you know well read your work very objectively. The reason is, other people don't see everything the way you do. They may bring up questions that you had never even considered(It happened to me more than once.)They may also have suggestions or find topics that you may not have related very strongly. Because as the writer, you know what is going to happen and it can be very easy to fall short on your exlpanations simply because you know what you are talking about. But by having someone read over your work that has no idea about what is going on(a fresh viewpoint), these mistakes can be caught.
So give it a try. Now that I have started writing this way, I doubt that I will ever use my old methods. It may just be the same for you.
August 12th, 2001, 04:24 AM
I have to agree Alucard. I write in exactly the same way. Get the story down and try and get the ideas out of my head.
i always make grammar mistakes, infact i could re-read one of my stories a hundred times and still find a mistake.
But in the end at least the story is out and hopefully, most of the time its flowing nicely.
One thing i do though, which i read about in a writing book. Make up little story pieces and put them on card of bits of paper. For e.g. say you have 5 characters, write down scenes for those characters. The ones on their own and others that involve all or some of the other characters.
I do this with my story and then put them in the order that i want the story to flow.
It helps remember what it was i wanted to happen and to whom.