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Thread: Motivation to finish writing a novel

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poetical Gore View Post
    I have seen your replies, but first off, did you do an outline? If so, one thing you can do is make a more and more detailed outline. Once you have a detailed enough outline you have everything you want but you just need to write it out.

    My advice is you have to have a story that you NEED to write. Also, people start a story prematurely. I take notes at least 2 years before starting a novel. You really have to think a long time before finding out what your story is about before writing it. Also, you can feel when you are ready to write it. I will be taking notes for years and finally it clicks and then I am ready to write it. On some level your brain is giving you ideas you do not actively think of. You need to figure out what your subconscious is trying to tell you and why you have ideas about this story.
    ==============

    +10E99

    Planning and organising make writing so much easier.

    It is far easier to see the path through the woods from a balloon flying high than it is when you are down in the weeds amongst the trees.

    And it is far easier to avoid dead ends and useless detours if you plan out the scenes before you start pouring out reams of verbiage.

    First be creative with the plot and defining your characters then be creative with the actual description of each scene that the story needs.

    Planning won't kill creativity. That is just an excuse people use to procrastinate because planning is hard work. But that work up front saves at least 10x as much work that would be needed if you just started writing and hoped to somehow magically come up with a great plot, interesting characters, and have the subplots and all the clues planted earlier come together at the end for a satisfying finish.

  2. #77
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat j View Post

    Planning won't kill creativity. That is just an excuse people use to procrastinate because planning is hard work.
    That's may be true of some people somewhere. It's not true for me, and for a number of writers I know.


    But that work up front saves at least 10x as much work that would be needed if you just started writing and hoped to somehow magically come up with a great plot, interesting characters, and have the subplots and all the clues planted earlier come together at the end for a satisfying finish
    My brain only wants to tell a story once. I discovered that fairly early on my years as a writer. A story that's outlined or summarized in advance is guaranteed to be the story I'll never write, because it's already been written. It no longer holds any interest for me. I write the same way I read: to find out what happens next.

    Also, for me, characters come to life only in the crucible of the story, not in the cold and sterile confines of the prewriting lab. So I don't write character bios and I don't plan stories in advance. They grow of their own accord in the writing, and yes, it is rather magical.
    Last edited by BethS; 11-29-2017 at 11:56 AM.

  3. #78
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    I seem to be agreeing with Beth a lot lately (!)

    I think pantsing gets a bad name.

    Somewhat controversially, I think there is a difference between writing intuitively (what professional 'pantsers' do) and flailing around helplessly, unsure of what's happening on the page. People who are new to writing or perhaps just doing it for fun, not taking it very seriously, often fall into the pantsing category by default, but their approach bears little resemblance (imo) to the sort of method taken by Stephen King or whoever. I'm not a fan of King particularly but he does write intuitively, with a rough guide of which thing goes where and how to pace appropriately.


    Planning does not save me time. I'm quite happy to accept it does for others; but I can only vouch for myself. I start with character goals, an emotion I want to end up at, and I don't really care how I get there. My stories then end up with rather convoluted plots because a lot of twists and turns have to happen to enact the character change I want, but that's okay. If I'd planned it out in advance it would be more straightforward but (for me) less interesting.

    The main person who has to be interested in your writing, is you. If you don't find it interesting, you won't finish, and you certainly won't be able to convince anyone else to do so, either.
    Happiness, is just a word to me
    And it might have meant a thing or two
    If I'd known the difference.

  4. #79
    practical experience, FTW indianroads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat j View Post
    Planning won't kill creativity. That is just an excuse people use to procrastinate because planning is hard work. But that work up front saves at least 10x as much work that would be needed if you just started writing and hoped to somehow magically come up with a great plot, interesting characters, and have the subplots and all the clues planted earlier come together at the end for a satisfying finish.
    Seems a little harsh - try a Colorado cookie.

    I'm a planner, it's the way I write... the way I WRITE, not the way everyone should write. We're individuals... even within the microcosm of this forum we're a pretty varied group. To me, what matters is the result, not the process of getting there. Of course we all should be looking at our personal process for ways to improve it after each and every novel is written. There just isn't one standard process that we should be using to stamping out books like on a manufacturing process line. Attempting to get everyone here to do it one way - that's like trying to heard cats.

  5. #80
    please distract me mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BethS View Post
    My brain only wants to tell a story once. I discovered that fairly early on my years as a writer. A story that's outlined or summarized in advance is guaranteed to be the story I'll never write, because it's already been written. It no longer holds any interest for me. I write the same way I read: to find out what happens next.

    Also, for me, characters come to life only in the crucible of the story, not in the cold and sterile confines of the prewriting lab. So I don't write character bios and I don't plan stories in advance. They grow of their own accord in the writing, and yes, it is rather magical.
    Very much this.

  6. #81
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
    Somewhat controversially, I think there is a difference between writing intuitively (what professional 'pantsers' do) and flailing around helplessly, unsure of what's happening on the page. People who are new to writing or perhaps just doing it for fun, not taking it very seriously, often fall into the pantsing category by default.
    And I suppose some discover in time that they actually do belong there with the pantsers, while others figure out that they work better with a plan in hand. Part of becoming a writer is figuring out the methods that work for you. That often takes trial and error. I started out as an outliner. That didn't last.
    Last edited by BethS; 11-30-2017 at 06:27 PM.

  7. #82
    Not my first rodeo. Liz_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
    Somewhat controversially, I think there is a difference between writing intuitively (what professional 'pantsers' do) and flailing around helplessly, unsure of what's happening on the page.
    This, definitely.

    I'm more on the pantser side of the fence (I'm certainly not an outliner!), but I don't write a bunch of random stuff that I end up throwing out, nor do I go haring off in eight different directions and end up with a discombobulated mess. In fact, my first drafts are pretty clean. Sure, I have to stop and do some figuring out at times, but that's not inherently less efficient than doing all the figuring out at once, at the start; it's just broken up into smaller pieces. And for me, I find I come up with much better ideas if I do the figuring out when I need it, with the momentum of the story-so-far behind me.

    Write however works for you. If what you're doing is not working, try something else, but don't get locked into some arbitrary process because somebody else insists theirs is the One True Way. There is no One True Way. What matters is that you end up with a good book; there are lots of ways to get there.

  8. #83
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Just got done with another writing session. Getting there.

    When I write, I feel like inevitably that I always go back and re-write large chunks of it, though I guess I'm still pretty green. Only finished one novella before my first novel, which I'm still working on. Part of the re-writes are due to not fully keeping track of the various plot points, and I'm writing something based off of an inaccurate memory, or I'll ditch the first draft because something just doesn't make sense for some other reason.

    Anyway, excitement for the story is growing again. I'm at the last 15,000 words or so.

  9. #84
    Not my first rodeo. Liz_V's Avatar
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    Keep plugging away, CalRazor!

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