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View Full Version : Ever put off a project because . . .



Travis J. Smith
02-11-2009, 11:28 PM
You feel it is "above" you at the time?

For example, say you've never written a story from a female POV before, but you have an idea for a novel written from one. Rather than jumping right in and hoping you don't drown, you decide to let yourself mature as a writer and potentially get rid of the training wheels with some practice doing what you feel is "above" you.

I just wonder if I'm alone in doing this and if I should suck it up and go for it because failure is a great learning experience and all that jazz.

semilargeintestine
02-11-2009, 11:32 PM
I'm writing a script right now that I'm considering putting off because I have no idea what I would do with it once it's finished. There are a few projects I've wanted to do but felt as though I wasn't really able to do them well. There's one I'm contemplating taking up because I know a ton about the subject. I'm just hesitant because I'm not sure if there would be even an inkling of interest.

Claudia Gray
02-12-2009, 12:52 AM
I have a thriller idea I love, love, love, but it's both very complicated and research-heavy. Even though I adore this idea the most, I am going to take up another thriller concept I have first, because it's (relatively) more straightforward; once I figure out if I have any ability for this, and have honed some skills, then I can turn back to the first.

I also have a historical novel idea that is waiting for me to do yet more years of research about the early Roman Empire. But I really do keep at it!

caseyquinn
02-12-2009, 01:09 AM
Yes, I had an idea for a novel. It was amazing. Complicated. Dramatic. Thrilling. Required extensive research and jaw dropping story telling.... Needless to say I never started it.

Polenth
02-12-2009, 01:51 AM
I feel writing for children is above what I'm capable of at the moment. I do still work on the book ideas here and there, but I'm not aiming to finish one yet.

nevada
02-12-2009, 02:33 AM
Go for it, not because failure is a great teacher, but possible accomplishment is even better. How do you know it's "above" you until you try it. I did think that once about an idea I had. Last week I said to hell with it and wrote it anyway. And you know, it's coming along okay and maybe it's not above me. But if you keep saying "I can't" without even trying, you never will be able to. Sometimes, to quote Risky Business, you just have to say what the f**k.

KTC
02-12-2009, 02:40 AM
I always say YES to an idea. Then I try desperately to figure out how to do it. This often leads to traumatic hyperventilating as my ideas are usually quickly tied to deadlines and contracts and promises. In freelancing, if I have something presented to me, I quickly say yes whether or not I know I can handle it. When ideas come for novels, short stories, etc...same thing. I listen to them. I tackle them. The only thing that can happen is failure. It causes abject terror a lot of the time...but occasionally I surprise myself.

nconner
02-12-2009, 02:44 AM
Go ahead and jump in. As nevada says, don't worry about failure and what you can learn/should from it. Instead, think of it this way: a novel is a big project that changes and grows in the writing and the revising. The only way to learn a character's voice is by letting that character speak.

OTOH, if that makes you uncomfortable, warm up by writing some scenes or prompts with the character whose POV you want to explore. Don't worry about whether or not they'll make it into the novel, just use them as a way to get to know the character. That's a way to test the water by sticking in a toe or two, rather than jumping in at the deep end.

Nancy Holzner

Peace, Love, and Murder (Five Star, August 2009)
Darktown (Ace Fantasy, January 2010)

tehuti88
02-12-2009, 08:38 PM
I think in a way that I end up feeling this way about almost everything I work on. After the fact. I don't tend to get ideas for stories that are "above me," but I do know that plenty of times I've started stories when I should have had more knowledge of a subject or something first. Ah well, that's how I learn, through experience.

It does mean I have to stick disclaimers on my older stories to let people know I'm not quite as ignorant by now. :o

seun
02-12-2009, 08:45 PM
Just the once (so far). I've got an idea for a book which could be really good. The problem is I'm not sure if I could do it justice so I'll leave it for a while and let it mature.

Zelenka
02-12-2009, 09:11 PM
I had a political thriller / conspiracy theory type thing idea and I loved it to bits but just felt it was way over my head, all the sort of organisations in the US and everything (like trying to remember the difference between the CIA, FBI, NSA etc) and all that. I set it to one side, then ages later had the idea to see what would happen if I lifted the same plot and changed the setting. It ended up as an alternate history fantasy story set in Edinburgh. :)

Also, my historical vampire novel was way beyond me when I first started plotting and writing it. It's now a part of my new fantasy WIP, and might still be a book in its own right later, but I think I'm getting nearer being ready for it now, a year further on.

kuwisdelu
02-12-2009, 09:33 PM
I try not to put off writing something because I feel it's "above" me in terms of skill to do it justice.

I have put something because I just haven't felt ready to write it yet, for numerous other reasons.

tehuti88
02-13-2009, 01:52 AM
It just occurred to me to add that if I hadn't started writing most of the things I started too early, I probably never would have gotten it in me to learn more and educate myself on those things so I could write them better. Make any sense? For example it was only when I was like around Part 80 of my first (110-chapter) serial that I started to think, "Maybe I should, you know, learn something about this mythology I'm using." So I bought a couple of books. Almost a decade later I'm still buying books but I've sure learned a lot! I wouldn't have had a reason to if I hadn't jumped into my story and then realized I had next-to-no idea what I was doing. :o In fact I bet I would still be buying books and wouldn't have started writing yet at all...

The only reason I stopped researching one of my novels once and started writing it was because my computer monitor died. Seemed like a sign I should get cracking.

Stunted
02-13-2009, 11:41 AM
I've done that.

Cranky
02-13-2009, 11:43 AM
Yes. Twice now.

Linda Adams
02-13-2009, 03:32 PM
Not for the reason listed. I had a very old story idea that never quite gelled into a novel until about two years ago. Then it suddenly came together, and I realized what I could do with it. I think one of the reasons it never came together before was because I was missing life experience in one of the parts I needed to write (in this case, research wouldn't have helped me pull it off credibly). That's the one I'm working on now.

Wayne K
02-13-2009, 04:37 PM
Go for it, not because failure is a great teacher, but possible accomplishment is even better. How do you know it's "above" you until you try it. I did think that once about an idea I had. Last week I said to hell with it and wrote it anyway. And you know, it's coming along okay and maybe it's not above me. But if you keep saying "I can't" without even trying, you never will be able to. Sometimes, to quote Risky Business, you just have to say what the f**k.

Where were you when I was twenty. I was surrounded by people who gave the "Be cautious" kinds of advice.

Namatu
02-13-2009, 07:04 PM
My current WIP has been percolating in my brain for over ten years. I didn't so much consider it above me as I considered myself not ready for it. I would sporadically make attempts at it, but they never worked. I needed to learn a lot about writing, my good and bad habits, and how I should (and should not) approach my work before this idea became anywhere near manageable.

truelyana
02-14-2009, 03:42 AM
You feel it is "above" you at the time?

For example, say you've never written a story from a female POV before, but you have an idea for a novel written from one. Rather than jumping right in and hoping you don't drown, you decide to let yourself mature as a writer and potentially get rid of the training wheels with some practice doing what you feel is "above" you.

I just wonder if I'm alone in doing this and if I should suck it up and go for it because failure is a great learning experience and all that jazz.

These experiences are natural. I think they are just another step into a writers career. Well a person gearing into the writing world, anyway. :) I have moments of inspiration and ideas, where I don't write and have other moments of just writing. I think it all depends on your state of mind at the time. Today I had a great idea, and a good story for a novel based on true experiences. I outlined the whole plot starting from the backend of it, and was quite excited to be getting into it. Even outlined interviews with people whom the story is about.

That was then, and this is now. The story is still pretty much there, but now I don't seem as eager into it as I was before. This moment now, doesn't mean it is above me, it just means I just don't feel like getting into it right now, but I will probably still look into it. Though in saying that, I always go the other way. Though thinking about it, I know it makes great writing. Possibly, will gear myself into it. :) Just for the enjoyment of it, plus I haven't felt this excited and enthusiastic about anything in a while, well mostly writing anyway. :)

So whenever something rocks your boat, and your feeling it, what about just taking that boat for a ride? And crashing on the waves for the hell of it? :D Go on, you know you want to. ;)

dgiharris
02-14-2009, 04:19 AM
I'm having serious computer issues, won't be resolved until next week, and I find I just can't get my ass in gear :(

*as typed from library computer*

:(

Mel...

darkchild
02-17-2009, 04:33 AM
I wanted to start on a vampire book not long ago. I have enough problems breaking through the market without anyone thinking i'm trying to ride on Meyer's cottails.

CoriSCapnSkip
03-14-2009, 12:48 PM
Neil Gaiman described getting the idea for The Graveyard Book while watching his small son play in a cemetery. He'd written a page or two when he realized "I'm not a good enough writer for this book." It took him twenty or thirty years, but he finished the book and it just won the Newbery award.