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MaLanie1971
04-27-2009, 06:11 PM
I am 12,000 words in and I am forcing myself to write. HELP WE NEED WIP COUNSELING!

I was in love with it; the first three chapters I wrote with passion, but now I am bored with it and considering divorce! I don't want to quit I have already invested a lot of time, but at the same time I don't want to force it and waste what little time I have to write on crap.

What do you do to fall back in love with your WIP or do you force yourself to get through it?

Wise old Geezer where are you, I am tempted to cheat with another MS!! What if I picked the wrong MS? Can you pick the wrong one? How do I know if it needs to be scrapped?

Do any of you do this?

scarletpeaches
04-27-2009, 06:14 PM
Push through, or you'll never finish anything.

Writing a book is often fun and exciting, but every WIP also has its black moments. So you can't expect it to be plain sailing. If you stopped every time you hit a black moment you'd never finish a book. You have to learn to push through them.

dirtsider
04-27-2009, 06:18 PM
I agree with scarletpeaches. I've started this WIP so many times, it's not funny. Even now, I do slack off but I also always come back to it.

Cyia
04-27-2009, 06:23 PM
If you're bored, skip that section of the book and try something else down the line. Maybe fleshing out the next "exciting" part will help you figure out how to bridge over what you're not liking at the moment.

Puma
04-27-2009, 06:30 PM
Did you lay out a plan of the story, MaLanie - the rising action, climax, and conclusion? I know you had mentioned writing about your grandmother's time - if that's what you're stuck on, part of the problem may be that there's really not a traditional story there with enough intrigue and action. It's hard to write about real people because you can't (don't want to) make them something they're not. If this is the story with the problem, you may be able to work around it by using your grandmother as a model for some parts but then using a different character to create the tension and reader interest.

If you tell us a little more about your story, you might get some ideas on how to solve the problem. Puma

Clair Dickson
04-27-2009, 06:43 PM
It's time for some tough love with your WIP. Keep working on it-- but it may be time to step back and really think about what you don't love anymore. Why is the writing boring or difficult? Usually I write boring scenes when what I'm writing *is* boring (and usually one of my characters mentions it... then I go back, delete the boring stuff and figure out what I need to do to keep the story moving.)

Sometimes, to cut out boring stuff, you have to shift from showing to telling (that is, assuming that boring scenes are actually crucial. Many times, they are just slice-of-life, which is rarely appropriate in plot.)

What did you enjoy before? What specifically was fun? What are you writing that's not fun? What specifically is the worst part of what you are currently writing? (My WIP counseling questions. =)

NeuroFizz
04-27-2009, 07:07 PM
"Young man, I brought you in here because of your obvious basketball skills. No one can stop you on the playground. You can score on anyone." Coach walked around and sat on the corner of his desk. "What happened in practice today?"

Monte slumped in his chair and leaned a little to the right. "Nobody told me I'd have to do all this practice shit. I don't need no wind sprints. I don't need to block out on the boards." He shifted his weight to the other side of the chair. "And I don't need no damn plays. Just give me the rock and I'll score."

Coach forced a smile. "Basketball isn't just scoring, son, it's keeping the other team from scoring, too. So you have to learn defense, and the plays are designed to get the best possible shot. You have to learn how to pass as well as shoot. You could really make something of yourself in this game."

Monte leaned forward and rested his forearms on his thighs. He squinted up at the coach. "A damn pass is something I get before I shoot. And defense is just waiting to shoot. This shit you want me to do ain't fun. It ain't going to let me fly over all the other guys. And it won't get me laid." He stood. "I'm outta here. I can play pick-up game after pick-up game and never have to do all that other shit you think is basketball. Nobody gets famous by being a good passer." He tossed his practice jersey to the coach. "I dominate on the playgrounds. None of your shit is going to give me that feeling. Later."

***********
Discover a whole new kind of writing love, other than the instant-gratification of infatuation with new ideas--discover the love of accomplishment. Guess what you're going to have to do to find that love? ...unless you are happy just playing on the playgrounds...

mario_c
04-27-2009, 08:13 PM
Well...

A WIP actually doesn't mind when you give it a complete makeover, right? If your WIP is boring, you need to focus on why it's boring. Where does it give you agita when you read it? Those parts need to go, toute suite.
Getting a bunch of readers to look at your work, seeing your work through another's objective eyes, answering the dumb questions that must be asked, will help. But you know you're a real writer when your common sense is what gets you through the rough spell.
Also, a WIP doesn't mind you having another WIP on the side. Work on something else if the inspiration is hot - in a month or two you will go back to proofreading your WIP, be appropriately horrified and puzzled as to what you were thinking, and the joy of rewriting will bloom like spring flowers. :rolleyes:
My opinion, what do I know?

scarletpeaches
04-27-2009, 08:15 PM
...in a month or two you will go back to proofreading your WIP...

I disagree. If you move on to something else, in a month or two you will...

start another WIP.

And when the same thing happens and you hit the doldrums, you will...

start another WIP.

And when the same thing happens and you hit the doldrums...

You get the idea.

DeleyanLee
04-27-2009, 09:02 PM
Whoever said that doing this was always going to be fun and easy?

There's always a big gush of energy when it's new, amazing, cool and the greatest thing you've ever come up with in your life. Big rush! But sooner or later that energy is going to be used up and dissatisfaction sets in. Then the real question of whether or not you're dedicated to what you're doing plays in, whether it's a novel or a relationship or a job or anything in life.

When things start getting hard, I look back at whatever lit the fire in the first place. Not to relight the raging fire that kicked everything off, but to build it to a steady blaze that warms and will last a long time. Sure, it'll need to be stirred and more ideas added in to keep it going, but that's what gets the job done.

Just the way things happen, as far as I can tell.

Quossum
04-27-2009, 10:16 PM
Yeah, I used to be really bad about this...write enthusiastically for oh, 20-50K words, then peter out, get bored with that story, and start another one, assuring myself that I'd get back to the first one eventually.

I have a lot of unfinished stories in my old notebooks.

Now I "force" myself to finish, even if that means I change up the ending I had in mind. I have to make *some* kind of real ending, never again let it drift away from me like that. And, surprisingly enough, when I started disciplining myself like that, I found myself able to maintain enthusiasm for pretty much the whole book.

Granted, there have been times that I've put aside a novel to write a short story or some poetry, or even to take a mental break if I need it, but now I do make myself finish what I start, and my writing has gotten better for it.

--Q

Bubastes
04-27-2009, 10:27 PM
I push myself to finish what I start. Think of it this way: that poor WIP depends on you, and only you, to exist. If you don't finish, it will never get a chance to grow up, fly away, and reach others. I'd hate to disappoint my WIP (and myself) by flaking out on it.

Soccer Mom
04-27-2009, 10:51 PM
It's like falling out of love with your partner. You pick up one too many dirty towels off the floor and discover that he bought YET ANOTHER freakin' golf club and...and then you remember how much you have invested in the relationship and the times when it is good...bliss!

Keep at it and the bliss comes back.

Don't quit.

Kitty Pryde
04-27-2009, 11:01 PM
Jim Butcher's essay on "The Great Swampy Middle (http://jimbutcher.livejournal.com/1865.html)" has been a source of amusement, comfort, and inspiration to me on several similar occasions.

loiterer
04-28-2009, 01:14 AM
I'm going through this right now. About 10,000 words into the story itself. All the characters have been set on their paths. And I dread sitting down every day and writing. I actually find myself cleaning the bathroom, or mopping the floor--anything to avoid writing.

I, too, have been getting seduced by shiny new ideas. In fact, I've been down this road often before, and always I abandon the current story and chase the shiny new idea.

But I always end up back here again, another 10,000-20,000 words, frozen up, and thinking I must be writing the wrong thing.

So for once I'm trying to push through it. I don't think anyone can answer your questions, because I suspect they are largely unknowable until you have reached a certain point in your story. And I fear that point is probably the end of the first draft.

I should change my sig, too. I'm currently doing around 500 words a day although trying to aim higher (I bolster my personal wordcount mood by counting words done in outlining, in jottings, any words at all, as long as it's words about this one story).

MaLanie1971
04-28-2009, 01:43 AM
It is so nice to have a place to talk with other writers who have been there done that 'cause the non-writing folk do not understand.

Today I pushed through; I sat for a moment and visualized my main character and I imagined feeling her emotions. She has just lost her father and sister due to a fire (she accidental set) that burned down the house and now her mother and other siblings are moving into a boarding house.

I think I am having a hard time relating to her loss as she was close to her father and I had no attachment to my own who passed away when I was nineteen. Maybe I need to interview people that lost a parent they were close to? And I am just beginning to wonder why I would write this into my story? Is there some kind subconscious thing going on here? lol

I made it to 13,000 today just by rewriting. I also printed off some pictures that represent my story to make a vision board and keep me focused on her.

Everyone, thank you for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it.

MaLanie1971
04-28-2009, 01:53 AM
I'm going through this right now.

How about you and I keep each other accountable? Once a week check in here and give eachother word counts.
I will have to think about the consquences.:idea:

veinglory
04-28-2009, 01:54 AM
I never love a story after about 8000 words and never finish it without hating it at some point.

Soccer Mom
04-28-2009, 04:19 AM
You'll notice a thread here called the "Page a Day Club". There is also the 500 words a day thread in Mystery/Thriller/Suspense (but all genres are welcome). In fact, you'll find many such encouragment threads around the board. It helps to have a writing buddy too. Find your support and don't feel weak for needing it. Everyone needs a kick in the butt now and then.

Kudos on pushing through today.

Nivarion
04-28-2009, 04:31 AM
You could just have chapter four syndrome. Get to chapter five and all will be fine.

Wayne K
04-28-2009, 04:37 AM
I'm narcissistic and I write memoirs so I never fall out of love with my WIP.

I love that about me.

Susan Breen
04-28-2009, 04:46 AM
Keep in mind you can jump around. Is there a scene you're excited about? A new character who might show up? You're early enough that you can toss in whatever you want.

mario_c
04-28-2009, 10:06 AM
You could just have chapter four syndrome. Get to chapter five and all will be fine.My first drafts tend to pile high with TODOes - can't think of the right dialogue for this scene? Don't know how you're going to resolve the conflict? Keep writing and finish it later!

midknighthaze
04-30-2009, 09:45 PM
Thanks to this thread I'm blindingly aware I am slacking off myself (that's a good thing, though!) After class I'll surely start...Aww crud, gotta study for finals. Oh and my room needs cleaning...

Can't you tell I'm wimping out?

I guess because I finished one novel and I have two WIPs I know now the reality of the business and how long it takes for me to finish one novel. I guess I psyche myself out.

Gotta grow some backbone...

socact
04-30-2009, 10:24 PM
Nivarion, is that a real syndrome?? I swear, I hit the wall at Chapter 4 every single time! Then I get to Chapter 5 and I'm doing fine again.

To the OP, I think this happens to everyone in some form or another. I usually take a step back and think through the storyline - maybe consider a totally different plot twist. Or I call up my mother and ask her for ideas, because she's obviously got a different take on things than I do (she never sees the actual ms, because she can't handle curse words or sexual innuendos...ugh). Sometimes it helps just to bounce your ideas off someone, because if they get excited about it, then you get excited, too. And that can be a motivator.

I also sometimes just indulge and write a scene or two that sounds really cool. And maybe it'll work later, maybe not. But at least you're excited about it.

scarletpeaches
05-01-2009, 12:31 AM
I got seriously pissed off at my previous WIP while writing it, but I loved the male MC too much to let him go and that's what carried me through.

crazynance
05-01-2009, 04:56 AM
you guys! you forgot the zombies! You can always throw in the zombies..

Nivarion
05-01-2009, 07:28 AM
Nivarion, is that a real syndrome?? I swear, I hit the wall at Chapter 4 every single time! Then I get to Chapter 5 and I'm doing fine again.

<CUT>

As far as I know, That isn't a real real syndrome. Its just funny to call it that. Chapter 4 or Chapter 2 are you most likely spot to get the actual journey part of a story going. The chapters before are for setting up your setting, characters and conflict. Getting the journey going is interesting for the reader because they don't know whats going to happen, but its boring for you because you do.

So chapters 2 and 4 are common slow spots.

loiterer
05-01-2009, 03:51 PM
How about you and I keep each other accountable? Once a week check in here and give eachother word counts.
I will have to think about the consquences.:idea:

I shall, unless I'm too ashamed. I only did around 180 words today but I also spent about two hours trying to figure out the preferred order of a bunch of scenes I'd part-written which was necessary (I tell myself) so that I could get the overall arc right.

icerose
05-01-2009, 06:03 PM
I am 12,000 words in and I am forcing myself to write. HELP WE NEED WIP COUNSELING!

I was in love with it; the first three chapters I wrote with passion, but now I am bored with it and considering divorce! I don't want to quit I have already invested a lot of time, but at the same time I don't want to force it and waste what little time I have to write on crap.

What do you do to fall back in love with your WIP or do you force yourself to get through it?

Wise old Geezer where are you, I am tempted to cheat with another MS!! What if I picked the wrong MS? Can you pick the wrong one? How do I know if it needs to be scrapped?

Do any of you do this?

Anytime this happens, I go back and first rediscover why I loved it in the first place, then I figure out where I screwed it up and fix it. If you're bored, you are boring your reader. That's never good.

Go back and figure out where it starts to get boring and cut it. Then start there again. Either that or push through and finish it. I allowed myself to start and stop several projects while I was going through a rough patch and have a folder filled with them. I already had 5 finished novels and was seriously having problems with my writing due to outside circumstances. I switched not script writing and I have a few barely in scripts there as well.

Have you finished a piece before? Have you finished another piece after it? If you have then it's okay to abandon a project here and there or let it cool, if you haven't ever finished anything then it's imperative that you do.

Now that I have finished so many projects I will write about twenty pages in various projects to see which one catches fire and then I'll run with that one. But it still takes discipline. I still have to prod myself to continue because you're going to go through rough patches in every piece you come across. It's up to you to decide whether or not a project is worth slogging through when it becomes tough.

ETA: Try outlining your rough spots, it does wonders to let you see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak and get through the rougher parts.

MaLanie1971
05-02-2009, 07:03 PM
I have made it to 14,271! I am pushing through, damn it! We are going to love each other until the end! I will not give into the hot new thing tempting me to cheat!

I started asking myself, what could possibly go wrong in my protagonist life at this point, and it gave me some powerful stuff to work in the boring parts.

Thanks to the, WRITE GREAT FICTION series. I love to give plugs for well deserving products. I am having an Oprah Favorites moment. (No I cannot give them out free so don't ask.)

This series, Write Great Fiction has been very helpful. Each book focuses on a different subject like; Plot & Structure, Character, Veiwpoint, Diaolog and Setting.

I feel like Anne Shirley, thanks to the Rollings Reliable...

Branwyn
05-02-2009, 07:19 PM
I was just moaning about this on the R & D board. About 20k in--call it fall out of love, or this sucks, but it's hit me. Bad.

I had three ms picked up with small press. Then my last two--nothing. I think it's a combo of this sucks and why bother. And I've got three W'sIP, all at about 20k. One I haven't looked at since Sept.
Definitely need help.

MaLanie1971
05-02-2009, 09:56 PM
Bran, that is awesome, three MS picked up! Good for you!

Check out this site and see if you can find something that can help you. www.castingthebones.com (http://www.castingthebones.com), I found some useful ideas that got me up and going again. And try out those books I recommened. They really are helpful.

Sean D. Schaffer
05-02-2009, 10:49 PM
"Young man, I brought you in here because of your obvious basketball skills. No one can stop you on the playground. You can score on anyone." Coach walked around and sat on the corner of his desk. "What happened in practice today?"

Monte slumped in his chair and leaned a little to the right. "Nobody told me I'd have to do all this practice shit. I don't need no wind sprints. I don't need to block out on the boards." He shifted his weight to the other side of the chair. "And I don't need no damn plays. Just give me the rock and I'll score."

Coach forced a smile. "Basketball isn't just scoring, son, it's keeping the other team from scoring, too. So you have to learn defense, and the plays are designed to get the best possible shot. You have to learn how to pass as well as shoot. You could really make something of yourself in this game."

Monte leaned forward and rested his forearms on his thighs. He squinted up at the coach. "A damn pass is something I get before I shoot. And defense is just waiting to shoot. This shit you want me to do ain't fun. It ain't going to let me fly over all the other guys. And it won't get me laid." He stood. "I'm outta here. I can play pick-up game after pick-up game and never have to do all that other shit you think is basketball. Nobody gets famous by being a good passer." He tossed his practice jersey to the coach. "I dominate on the playgrounds. None of your shit is going to give me that feeling. Later."

***********
Discover a whole new kind of writing love, other than the instant-gratification of infatuation with new ideas--discover the love of accomplishment. Guess what you're going to have to do to find that love? ...unless you are happy just playing on the playgrounds...


I disagree. If you move on to something else, in a month or two you will...

start another WIP.

And when the same thing happens and you hit the doldrums, you will...

start another WIP.

And when the same thing happens and you hit the doldrums...

You get the idea.


QFT. I know over the last few years (as I figure many of you also know, thanks to my constantly-changing signature line) that I myself have not completed hardly any manuscripts. This is because I have fallen in and out of love (the instant-gratification kind) with my different works.

I needed to read these posts, along with the others here in this thread. Being someone who has himself abandoned WIP after WIP, I can tell you that it's quite normal to feel frustrated about your progress and even begin to despise your WIP. But I can also remember a time in my own life when I would push through to the end because I loved my work. I believed in it, and that's why I finished it. I'm sorry to say that over the last four years or so, I've left that train of thought for the idea that I should always be having fun and always be enjoying what I'm doing. If you love your manuscript, though, you'll make it work even when you don't feel the passion you used to have for it.

So thanks to the OP for starting this thread, and to the others who have answered so far. You've all helped this aspiring author to remember what it takes to get it done.

scarletpeaches
05-02-2009, 10:54 PM
I love Sean.

Years ago we used to snipe at each other for some stupid reason...then we made up, and look at us, agreeing with each other! :Hug2:

MaLanie1971
05-03-2009, 02:09 AM
Scarlet, good for you and Sean! I love happy endings ;-) Sean start WIP couples counseling, it makes all the difference!

scarletpeaches
05-03-2009, 02:20 AM
There are plenty of other AW members I upset, I bet. But a few PMs between me and Sean and it was all sorted. :D

I really must try to get on someone's nerves soon; I've been too nice lately. Hmm...anyone up for a fight with someone they've never met? :ROFL:

Sean D. Schaffer
05-03-2009, 04:39 AM
There are plenty of other AW members I upset, I bet. But a few PMs between me and Sean and it was all sorted. :D

Yeah, and I for one am glad that it worked out so well. :)


I really must try to get on someone's nerves soon; I've been too nice lately. Hmm...anyone up for a fight with someone they've never met? :ROFL:Oh, dear. :ROFL:

MaLanie1971
05-03-2009, 04:49 AM
OMG Sean, I am exactly a month and two days older than you! How cool is that! I rarely meet people my own age. They're usually a lot younger or much, much older.

Do you feel like your life has flown by too? I am still trying to figure out what the heck happened to my twenties. It was like one day I was 21 and the next I was 35. WTH!

Sean D. Schaffer
05-03-2009, 04:57 AM
OMG Sean, I am exactly a month and two days older than you! How cool is that! I rarely meet people my own age. They're usually a lot younger or much, much older.

My Bold.

If I had been born on time, I likely would have been almost exactly the same age as you. I'm sure my Mom still wishes I hadn't been born a month late. ;)


Do you feel like your life has flown by too? I am still trying to figure out what the heck happened to my twenties. It was like one day I was 21 and the next I was 35. WTH!Oh, yes. I definitely do. I sometimes forget I'm not a teenager anymore. That's when my friend Arthur Ritis reminds me to act my age. :D

Wayne K
05-03-2009, 11:43 AM
I like happy endings too, but I love a good board war.

bkwriter
05-07-2009, 10:51 PM
Malin, you said you were only three chapters into your novel? I have some suggestions, Is this the story you want to be writing? Maybe you don't know your characters and should make some biographies for them and find your plot. In my wip I only have five more chapters to rewrite and I "know" I'm going to have to do a lot more afterwords. Don't give up. Never Never Never

MaLanie1971
05-08-2009, 06:22 AM
Wayne, lol What is a board war?

bk, I for one am pushing through, one day at a time! And if it ends up a bad day I will load up on chocolate and come here to get a good a@@ whoopin'.