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Angie
11-29-2009, 05:39 AM
Do you have a drawer full of story beginnings with no endings?

Do you begin a story, only to move on to the next big idea before the first one is finished?

Do you find it difficult to look your characters in the eyes, knowing you'll only abandon them for the next interesting personality to wander through your crowded mind?

There's hope. The first step is to admit you have a problem. Join your fellow story starters and get the encouragement you need to finally make it to "The End." Join in with brainstorming sessions and chat to keep yourself interested in your current project -- and get a kick in the pants now and then from your fellow writers to wait on new ideas until you finish the first.

I'll begin our discussion: I'm Angie, and I'm a story starter.

Stew21
11-29-2009, 05:46 AM
I'm Trish. I am also a story starter. I have finished two novels, but started dozens.

Stew21
11-29-2009, 05:51 AM
It would be nice to see this thread turn into a place for encouragement to get to the end, to talk about the issues and work our way through them. Share our ideas and brainstorm, to keep our enthusiasm up.

I hope we get lots of members!

Cyia
11-29-2009, 05:53 AM
I've started many stories, but I do it on purpose. If I write at least 2000 words (one chapter) of a book, then I feel bad if I don't come back to it later.

Angie
11-29-2009, 05:57 AM
My problem is that I start one story, get a few thousand words in, then get to that "middle of the book slump" and lose interest. Then I get another "brilliant" idea and start on that one. Wash, rinse, repeat.

And Trish: Yes, what I was hoping was that this would be an encouragement and brainstorming thread. Even a short brainstorming session can get you fired up about a project again and propel you through a slump.

Stew21
11-29-2009, 06:02 AM
I usually get a sense that I'm not really sure what I'm doing with it, get frustrated, don't know how to write scene or my characters turned out differently than I thought they would, and I start doubting myself and the story. I currently have 3 starts that I keep rotating through. Two of them I know can be finished, it's a matter of getting over the hump and getting into it. Brainstorming will help.

Cyia
11-29-2009, 06:05 AM
Keep an open widow next to the one you're working in. When those bursts of brilliance hit, type them out quickly, then go back to the main document widow.

Angie
11-29-2009, 06:05 AM
Trish: Yep, you sound like me. I did NaNo one year to try and force myself through a story, and I wound up with such a twisted and screwed-up mess that I don't even know where to begin making it coherent. I'm thinking brainstorming along the way would help with that too.

Kalyke
11-29-2009, 06:39 AM
I am the worst of the worst. I have 7 novels and 3 novellas all which are within 20-30K perhaps (less than that for the novellas) from being first drafts. That's like only a month of writing each. I think I "front load" and run out of story-- I am sad about this. I am also scared of anyone reading my stuff. Too much sex and evil thoughts in them. I go on for a while and then suddenly cannot get the last complication/ climax resolution done. I know what happens in most, but I want it to be grand and cinematic. I have to learn how to end these things. I'm like: should I drown him, or should I throw him in the meat grinder. I'm CRL and i am a story starter.

half.jaded
11-29-2009, 07:13 AM
Eep. You guys actually get to 20-30K?

I only get about two thousand words in before I leave.

Catharsis is the first one I've ever finished and bothered to edit. I wrote something else a while back, but I never bothered to go back after leaving it for a while. (This is why I was apprehensive of the whole leave-it-alone-for-a-week thing. I never left Catharsis alone. I just went right back to the beginning and started whacking it.)

I actually have a whole folder full of these, and a few notebooks to boot. XP

I think that if you count the starts, I have about 10 WIPs. O.O *runs around in circles asking for help*

Anyway, count me in. I'll be hanging around this thread.

Angie
11-29-2009, 07:39 AM
Welcome aboard, everyone! :D

Here's an idea, and then I'm out for the night. Why doesn't everyone pick one project you'd like to see make it to the end (and by "the end" I simply mean that the story is finished, not edited or polished -- we'll tackle those mountains later ;) ). Post a synopsis of the story so far and where you'd like to see it go. Tossing the idea out there, explaining it to someone else, can sometimes jolt your mind into creative mode and get you excited to work on that story again.

I'll post mine in the morning; I'm wiped out for tonight. ;) TTFN!

Bubastes
11-29-2009, 09:36 AM
Maybe this thread will motivate people?

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118356

Kalyke
11-29-2009, 11:32 AM
Everyone I talk to seem to cringe at the thought of outlining and plots-- preferring, I suppose, free form pulling ideas out of a hat. My work has become 100% more coherent since breaking down and using both outlines and plots. I can free-form it after I have the "bones" down. I got to the 60+ word length range by having a mundane list of "plot points" often extremely fussy, and then simply write the next one on the list day by day. Seriously, like a plot point per day, write 2-3 pages like a boring school essay, and it all comes together, brick by brick.

BigWords
11-29-2009, 11:49 AM
This may not be a common problem (hell, I've never been "normal") but I find that longer works are easier to finish than short. There are probably three hundred or so short stories I have tried to finish but never quite managed to. I mangle the endings a lot, so that plays a part - as does the need to add a few extra thousand words to everything I write. Word count isn't the problem, it's getting to the end of the story without adding more and more material. I could, if I really wanted, finish all of those short stories, but they would be novels by the time I get done.

Word Jedi
11-29-2009, 05:37 PM
I used to try to "wing-it" scoffing at the idea of outlining. No more.
One thing I did learn, fairly recently, was, "Don't write it down until you see it clearly in your mind."
Brainstorming is key, for me, anyway. It took too long for me to realize that. I thought that writing was sitting quietly until the story dropped from the sky and all I had to do was write it down.
I have also learned that there is a lot of "heavy lifting" between idea and finished product.
I made a vow that I would not give up this time. I'll be 51 in a few weeks and I've pissed away too much time already.
This website keeps me focused. I come here everyday because if I let myself down, then I've let this entire community down, too.

ChaosTitan
11-29-2009, 07:55 PM
My name is Kelly, and I'm a Recovering Story Starter. :)

I now have three partially written novels languishing in my computer. Two are over 30k, and one is about 18k. The two longest I've been playing with for two and a half years. I have folders full of ideas and characters, without any real structure or plot.

I think part of the trick to recovering from this "illness" is to keep your focus. Don't let yourself to be distracted by "Ooh, Shiny New Idea!" Keep the WIP in the forefront of your mind so your imagination doesn't wander off to new things. Give yourself a due date--I will write "The End" by March 4, 2010, or something like it--and do it.

You know you can!

Stew21
11-29-2009, 08:10 PM
And that's really what the thread is all about. Getting it done. All the tricks you use, we want to know about. Goals and progress reports, and brainstorming are all welcome here.

:)

Angie
11-29-2009, 08:30 PM
Maybe this thread will motivate people?

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118356

Neuro's thread is for people who have already finished:


Post here when you complete a long project (novels, screenplays, non-fiction projects of significant length, etc.). First drafts are okay. If it is a short story, a short non-fiction project, any flash-type writing, poem, essay, or anything of short length, post here when you submit it somewhere. This will be a testament to the self-discipline of AWers.

Please don't post here to congratulate or comment on the success of others. Use rep points for that because a completed project is certainly worthy of that recongition.

This thread has a different purpose: getting us all to that finished point. Congratulations, comments, and encouragement are welcome in this thread, as are kicks in the behinds when needed, until we get one of our many projects to completion. THEN we can confidently go post our "I'm finished!" posts in Neuro's thread.

I also want to clarify my post from last night about giving us a synopsis of your story; I don't mean you should write a story from a synopsis, I just mean give us an idea of what you'd like your story to look like when it's done. I've found that talking about a project with someone else can sometimes bring new life and energy to it and give you the extra motivation to get it to the next milestone.

JustJess
11-29-2009, 08:51 PM
Now this is my kind of thread. Hi, my name is Jessica and I'm a Story Starter.

In fact if you look at my sig you'll see that my most recent attempt ended at over 37k. I have finished two NaNos but only first drafts. I have never revised anything. As a result, no one has read anything I've written.

I currently have 4 "started" stories. In my experience, I get off to a good start, have a basic idea of where the story's going, get way off course, get frustrated, lose confidence and quit.

I really like Angie's idea:

Why doesn't everyone pick one project you'd like to see make it to the end (and by "the end" I simply mean that the story is finished, not edited or polished -- we'll tackle those mountains later ;) ). Post a synopsis of the story so far and where you'd like to see it go.

So that's my new goal-choose one story and come back to this thread to write a synopsis. I really hope others will do the same :)

Shadow_Ferret
11-29-2009, 09:50 PM
I'm Ed, and I'm a story starter.

Sure I finished 2, but one is a trunk novel. But started stories? I have one that's 70k in. 2 more that are 4 chapters in. Then I have a handful of ones that range from just a few hundred to a few thousand words.

S.J.
11-30-2009, 12:34 AM
My first two initials are S.J., and I'm a story starter (ugh).

Alan Yee
11-30-2009, 02:58 AM
Um... if it's anonymous, then why are people stating their names? ;)

Anyway, I'm a recovering story starter. My writing progress is slow because of school, but I've decided not to do what I did before--hop around to different stories when I got stuck. Now I'm making myself work on one story at a time until it is finished. In this way I am going through my backlog of unfinished short stories and completing and/or revising them.

half.jaded
11-30-2009, 03:31 AM
Tsk. I'm working on Catharsis, so I don't have any new novels to post about yet. And I'm not allowing myself to open a new blank document. It would be too shiny to resist. T.T

BUT. I will stalk this thread anyway. Carry on, people. :D

KTC
11-30-2009, 05:01 AM
if you start a story, either finish the damn thing or realize it's not going anywhere and throw it out. who cares. just move on or see it through.

JimmyB27
11-30-2009, 04:39 PM
Does it count if I start the same stories over and over again?
I tend to develop plot/characters/setting and so on as I go, and what usually happens is that I get a few thousand words in, and realise that things have changed so much, that the entire beginning is defunct now. Then I start again. And again. And again.
It has one slight bright side, in that the story as I'm working on it now is considerably stronger than the first time I started it, but still, it's a bit of a silly way to go about it.

Stew21
11-30-2009, 06:25 PM
Jimmy, I did that with my first novel. I started it, restarted it, restarted it. Then I got some great advice. Write it through to the end. Even with a beginning that no longer works, just keep writing. After you've reached the end and can clearly see the whole storyline, character arcs, etc, you can make smart choices about how to rewrite the beginning because you will have the full picture.
Once I gave myself permission to the let beginning stand until I got to the end, I wrote the story. It turned out differently than I thought it would, but I had the full perspective then to go back and rewrite what no longer worked. That was my first novel. (and while it isn't a great book, I still learned a lot about writing by getting to the end). In the second novel I finished I started and stopped a bunch of times. Great people here (KTC and NeuroFizz in particular) pushed me to get to the end. I even changed from 3rd to 1st person midway through, but kept on writing. I had to go through 4 or 5 rounds of edits to get the story where I wanted it, but I couldn't have done that if I had tried to edit before I got to the end.
I'd like to see you set a goal for yourself to not start that story again. :)

Angie
11-30-2009, 06:41 PM
if you start a story, either finish the damn thing or realize it's not going anywhere and throw it out. who cares. just move on or see it through.

Thank you for your input. This thread is about encouraging people to do just that - "finish the damn thing" as you put it.

auntybug
11-30-2009, 07:04 PM
Hmm... I guess I'm a freak. I'll man the cattle prod here. Once I start something - I do nothing else (almost including sleep) until its done. Maybe thats not a good thing, I dunno, but my characters bully me until they say its done :D

Posting for encouragement? If not, Ang - just kick mi arse & I'll delete the post ;)

Angie
11-30-2009, 07:05 PM
No, stick around, AB. Cattle prods are welcome at the proper time. ;)

Stew21
11-30-2009, 07:11 PM
AB is my word count sensei. :)

She's a writing fiend. The advice and encouragement is most welcome!

Angie
12-01-2009, 08:30 PM
Sorry to be so absent, everyone - I've got a hellishly busy week ahead. Carry on, get some goals posted so the rest of us can borrow AB's cattle prod, and I'll be back as soon as I can. ;)

KTC
12-01-2009, 08:38 PM
Thank you for your input. This thread is about encouraging people to do just that - "finish the damn thing" as you put it.

Well, I can take a bite out of that apple.

I'm crazy motivated when it comes to writing. I don't usually understand the pedestrian questions like, "What should I do?", "Where do I go next?", "Why can't I finish this?", "Why can't I see this through?" and the like.

Just write. Really...if you do have a great start that fizzles into nothingness. Letting it go is fine...flip flopping and sighing about the damn thing does no good. Let it go and move on to the next one. You write the first words, then the next words and the next words until you spit out the last word. Bing, Bang, Boom.

Then you pat yourself on the back.

It's the Shut up and write method...or SUAW.

JimmyB27
12-01-2009, 09:01 PM
Jimmy, I did that with my first novel. I started it, restarted it, restarted it. Then I got some great advice. Write it through to the end. Even with a beginning that no longer works, just keep writing. After you've reached the end and can clearly see the whole storyline, character arcs, etc, you can make smart choices about how to rewrite the beginning because you will have the full picture.
Once I gave myself permission to the let beginning stand until I got to the end, I wrote the story. It turned out differently than I thought it would, but I had the full perspective then to go back and rewrite what no longer worked. That was my first novel. (and while it isn't a great book, I still learned a lot about writing by getting to the end). In the second novel I finished I started and stopped a bunch of times. Great people here (KTC and NeuroFizz in particular) pushed me to get to the end. I even changed from 3rd to 1st person midway through, but kept on writing. I had to go through 4 or 5 rounds of edits to get the story where I wanted it, but I couldn't have done that if I had tried to edit before I got to the end.
I'd like to see you set a goal for yourself to not start that story again. :)
This is what I'm doing now, except...

Well, I can take a bite out of that apple.

I'm crazy motivated when it comes to writing. I don't usually understand the pedestrian questions like, "What should I do?", "Where do I go next?", "Why can't I finish this?", "Why can't I see this through?" and the like.

Just write. Really...if you do have a great start that fizzles into nothingness. Letting it go is fine...flip flopping and sighing about the damn thing does no good. Let it go and move on to the next one. You write the first words, then the next words and the next words until you spit out the last word. Bing, Bang, Boom.

Then you pat yourself on the back.

It's the Shut up and write method...or SUAW.
...I keep getting stuck.
KTC, I think it's great that you never get stuck. All power to you for being such a genius. But us mere mortals don't find it so easy.
'Just write it' you say, but if I don't have any idea what to write, how can I?

CheekyWench
12-01-2009, 09:07 PM
My 2nd work in progress definitely fits this bill. I started it with every intention of blasting through. I'm doggy paddling in the middle and somewhere the main character and the secondary character switched places and I don't know who's in the running to get the happily ever after... Then NaNo rolled around and I haven't looked back. (yet.)

Rhoda Nightingale
12-01-2009, 09:53 PM
Hi, I'm Laurel, and I'm a story starter. I have *quick headcount* six unfinished novels and novellas on my harddrive, more that are scribbled down in various notebooks, and two "complete" novels--those being my WIP and my NaNo, the latter of which is the ONLY thing I've ever written that actually got done in the time quota I set for it. And then there's fanfiction, which I'm not even gonna bother counting. I'm easily distracted and so is my muse. I beat her into submission while NaNo was still happening, but she's very persistent....

Bubastes
12-01-2009, 09:58 PM
'Just write it' you say, but if I don't have any idea what to write, how can I?

This may not work for everyone, but I outline my stories first to avoid getting stuck later. With the outline, I always know what I need to write next. They're like my signposts.

NeuroFizz
12-01-2009, 10:15 PM
I really, really tried to stay out of this thread. I really did. But the muse talk gets me every time. Please realize that I'm reacting to what some people said and not to those people personally or in particular. These are more general opinion statements that are directed to a body of writers.

I'm thinking of naming my anal sphincter. That way, every time I fart amongst company I can blame it on Roy.

See how pathetic that sounds?

One's muse is not a separate person or personality. It's just as much a part of y'all as my anal sphincter is part of me.

My take on the origin of the word "muse" is it came from people who couldn't quite bring themselves to call if by its real name, which is "excuse."

The first step in developing self-discipline is taking responsibility for all of your own actions. Or inactions. (Which, I think, this thread is trying to do.)

shakeysix
12-01-2009, 10:26 PM
my name is shannon. i'm a story starter but i am something worse--i'm a story leaver! as often as i start stories i finish stories--i edit and polish and then, because it is so much fun, i edit and polish again. and then i leave the completed novel or story on my hard drive and go on to start someting else. before i had a hard drive i had legal tablets. i have 4 plastic tubs of legal tablets that hold typed manuscripts and the legal tablets they are based on. they are in my basement gathering dust even as we speak. i love to write but i hate rejection.--s6

Rhoda Nightingale
12-01-2009, 10:38 PM
I really, really tried to stay out of this thread. I really did. But the muse talk gets me every time. Please realize that I'm reacting to what some people said and not to those people personally or in particular. These are more general opinion statements that are directed to a body of writers.

I'm thinking of naming my anal sphincter. That way, every time I fart amongst company I can blame it on Roy.

See how pathetic that sounds?

One's muse is not a separate person or personality. It's just as much a part of y'all as my anal sphincter is part of me.

My take on the origin of the word "muse" is it came from people who couldn't quite bring themselves to call if by its real name, which is "excuse."

The first step in developing self-discipline is taking responsibility for all of your own actions. Or inactions. (Which, I think, this thread is trying to do.)
It's just a figure of speech. I think we all know who's really responsible for whether or not our stories get finished. I certainly don't take "her" that seriously, and I doubt anyone else here does.

Stew21
12-01-2009, 10:40 PM
Shakey, My second novel has been rejected 54 times. I don't even feel it anymore. :)
But I'll feel the victory when someone accepts! :)

Neuro, I know your work requires a lot of discipline and you translate that into your fiction; my day job is also heavily deadline driven (drop-dead dates on multi-million dollar bids). I'm not lazy. I don't make excuses in my day job, but I do drive myself crazy with doing the job right. That's what hinders my progress in fiction writing. The desire to not fuck it up.

KTC
12-01-2009, 10:57 PM
Dear Mr. Jimmycrackedcornbread,


This mortal (yes, it's true. I am a mere mortal too) says, 'Fuck it', if you get stuck. Move on. Write something else. I have all these trains screaming past me. They're all pretty and sleek and divine. It's my job to jump on the prettiest one and ignore the glitz of the others as much as I can. Sometimes the glitz is just too sparkly and I jump on the wrong train...entranced by teh pretty. When that happens, I realize, 'Shit. Fuck. Crap!' I done got on the wrong train. I don't sit down and go, 'woe is me...what shall I do on this train going to nowhere. woe is me.' I just jump myself off that train and jump onto a different, more viable train.

It's weird when mortals speak in parables, ain't it.

So...the trains buzz by. You hop on the wrong one. You get off. You jump on a different one and hope for the best. Never sit on the train doing nothing, Mr. Jimmycrackedcornbread. You just jump off the dead trains and grab the next live one going by. They are endless. You'll find the train that's right for you. You don't even need a ticket. You just get on and YOU WRITE. LIKE YOUR FACE IS ON FIRE.

I have spoken.

KTC
12-01-2009, 11:03 PM
I really, really tried to stay out of this thread. I really did. But the muse talk gets me every time. Please realize that I'm reacting to what some people said and not to those people personally or in particular. These are more general opinion statements that are directed to a body of writers.

I'm thinking of naming my anal sphincter. That way, every time I fart amongst company I can blame it on Roy.

See how pathetic that sounds?

One's muse is not a separate person or personality. It's just as much a part of y'all as my anal sphincter is part of me.

My take on the origin of the word "muse" is it came from people who couldn't quite bring themselves to call if by its real name, which is "excuse."

The first step in developing self-discipline is taking responsibility for all of your own actions. Or inactions. (Which, I think, this thread is trying to do.)


I am my muse. There is nobody out there outside of me. I take 100% credit for my creativity. I'm too selfish to share the credit/blame.

Mr Flibble
12-01-2009, 11:06 PM
This mortal (yes, it's true. I am a mere mortal too) says, 'Fuck it', if you get stuck. Move on. Write something else.

Or alternatively ( not to say KTC's wrong, just that it doesn't work for everyone)

When we say just write, we mean Just. Write.

A letter to yourself. A letter to your character. A little paragraph about how the cat coughing up furballs makes you feel ill.

I shall tell you a little story, about a novel called Ragtime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragtime_%28novel%29).

The writer didn't know what to write, He was blocked. Completely. One day he got so fed up of having nothing to write and staring at the wall he started writing about the wall. Yah, really.And then as he wrote, words came. Not a novel, but words. So he wrote about the wall, then the house, then the street. Then he started to write about what the street was like when it was built and then....and then this turned into Ragtime.

Just. Write. Just get your fingers moving, one word at a time. The first ones are hard, yes, but if you keep going, even if it's crap ( or if you're serious f*ing bullheaded like me) you'll keep going. And then, Lo! Here comes a sentence that makes you think 'hang on, I can use that' and then another and then another and woooosh! you're off.

And you know what? For me, these often end up being the best parts of my stories. The ones I didn't see coming but just dripped out of my brain through my fingers.

KTC
12-01-2009, 11:15 PM
More in line with what teh idiot is saying, ages and ages ago I wrote an article on how to get your characters to speak. It's here...front page of the PDF newsletter in the link:

Dear Diary (http://www.wcdr.org/wordweaver/wwjunejuly2004.pdf)

Mr Flibble
12-01-2009, 11:18 PM
But the muse talk gets me every time.

I only write when the muse is with me. I chain it to the PC every day when I sit down and I make that bastard sing like a canary.


The more you write, the more your muse will love you. The less you write, the more the muse will look for someone else to have an affair with.

So write!

NeuroFizz
12-01-2009, 11:25 PM
It's just a figure of speech. I think we all know who's really responsible for whether or not our stories get finished. I certainly don't take "her" that seriously, and I doubt anyone else here does.
But it's metaphoric for a larger symptom of writers who have trouble finishing their projects. Work gets in the way of writing, the kids get in the way of writing, house duties get in the way of writing, our gout gets in the way of writing. Yes, these are legit problems, but they are elevated to excuses if the writer can start multiple projects but finish none. There are writers out there who have jobs and kids and house duties and gout, and yet they regularly finish their projects. So my whole post was dealing with excuses using the mythical muse as an absurd example (there are people here who do treat it like a person, though). The message is in the last paragraph--about taking responsibility to build self-discipline. If the post hurts anyone's feelings, I'm sorry for that. But the message isn't in the literal presentation.

And the other side of the muse thing is for the multitude of new writers for whom this writing business needs to be de-mystified in part or in whole. Writing requires effort and concentration and persistence. At times it's hard work, and this is where and when the mystical approach fails to carry many new and developing writers through the tough spots. It's too easy to jump to a new, shiny, and fun idea (until, of course, that one gets a little tough as well).

I will add that some people can make those jumps and still finish some, most or even all of their projects (Kevin is an example). But the true test is simple. It only has one question. Are you finishing what you start? If the answer is yes, carry on to the next step which is editing/polishing and getting it ready for submission. Finally, submit and forget*.

*Forget doesn't mean to forget about the project, it means re-direct your attention to your next project instead of wasting the next six months agonizing about the responses to the first project. If you "forget" you may well have another project to submit at the end of that six months, at which time you can collect all the feedback from project #1 and go after appropriate modifications.

Stew21
12-01-2009, 11:32 PM
Dear Mr. Jimmycrackedcornbread,


This mortal (yes, it's true. I am a mere mortal too) says, 'Fuck it', if you get stuck. Move on. Write something else. I have all these trains screaming past me. They're all pretty and sleek and divine. It's my job to jump on the prettiest one and ignore the glitz of the others as much as I can. Sometimes the glitz is just too sparkly and I jump on the wrong train...entranced by teh pretty. When that happens, I realize, 'Shit. Fuck. Crap!' I done got on the wrong train. I don't sit down and go, 'woe is me...what shall I do on this train going to nowhere. woe is me.' I just jump myself off that train and jump onto a different, more viable train.

It's weird when mortals speak in parables, ain't it.

So...the trains buzz by. You hop on the wrong one. You get off. You jump on a different one and hope for the best. Never sit on the train doing nothing, Mr. Jimmycrackedcornbread. You just jump off the dead trains and grab the next live one going by. They are endless. You'll find the train that's right for you. You don't even need a ticket. You just get on and YOU WRITE. LIKE YOUR FACE IS ON FIRE.

I have spoken.

You know what I find so awesome about this? :) Giving permission to hop projects as long as you land on one you can finish.
Interesting considering so many of us are beating ourselves over the heads for not being able to finish them. I suppose what you mean is to finish the right projects.

KTC
12-01-2009, 11:40 PM
You know what I find so awesome about this? :) Giving permission to hop projects as long as you land on one you can finish.
Interesting considering so many of us are beating ourselves over the heads for not being able to finish them. I suppose what you mean is to finish the right projects.

Yes, Trish. I know...there's a load of silliness between my words these days. I'm feeling a bit elated over my impending Kenyan trip...being a bit flippy. And flippant. But, yes...that's what I mean. Give yourself permission to move on. Start again.

NeuroFizz
12-01-2009, 11:53 PM
You know what I find so awesome about this? Giving permission to hop projects as long as you land on one you can finish.
Interesting considering so many of us are beating ourselves over the heads for not being able to finish them. I suppose what you mean is to finish the right projects.
This is a good approach for those who can actually finish some of their projects. It's a disastrous one for those who use this "permission" as an excuse to jump to a new project when the one they are working on hits a tough spot and requires some of the hard work of writing. It allows development of perhaps the most insidious bad habit of new and developing writers--jumping to new projects without finishing any. Again, people who can work this way and finish their projects don't have a problem. Anyone who has tried this approach and finds they are having trouble finishing their projects (which I thought this thread was all about) might want to reconsider using that approach. I would think this "permission to jump stories" is something that should be earned--by first demonstrarting that one has the self-discipline to finish some of their projects. It's worth a try, which again, I assume everyone posting here has already done (by the nature and flavor of this thread).

If something isn't working for you, more of the same probably won't make the situation any better.

Stew21
12-01-2009, 11:56 PM
I agree with you, Rich. There is a challenge there for discipline to know the kind of issue one has with the act of "finishing the job". If it's hanging too long on something not worth finishing, then the approach is wonderful. If it's not being able to ever finish something, and the problem is already hopping from one to the next, then it just enables the behavior.

KTC
12-02-2009, 12:00 AM
I finish about 98% of my projects.

quickWit
12-02-2009, 12:02 AM
I finish about 98% of my projects.

What do you want, a f*cking cookie? :D

Stew21
12-02-2009, 12:06 AM
Which is why that approach is so good for you and the way you write.

Over the course of a couple of years I have started I'll guess 4 novels that I didn't finish. Those aren't the only ones, but they were special, because recently I realized that they were all really the same story. I was restarting the same story over and over again - different character - sometimes male sometimes female, different character names, different character age. I realized recently it's all the same story...just in pieces and various stages of undone. I was starting it wrong. It wasn't formed yet. So I'm in the process of quilting the thing together and have come to a reasonable story line for these four story-starts that are really the same thing. To have abandoned the same project 4 times seems extreme, but at the time I thought they were different projects. Since it isn't an approach I've ever taken I've gone about it slowly, but it is going.
Because it is so different for me and how I usually work, I'm using that project as my focus for this thread. The intention is to make myself hit the end of it. I'm going to do some progress reports and brainstorming here in hopes that I figure my way through the process on this one.

NeuroFizz
12-02-2009, 12:08 AM
I finish about 98% of my projects.
I know this, Kevin, and I've already blown that horn for you.

But what about everyone else here? What about those who make up the majority of the difference between the 52 posts and the 517 views of the thread? The people who lurk but don't post likely include many people who can benefit from our comments, our opinions, and our advice. Many of our comments should be aimed at those who want to learn about writing but who haven't yet posted at AW or in this thread.

Angie
12-02-2009, 12:12 AM
I think it's also useful to note that this thread wasn't started with the intention of being the All Powerful One And Only Way To Do Things. Those who've posted in here admit to being too flighty and jumping from one project to another and (I hope) want to stop doing that. Sometimes it takes being accountable to someone other than yourself to do that, at least at first until you develop good habits. If you have that discipline already, great. We'd love your butt-kicking and encouragement to get us to that point, as long as you do it in a civil way.

NeuroFizz
12-02-2009, 12:13 AM
Tell me what has been un-civil about my posts.

Angie
12-02-2009, 12:21 AM
I didn't say there was anything un-civil about your posts. I'm simply asking that it stay that way. I really want this to be a positive environment. I didn't accuse anyone of anything.

Stew21
12-02-2009, 12:27 AM
Okay, I'm going to start on the work part of this thread.
My most recent project focus and goals:
Edison St. James has known his whole life that he is going to die at the age of sixty. The story takes place at three major points in his life. The part I call "Collections" when he is 8 years old and get taken away from his mother by his grandfather to go live in along the banks of the Mississippi River, "Hot Coals" is the part as a young adult with the woman he loves, and finally the unnamed part three, on returning home at 59 to go to his birthday party.
The story is told from the POV of his best friend from when he was 8, the girlfriend when he was a teen/young adult and the three of them, Edison, Rachel and Tyson - all three for the final part.

Edison has always known he was going to die at that age but he wants to be sure to live before he does.
My goals for the story: because the story is subtle, I need to determine some set plot points. I have specific themes in mind and I'd like to bring them about as tactfully as possible. Starting a story with a theme and a character seems a bit dangerous. Solid plot points are going to be the biggest issue here. I'm winging it on a premise.
My goals for the writing: words - it doesn't matter how many - a DAY. something each day.
It starts today.

What I need help with:
I like to bounce ideas. It keeps me energized. I hope you all don't mind if I request some brainstorming from time to time.

and because one of my biggest problems is being overwhelmed - sometimes I feel I set my writing standards higher than I can achieve - I see it and want it to be perfect, recognize that I'm the only one that can screw it up, and pull back from it. I don't want to screw it up. I'll probably need the occasional reminder to write crap and fix it later. I had the same problem with my previous completed novels.

Okay...who's next?

Tell us why you have trouble finishing (you have to know what kind of "can't finish it" problem you have)
Pick a project.
Set a goal.
How can we help?

Stew21
12-02-2009, 12:29 AM
Tell me what has been un-civil about my posts.

I don't think that was her intention, Rich.

Your advice is welcome and appreciated.

Jamesaritchie
12-02-2009, 12:42 AM
Since day one, I've been a firm believer in Heinlein's Rules For Writing. I was lucky to have them pointed out to me, and even luckier to have a pro writer tell me that not following these rules was almost certain disaster. So I've always followed them. I may have false starts before getting it right, but I always finish what I start.

HEINLEIN'S RULES FOR WRITING

1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.


I think Robert J. Sawyer explains them perfectly. http://www.sfwriter.com/ow05.htm

Mr Flibble
12-02-2009, 01:13 AM
and because one of my biggest problems is being overwhelmed - sometimes I feel I set my writing standards higher than I can achieve - I see it and want it to be perfect, recognize that I'm the only one that can screw it up, and pull back from it. I don't want to screw it up. I'll probably need the occasional reminder to write crap and fix it later.

Print this out and stick it to your monitor

First, get it written

THEN get it right.

In other words it's not necessarily the writing that needs to be perfect. It can all come together in the REwriting. It's not finished till you say it is, and it doesn't need to be perfect until you want to sub it.

KTC
12-02-2009, 01:28 AM
What do you want, a f*cking cookie? :D

I'm always accepting cookies. So, yes.

quickWit
12-02-2009, 01:30 AM
Cookies are for closers only.

KTC
12-02-2009, 01:35 AM
I know this, Kevin, and I've already blown that horn for you.

But what about everyone else here? What about those who make up the majority of the difference between the 52 posts and the 517 views of the thread? The people who lurk but don't post likely include many people who can benefit from our comments, our opinions, and our advice. Many of our comments should be aimed at those who want to learn about writing but who haven't yet posted at AW or in this thread.

Fair enough. When I did suggest that way, I was not suggesting they do it as another means of procrastination. But you are right...for those who do find ways to stall, procrastinate, lose focus...it would be a bad alternative. I really don't know the meaning of the word procrastinate. I always have about 19 irons in the fire...it's how I cope with the extreme energy I have. I don't always take all the factors into consideration. I do say leave it, go on to something else...but of course, I don't want people to play leap frog and have even more unfinished projects piling up behind them. That would be adding to the problem, not subtracting from it. So...I will adjust that advice for those who would just sink further into the 'starter' cycle. Don't jump from one thing to another as an excuse...

For me, I know when something I started is fizzling. I started one about a month ago. I had this woman in my head and I thought she was the train to board...but after only about 40 pages I realized she wasn't interested in telling me her complete story. I disembarked and I'm now on another train and traveling at a steady clip towards the destination.

So...take my previous train logic with a pinch of salt and a modicum of caution.

KTC
12-02-2009, 02:20 AM
I didn't say there was anything un-civil about your posts. I'm simply asking that it stay that way. I really want this to be a positive environment. I didn't accuse anyone of anything.

i posted a link to an article i wrote a few years ago...in the hopes that it may help someone out. i hope it balances out my 'shut up and write' posts. (-;

Cassiopeia
12-02-2009, 04:02 AM
I really, really tried to stay out of this thread. I really did. But the muse talk gets me every time. Please realize that I'm reacting to what some people said and not to those people personally or in particular. These are more general opinion statements that are directed to a body of writers.

I'm thinking of naming my anal sphincter. That way, every time I fart amongst company I can blame it on Roy.

See how pathetic that sounds?

One's muse is not a separate person or personality. It's just as much a part of y'all as my anal sphincter is part of me.

My take on the origin of the word "muse" is it came from people who couldn't quite bring themselves to call if by its real name, which is "excuse."

The first step in developing self-discipline is taking responsibility for all of your own actions. Or inactions. (Which, I think, this thread is trying to do.)
I don't believe in "muses". I believe in ideas and motivations. If you're ideas aren't coming, then you can't very well be motivated.

I really do believe that NaNo has changed my way of writing. I say write it from start to finish no matter where it takes you even if it deviates and when it's all done, let it sit for a bit.

I've got lots of ideas blooming in my head now about my NaNo. Ways to fix it. So I just jot them down and go about my day. I won't forget because I've written the story.

I hereby promise from this day forth to stop editing as I go along with my novels and will only think about that part of it once it's done. Then I'll tackle my loathing of editing.

Swordswoman
12-02-2009, 04:19 AM
Hi, I'm Louise, and I'm a recovered story-starter. I had a filing cabinet full of ideas, outlines and first few chapters before I finally had the idea that motored me all the way to the end.

As an ex S.S. I felt I'd be a fraud to post in this thread, but then I saw this:



Edison St. James has known his whole life that he is going to die at the age of sixty.

For one thing, this is a totally fantastic premise, and I want like anything for Trish to get on and write it so I can read it.

For another, it has chilling similarities to the kind of thing that ended up in my filing cabinet, and it might just be helpful to me as much as anyone else to think why.

I think it's this:
You already know the ending. You don't just know it once, you know it three times, because of the three-part story structure. Working like this makes it unbelievably hard to finish anything, because you're automatically deprived of the joyous rush of narrative that comes steaming out of your fingers day after day in the desperate drive to find out what happens next. You already know. You've had the concept and it's perfect - how can writing it make it any better?

That may not be your problem at all, Trish, in which case please ignore me - but it was certainly a very big part of mine. My unfinished pieces all have the most perfect shape, but writing them would really have been almost a chore.

I'm not advocating the total 'pantster' thing, and that certainly doesn't work for me. I need at least a sense of the main arcs and overall structure before I start, but the difference now is that I give myself permission to ditch the whole plan the minute something more interesting comes along. Instead of jumping to write another story, I allow myself to change this one. My present WIP is (I think) going to hit the original ending I planned for it, but it's gone by a wildly different route than the one I expected.

It may not help anyone, but I thought I'd chuck it in anyway.

Louise

Word Jedi
12-02-2009, 04:52 AM
Neuro grabbed me by the hair and kicked my ass about a year or so ago. I never forgot it. I never completely gave up on my novel, although there were tough times to get through personally.
I have a wacky job that is stress driven as all hell (whose job isn't) and that takes it toll.
I'm outlining this novel now, instead of winging-it. I feel much better about it. I'm getting to the point where the characters are speaking out loud and they're walking, too.
The theme is bubbling to the surface. The character arc is becoming clearer.

LOG
12-02-2009, 05:11 AM
I'm JJM(LOG), and I have 2 full notebooks of story dribbles and I'm working on a third...

raburrell
12-02-2009, 05:35 AM
Can someone start a thread for betas of people who should be SSA members? Betanon? Love my crit partner dearly, but this is her to a 'T'. She gets 20k into a story, then poof, decides she's stuck and off to a new idea she goes and nothing I say helps. I've been lurking in here, hoping to find solutions others have found that help them stick to a story from start to finish. (I know, not my problem, but she's done quite a bit for me and I try to return my favors where I can) I'm going to keep checking in here.



What I need help with:
I like to bounce ideas. It keeps me energized. I hope you all don't mind if I request some brainstorming from time to time.

Stew, I think the post I grabbed this from had a lot of great ideas in it - would be happy to help.

Stew21
12-02-2009, 09:02 AM
Cookies are for closers only.

Which is why i intend to close this deal. I. Want. Cookies.



For me, I know when something I started is fizzling. I started one about a month ago. I had this woman in my head and I thought she was the train to board...but after only about 40 pages I realized she wasn't interested in telling me her complete story. I disembarked and I'm now on another train and traveling at a steady clip towards the destination.

So...take my previous train logic with a pinch of salt and a modicum of caution.
Thanks for this. I know the woman on that train - in fact, my last false start was THAT WOMAN ...she also happened to be on a train.


I know...what're the chances. she really was. I'll show you the story...

freaky.

Hi, I'm Louise, and I'm a recovered story-starter. I had a filing cabinet full of ideas, outlines and first few chapters before I finally had the idea that motored me all the way to the end.

As an ex S.S. I felt I'd be a fraud to post in this thread, but then I saw this:



For one thing, this is a totally fantastic premise, and I want like anything for Trish to get on and write it so I can read it.

For another, it has chilling similarities to the kind of thing that ended up in my filing cabinet, and it might just be helpful to me as much as anyone else to think why.

I think it's this:
You already know the ending. You don't just know it once, you know it three times, because of the three-part story structure. Working like this makes it unbelievably hard to finish anything, because you're automatically deprived of the joyous rush of narrative that comes steaming out of your fingers day after day in the desperate drive to find out what happens next. You already know. You've had the concept and it's perfect - how can writing it make it any better?

That may not be your problem at all, Trish, in which case please ignore me - but it was certainly a very big part of mine. My unfinished pieces all have the most perfect shape, but writing them would really have been almost a chore.

I'm not advocating the total 'pantster' thing, and that certainly doesn't work for me. I need at least a sense of the main arcs and overall structure before I start, but the difference now is that I give myself permission to ditch the whole plan the minute something more interesting comes along. Instead of jumping to write another story, I allow myself to change this one. My present WIP is (I think) going to hit the original ending I planned for it, but it's gone by a wildly different route than the one I expected.

It may not help anyone, but I thought I'd chuck it in anyway.

Louise

Your post nearly made me cry, Louise. :) Sent you the rep. Yep...Total pantser here and completely out of my element with the three pov thing and what's in my head has to be divided into 80,000 individual words. Why do I feel like I'm shaving off the corners of square pegs to get them to fit into round holes.
Yes! Because I'm a panster and I've never done it this way before.

Damn. It.

so thank you. Your post 'got me' more than I thought one could.



Can someone start a thread for betas of people who should be SSA members? Betanon? Love my crit partner dearly, but this is her to a 'T'. She gets 20k into a story, then poof, decides she's stuck and off to a new idea she goes and nothing I say helps. I've been lurking in here, hoping to find solutions others have found that help them stick to a story from start to finish. (I know, not my problem, but she's done quite a bit for me and I try to return my favors where I can) I'm going to keep checking in here.


Stew, I think the post I grabbed this from had a lot of great ideas in it - would be happy to help.

I. love. this. thread.

:)

half.jaded
12-02-2009, 05:22 PM
I'm not a pantster. oO


Does this make me different from the other people on this thread? I hope not.

I'm odd. I need outlines to write, yet I can't ever write outlines until I've tried to write the beginning about a bazillion times and failed every single time.

And even then I can't outline. T.T

Catharsis I managed to outline only because I had someone to bounce ideas with. (THAT and Catharsis was really, really easy to outline since everyday was significant.) But now my best pal is convinced that she would rather READ my stories than hear my ideas because she said knowing the ideas killed the excitement of reading them. *panic*

Angie
12-02-2009, 05:47 PM
Catharsis I managed to outline only because I had someone to bounce ideas with.

That's part of the purpose of this thread. You can bounce your ideas off of us - or, if you'd rather not do it in an open thread, give one of us a shout and you can bounce ideas off of one of us privately. I know exactly how you feel - I work better if I can brainstorm with someone too. ;)

Stew21
12-03-2009, 07:20 PM
Progress report:

I've added 400-ish words to the story.

:)

I'll keep updating progress and look to you guys for brainstorming in the coming days.

In the meantime: other story starters looking to go into recovery need to set some goals and take some steps.

let's see it!

raburrell
12-03-2009, 07:35 PM
Yay Stew! 400 words is a good start...

After making the post above declaring my CP is the one with the problem, now I'm wondering if I have a touch of it myself. I have one story now that I'm considering abandoning for the time being. I'm trying to decide whether it's a confidence problem, a motivation problem, or a problem with the actual story, so I find myself wanting to go back and make more revisions to my first story, which is my security blanket.
A goal? Find some objectivity and quit obsessing. No more than twenty minutes a day on the old story either.

Stew21
12-03-2009, 07:44 PM
So why don't you tell us about the story you're hung up on, the one you want to abandon and see if we can't figure out what the hold up is? Maybe you need a little brainstorming to see the story's potential. Maybe we'll discover its an enthusiasm or motivation problem and will be able to pump you up. Maybe we'll see its a confidence problem and give you a butt-kicking to just write. :)

Go ahead...tell us about it. We'll work on it together.

raburrell
12-03-2009, 08:43 PM
Hi Stew - the story is about a female physician/aid worker in the West Bank and her husband, both hugely idealistic people, and what happens when they're basically forced to choose between their ideals and their marriage. Well, she's given the choice, he's not.

I'm leaving out a lot of the details, but at the start of the story, another Intifada kicks off, and she comes into possession of some information that could save a lot of lives, but she has to put herself in a lot of danger to do it. He puts his foot down and says no. She's desperately trying to make everybody happy, mistakenly helps the wrong person, and... boom. Shin Bet ends up arresting her, telling her husband she's dead, and that kicks off the rest of the story. It's sortof Indiana Jones meets La Femma Nikita.

Part of the problem is I can't decide what I'm writing. There are too many explosions and dead bodies for it to be romance, and probably too much romance for it to be a suspense/thriller. I'm used to writing the 'atmosphere' of a paranormal, and I think without it, the writing in this one is flat. Feh.

NeuroFizz
12-03-2009, 09:01 PM
Yay Stew! 400 words is a good start...

After making the post above declaring my CP is the one with the problem, now I'm wondering if I have a touch of it myself. I have one story now that I'm considering abandoning for the time being. I'm trying to decide whether it's a confidence problem, a motivation problem, or a problem with the actual story, so I find myself wanting to go back and make more revisions to my first story, which is my security blanket.
A goal? Find some objectivity and quit obsessing. No more than twenty minutes a day on the old story either.
Serious question...why don't you just finish the first story? Get it done, get it edited, get it beta-read, get it polished, and submit it. Get it off the desk. Using one project as a security blanket for other projects makes me think that you are not that serious about finshing any of them. When you use the "security blanket" approach, that means (to me at least) that every time writing gets tough on one of the other projects (which is when you need to buckle down and write through the difficult parts) you jump to your security project. But why is that a security project? If it is that easy and desirable a project, does it benefit you to NOT finish it due to its role in your overall writing program? You are certainly not alone in this. Many of us have worked through the same thing. The gratification and sense of accomplishment of completing a project can create a positive-feedback effect on one's writing, as a motivational tool and a pathway for the next steps--editing and submission.

You guys probably all think I'm this whip-snapping ogre, but I say what I say because I know AW is full of wonderfully creative people. Y'all have great ideas for stories, and I want to read them. But the only way I'm going to be able to read your stories (and give you a sale) is if you finish them and get them out there. But jumping from story to story without finishing and submitting any of them means your creativity and your great ideas remain invisible. I am extremely proud of all accomplishments of our AW colleagues, proud of the accomplishments of this community. And I'm proud for what some people have to overcome to achieve in this business. I want to sit in the sun at the local beach and read your stories. Finish them, please.

Angie
12-03-2009, 11:00 PM
I don't think you're an ogre, and I hope you'll continue to feel welcome being our whip-snapping butt-kicker, because I know that sometimes that's needed.

Raburrell: I agree with Neuro on this one - if you're constantly drawn to revisions on your first story, why not finish that first? Maybe it's time to get the security blanket done and out the door so you can actually concentrate on the new story. I say this from experience, because the first novel I ever attempted wound up lingering for Five. Freaking. Years. on my hard drive, and I was constantly drawn back to it. I changed the plotline and the opening countless times before I finally realized one day that the story was going NOWHERE and was distracting me from anything else I tried to write. I stored it on a CD because I didn't have the heart to completely delete something that had been on my mind for so long, but I did delete it from my hard drive and have forced myself not to look at it again. The characters were compelling to me, but as I think Kevin mentioned about one of his stories, the characters were unwilling to tell me their story.

raburrell
12-04-2009, 12:06 AM
Serious question...why don't you just finish the first story? Get it done, get it edited, get it beta-read, get it polished, and submit it.
Sigh. All that's done, actually, minus the submission on any reasonable scale. I've had some terrific, hard-nosed beta readers who've worked with me to make sure the story is as good as it can be. But there are always tweaks that could be made and second-guessing to be done. It's the endpoint to that process that seems to elude me. As my sig indicates, I'm a little terrified to actually submit - that I do need to get over. I will. Promise. So no, you're not an ogre, Neuro. I'm just a wimp.

Next?

Swordswoman
12-04-2009, 03:55 AM
I've had some terrific, hard-nosed beta readers who've worked with me to make sure the story is as good as it can be. But there are always tweaks that could be made and second-guessing to be done. It's the endpoint to that process that seems to elude me. As my sig indicates, I'm a little terrified to actually submit - that I do need to get over. I will. Promise. So no, you're not an ogre, Neuro. I'm just a wimp.


You are NOT a wimp. You had one particularly snotty beta reader who tried to push you in a direction that wasn't right for the book, and I think you're still feeling residual doubts as to whether she mightn't have been right.

Well, she wasn't. She thinks the book as it stands right now is fantastic, and you were 100% right to trust your instinct and write your book your way. That beta is from the UK, the market is different there, and everyone of your US betas thinks your book is ready to submit. Trust them, trust yourself and shove that query in a post box. NOW.

As for the second story, don't even think about shelving it - just simmer on it instead. You are 99.9999% there with that plot, and it will only take one nanosecond for that last little link to fall into place. Once it does, no-one on AW or anywhere else will be able to stop you writing.

Something I've found helpful when I'm stuck on something like this is to actually forbid myself to write. Tell yourself you are not allowed to write a word for (say) three days. Do other things, get ready for Christmas, clean house (!) and see what happens. I warn you, the results of this one can be explosive...

But you don't give up on it, it's far too good for that.
So there.

Louise, aka the Snotty Beta Reader

PS As for the paranormal, I've had a thought about that. PM will follow shortly...

Cassiopeia
12-04-2009, 04:07 AM
I'll tell you all something about Fizzy. Last march- april as a semester was drawing to a close, I mentioned in a thread how I just wanted to give up. That I couldn't take it anymore. That maybe school just wasn't for me. And you know, I got the kindest rep from Fizzy. Something to the effect that I needed to power on through it and he knew I could make it.

Well I got an A in that math class and for me that's huge. He may not say things the most flowery way but he loves all of us and really wants us to succeed. You'll never find someone more willing to be there for you when you are doing your level best and needing help.

Stew21
12-04-2009, 04:30 AM
I know what you mean Cass (and I also don't think anyone is doubting it), Mr. Fizzy is one of the primary "pushers" (along with KTC as stated in earlier post) to see me to the end of my last completed novel. KTC was a beta for me on it.

"just write, Trish"
"keep going"
"don't know what the next scene is going to bring? who cares! write it."

I owe them enormous huge awesome thanks!

Cassiopeia
12-04-2009, 04:39 AM
I know what you mean Cass (and I also don't think anyone is doubting it), Mr. Fizzy is one of the primary "pushers" (along with KTC as stated in earlier post) to see me to the end of my last completed novel. KTC was a beta for me on it.

"just write, Trish"
"keep going"
"don't know what the next scene is going to bring? who cares! write it."

I owe them enormous huge awesome thanks!I don't think anyone else is. I'm just giving old fuzzy one a sneaky shout out. ;) (Ut oh, I just used an emoticon, quick Trish, ban me!)

No, I was joking about thaaaaaaaaaaaa.....

raburrell
12-04-2009, 05:16 AM
Louise, thanks - will PM you in a bit :) Yes, you pushed me in a direction I didn't necessarily want to go, but *puts on geek hat* it forced me to think about where I did want to go, and I'm very happy with the resultant vector.

On that note, a salute to the pushers of AW - often a thankless job that does make them feel like ogres, but we who need it, appreciate them :)

Becky, the hapless emoticon addict.
ps - Clean house? *Gasp* That's what my husband is for ;)

half.jaded
12-05-2009, 06:14 AM
Bwahahaha. I know what's wrong with my SNI now.

Stupid MC doesn't have any goal. She's limp and reactive. *kicks MC to the curb*

I will find a new MC for this SNI. But I still need a motive. *sigh*

Ahem.

raburrell
12-05-2009, 08:26 AM
Progress report: In service of getting it off my desk as suggested, I posted a revision to my query letter for my binkie story, which seems well received.
Also wrote a 600-word side smut scene for the new story, which probably shouldn't see the light of day, but I had fun doing it. :)

jodiodi
12-05-2009, 10:47 AM
While I have finished 5 'trunk' novels, I haven't been able to finish anything since the last of those was completed in 2005. When I wrote them, I was immensely inspired.

Now? I get an idea, start it, then run out of steam, lose interest--whatever it is that stops me from writing. I've lost count of how many stories I've started and left by the wayside.

Often, I'll start something, be really excited about the idea, then discover a published book has already used the idea. As a result, I delete everything and cry for a while, lose interest and become depressed. Which, of course, leads to a complete inability to write anything.

Then, I'll get inspired, start something, find out it's been done, and the whole cycle starts again.

I apparently lack the ability to write anything 'first'. Someone has always taken the idea and done much more with it than I could.

That's why I've pretty much given up on my writing. I've got nothing left to sacrifice on the altar of my silly childhood dreams.

erinbee
12-06-2009, 08:49 AM
Hi, I'm Erin, and I'm a story starter as well.

And...I really will need support to stick to the story I've restarted for the nth time. I'm glad this thread is here, because I'm determined to see it through.

Cassiopeia
12-06-2009, 09:02 AM
Hi, I'm Erin, and I'm a story starter as well.

And...I really will need support to stick to the story I've restarted for the nth time. I'm glad this thread is here, because I'm determined to see it through.Is it the same story?

erinbee
12-06-2009, 09:29 AM
Is it the same story?

Yup. But I think I figured out a new way to tell it, honed in a bit more on the character. So...now that I've started, I'm sticking it through.

Cassiopeia
12-06-2009, 09:35 AM
Yup. But I think I figured out a new way to tell it, honed in a bit more on the character. So...now that I've started, I'm sticking it through.
okay so I'm going to nag you now. :D don't look back. No editing now until you are done, to the finish line with ye!

erinbee
12-06-2009, 09:40 AM
okay so I'm going to nag you now. :D don't look back. No editing now until you are done, to the finish line with ye!

OH SHIT!!! :D

I wrote 561 words today. So...off I go...

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
12-06-2009, 09:50 AM
I'm HipHop, and I'm a story starter.

Fizzy has already done an excellent job of kicking my butt in my watercooler thread about losing focus due to a recent move. So I completely finished an outline the other day, and did about 3 pages during our honking snowstorm here yesterday. At this point, ANYTHING I can get down to get me back into the habit of writing is good.

Right now I have two that I've got really good starts to. They're like children, and you really shouldn't show favoritism to children, but in this case I really need to pick one to concentrate on and just DO it.

I love historical stuff, so that's most of what I write too. One that I'm working on takes place around the Finger Lakes, NY around the time of World War I, and deals with a botched abortion and the fallout from it. It wraps up in the 1980s.

The other one is around the early 1950s in the suburbs outside Chicago of a girl and her family. Her mother is found dead, her father remarries, and years later, after her family has been utterly destroyed, she discovers what really happened to her mother.

Kalyke
12-06-2009, 09:52 AM
I've had serious problems for 2 years, and actually, up to 7 years. I am happy to say I have 5 nearly finished novels that I am sitting on. The reason I have not finished is that I don't know how. Just telling a person to get off her ass and do it does not give any useful information. I think that the best answer was left in another thread-- that is to question "why" everything is happening.

I come down to "no one cares" in my own writing. I really wish I could engage family and friends but reading something that is more than a page is very difficult. I was not raised around people who love to read. I have really not been supported in my writing. It is a very easy leap to saying I don't care either-- but I do.

Priene
12-06-2009, 09:53 AM
I apparently lack the ability to write anything 'first'.

There are very few original ideas left in novels. Tens of thousands are still published every year.



Someone has always taken the idea and done much more with it than I could.

That's just throwing in the towel before you start. How do you know how far you'll develop if you never let yourself finish your books?


That's why I've pretty much given up on my writing. I've got nothing left to sacrifice on the altar of my silly childhood dreams.

The people who'll get to decide whether those dreams happen are agents and editors. You're kicking your own head in long before they've seen your book.


Then, I'll get inspired
I was immensely inspired

Inspiration will give you the idea for your book and its first few pages. Determination, work ethic and process will get you to the end.

Priene
12-06-2009, 10:05 AM
I've had serious problems for 2 years, and actually, up to 7 years. I am happy to say I have 5 nearly finished novels that I am sitting on. The reason I have not finished is that I don't know how.

There's writing a book, and then there's the process of how to write the book. You need to work on the latter, and to do that you need to work out what exactly your weakness is. Maybe, having done the first draft, you need to write an outline to establish what needs rewriting. Maybe you should print out your MS, cut it into scenes, or even paragraphs, and sort them into the required order. If there's a missing bit, you'll know what needs adding.


I come down to "no one cares" in my own writing. I really wish I could engage family and friends but reading something that is more than a page is very difficult. I was not raised around people who love to read. I have really not been supported in my writing.

Wrong. You care. Having supportive family members would be great, though I've never had any myself. Whose opinion on the importance of writing matters more -- your own, or your family's?

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
12-06-2009, 10:08 AM
Wrong. You care. Having supportive family members would be great, though I've never had any myself. Whose opinion on the importance of writing matters more -- your own, or your family's?

Priene's right. If they don't like reading, then why would their critique be important in the first place? They wouldn't know good literature, not having read much of it. Right?

Just keep writing. We can try to encourage each other.

Cassiopeia
12-06-2009, 10:46 AM
Wrong. You care. Having supportive family members would be great, though I've never had any myself. Whose opinion on the importance of writing matters more -- your own, or your family's?It's not quite that simple. We do care what others think about our writing or we wouldn't be on this board showing it and getting help.

While we do need confidence and have our opinion matter most, we also can't be so arrogant that we think ours is the only one that matters.

It's a fine balance.

jodiodi
12-06-2009, 11:53 AM
That's just throwing in the towel before you start. How do you know how far you'll develop if you never let yourself finish your books?

I've finished at least five; queried and been rejected so much I've lost count over the past several years. I've rewritten, revised, resubmitted and still, nothing.


The people who'll get to decide whether those dreams happen are agents and editors. You're kicking your own head in long before they've seen your book.

They've seen several of them. They don't want them.

Inspiration will give you the idea for your book and its first few pages. Determination, work ethic and process will get you to the end.

I've completed at least five books. I think I've used up all my creativity on them. Apparently, my best efforts aren't good enough.

All I've ever wanted to do was be a writer, even when I pursued other careers. I've been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil and learned how to spell.

At this stage in my life, however, I've realized I need try to enjoy what little time I have left. Rejection and pursuit of an unattainable goal have worn me down. My last few heart attacks and time in the hospital (especially that horror last time) are pretty good indicators time is running out sooner rather than later.

Priene
12-06-2009, 01:57 PM
All I've ever wanted to do was be a writer, even when I pursued other careers. I've been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil and learned how to spell.

At this stage in my life, however, I've realized I need try to enjoy what little time I have left. Rejection and pursuit of an unattainable goal have worn me down. My last few heart attacks and time in the hospital (especially that horror last time) are pretty good indicators time is running out sooner rather than later.

That's rough, and I hope things work out for you. But you shouldn't lump yourself in with those who start and never finish, which is what this thread is all about. You've given it a good shot, at least.

Priene
12-06-2009, 02:02 PM
It's not quite that simple. We do care what others think about our writing or we wouldn't be on this board showing it and getting help.

While we do need confidence and have our opinion matter most, we also can't be so arrogant that we think ours is the only one that matters.

It's a fine balance.

Hey, I never said it was simple. Of course what others think is important, but those others don't have to be our families. If family members aren't supportive, or don't care for writing, or are dismissive, and they're not likely to change, what are you going to do? Keep going back for more and encounter the same negativity, or decide the writing part of your life is something you won't be sharing with them?

Kalyke
12-06-2009, 03:29 PM
Hey, I never said it was simple. Of course what others think is important, but those others don't have to be our families. If family members aren't supportive, or don't care for writing, or are dismissive, and they're not likely to change, what are you going to do? Keep going back for more and encounter the same negativity, or decide the writing part of your life is something you won't be sharing with them?

I was more or less getting to this when I wrote about my unsupportive family/ friends.

I live in the house of a man who could be a marvellous help and champion for my work. He simply does not feel that anyone should be left alone for long periods of time to "write" because he does not believe that there is anything "real" about what I am doing. He, and others like him seem to have the goal of breaking my wandering childlike mind of these frivolous fantasies of completing a book and publishing and making this at least my "principal" career-- why? All I can guess is that he is trying to spare me from the discomfort of failure-- as he failed himself at his chosen art form. To him, it is better not to try than to be seen as anything less than fabulous.

This is the same as my own father really (oh oh, daddy issues). He wanted to encourage me to sit aside when I could not do something perfectly and allow a "specialist" to do it for me. In a way, encouraging helplessness. Not to say this is bad or good, but I have spent my life fighting it by studying things I do not understand. On the rare occassion that something really stumps me, I tend to fall into that helpless mode. I certainly have the option to throw it away if it is not working out whether it is 2 years work or not (as my present WIP is). It is working out though. It is a gorgeous book, even if the characters are a bit strange (not done often). If I had people who were near to me I would not go through the constant embarassment of having to hunt down readers at websites such as this one. Frankly, I get very little input from Beta readers, except sometimes very odd below-the-belt jabs at my choice of plot.

"Fixing" a novel is a lot harder than some of the answers given here. Things frankly that no one seems to be talking about -- crafting the obsticles for example, so they are organic "living" narratives with consequences I have rarely seen done in a lucid manner. Obsticles are used as wooden characters are used, as static props. The answer to fixing my book (and at least 3 of the 5 other novels) is not to go back and outline, because that is not the problem, the problem is that I have not built up the circumstances of the antagonist to the point where his (their) actions are believeable. The Protagonist is thouroughly believeable, but he is fighting against a stone with a painting of a situation on it, (bad metaphor, but I can see it), or maybe I should call it a windmill, or a whale.

All these years of treking through the muck of fiction writing have taught me if you don't give your character a battle worth living or dying for, your efforts are wasted. My main problem is to give them an object of desire which is not really worth the blood, sweat, and tears.

I also think that maybe it is the people who are having the greatest difficulty might be doing so because they might be working at a level that others have reduced to "entertainment." I don't know this as a fact, but it seems to me that people who are really pushing themselves to get to a higher standard are those who are more often thrown into the dust, defeted, while other people who go along with no real challange, suceed more often. Isn't there an old saying about managers coming up from the stupidest fellows in the company? Success is a road traveled by fools who follow the rules, rather than someone trying to make new rules-- In writing, I see this alot. They choose obvious plots, cliche characters, and write in a pedestrian style and yet still get published. It is a real temptation to go that way. And yet, I owe my characters better.

I don't know, maybe this makes sense.

Cassiopeia
12-07-2009, 12:50 AM
Hey, I never said it was simple. Of course what others think is important, but those others don't have to be our families. If family members aren't supportive, or don't care for writing, or are dismissive, and they're not likely to change, what are you going to do? Keep going back for more and encounter the same negativity, or decide the writing part of your life is something you won't be sharing with them?I think it's quite normal to want acceptance from our friends and family even when they aren't supportive, it's a hard habit to break. I will always care that my mother never believed in me. Even now since she passed away.

What I have done though, is learn how to not let that stop me. Three years ago, before I joined AW, I had no clue if I were any good. And at one point I let someone here lead me to believe I wrote ridiculously idiotic stories. And I stopped again. That is working on my WIP. I kept writing for the Flash Fiction Challenge most Sundays here on AW and I watched my writing improve. I also kept writing for school. I got a small job writing freelance articles for a couple online content sites.

The next thing I know, KTC, managed to gain my trust enough to have me show him some of my work. His reaction, and a few others since has led me to believe, I've improved to such an extent that I could find a place for my novels one day.

The NaNoWriMo took me to the finish line for the first time in my life where I've got a complete story.

I know I can do this.

Do I still want the acknowledgment and praise of my family and friends, YOU BET I DO. Because what my loved ones think, matters a great deal to me. I just keep it in perspective.

True
12-07-2009, 08:04 AM
I haven't read all of the posts here, but I'm glad I found this thread. I was just coming to ask how many stories everyone has started before they finished and published one.

But, I'm True and I'm a Story Starter. You wanna know how bad it is? I've started more than 10 novels and have four that are over 100,000 words. Here's the word count:

One is 128,000, which is the only one I've managed to finish.
Another is 107K, another 105K, and another one 120K. Then I have the very first one which is around 45,000 words and another one I started and never finished, which is around 90,000 words. As is obvious, I almost finished these but never quite reached the finish line.

Hopefully, by admitting I have a problem, I'm one step closer to solving it.

Kalyke
12-07-2009, 08:12 PM
I just started to use One Note, a common MS program to organize my writing. Last night I was cutting and pasting as many chapters as I could find into one "notebook" and now I can just click on tabs to get to the area I want instead of searching for, and finding various files (which I always tend to lose or write over-- a nightmare. One note has a spell checker, but I am a bit sorry that it does not have a global search and replace, or a word counter. I know I could get better (real) writing programs, but this is what I have right now. (I'm kind of poor, so I am lucky to have this) Has anyone worked with writing programs and do you believe that they have made you more productive? I really feel that the ability to just click into a program and make sticky notes, edits and to store your various resoruces is a very worthwhile thing to have. Maybe this tool will help me get my stuff together (technically).

Namatu
12-07-2009, 09:33 PM
I do finish - eventually. The last WIP took me eight years (I did finish other thigns in that time). It was my learning book, and life got in the way a lot. "The End" is written, but it needs some serious revisions before I query it again. After eight years though, I'm in no hurry. It was an exercise, and I learned a lot from it. That alone makes it invaluable.

My current WIP is almost done, but I find I'm dragging my feet to work on it now. I'm also dragging myself to the computer/notebook anyway (after much procrastination). My goal for this year was to finish the WIP. I will finish the WIP, even if it's fifty words at a time.

I've also experienced the stasis that comes with figuring out how to tie things up in the end. Nothing slows me down more than "gathering the threads" moments. I don't outline. I research topics and talk to characters, I have a general arc idea, but never know the specifics. At the halfway or two-thirds point, I sit down at the computer and explain the story to myself, an informal "this is how it works." Every thread I dangled as I wrote, not knowing where it came from or entirely what it was leading to, is explained in some fashion. All of the dots are connected. From this document, it becomes clear to me what happened while I was writing ;) and I feel more confident in tackling the last part of the story. If I get confused or think I'm forgetting something, I look at my explanatory document. Not everything in it will necessarily make it onto the page, but it's nevertheless very helpful to me in reaching the end.

Another thing I do when I'm stuck is just write dialogue. The pressure is off. It doesn't have to be for a scene. Just set the characters down and have them talk to one another. This usually spurs me on to write more and it's often edited and incorporated into the manuscript at some point.

I will finish - and so will you! :)

Kalyke
12-07-2009, 10:16 PM
I
I've also experienced the stasis that comes with figuring out how to tie things up in the end. Nothing slows me down more than "gathering the threads" moments.




Wow! Excellent description of the problem, and useful method for its solution.

erinbee
12-08-2009, 08:02 AM
Well, I'm now 2039 words in and feeling fine. How is everyone else faring?

Kalyke
12-09-2009, 11:40 AM
I've been working hard the last few days including the weekend at tracking down all the parts of the 2 WIPs that are on my present computer. It is interesting how much is on one word processing program and how much is in another. I had to totally track down some, and frankly will have to re-write a few scenes either from notes, or memory. For some reason, filing things in my computer gets them lost. I think I will take out the box of old CD's and see if I saved any files.

I think I have isolated the place where my plot chain usually falls apart. The character climax-- this is where the character who has been struggling with the obstical/resolution "middle" of the book, finally realized what must happen to make his or her "need/desire" come to pass. I am not strong enough on what the actual desire is. The obsticles are way too insurmountable for my poor character. I need to figure out just what he wants-- He's like a hemmingway character though-- third person limited, in a certain way. He thinks, but rarely. I kind of figure he wants more than I can give him. What do you say to that? I mean, what he wants is not a tangeable thing. It is like "his life back," or something so esotaric that it is sort of like madness. Gah!

Rambutanious
12-09-2009, 03:27 PM
I'm terrible.

I find that when I conjure up stories, I start in the middle or at the end. This is frustrating, as by the time I've thought up a start to my story, I forget the desired middle or ending.

Stew21
12-09-2009, 03:32 PM
Welcome to SSA, Rambutanious. My suggestion would be not to worry about writing chronologically. Right whatever scenes/plot points come to you as they come. When you get several big chunks of it written, take a bit to outline around it and see if that straightens out the issues. It sounds more "organizational" than anything in your case and I'm sure we can brainstorm on ways of getting you around them. Then if you find it is plot points for middle and end you are stuck with, we can brainstorm on that with you. Sometimes talking through it to keep a focus helps keep it straight in you head.

half.jaded
12-09-2009, 03:38 PM
I think it's high time I started something new.

Something I'm going to finish.

But I seriously need someone to bounce ideas off of. T.T

Haha. Do you think someone will volunteer if I post in the beta readers part of the forum asking for an idea bouncing buddy? *doubts it* :D

Anyway, off to edit Catharsis. I think it'll be pretty shiny after this edit. xD

Stew21
12-09-2009, 03:41 PM
Bounce here. That's one of the things this thread is for. Go ahead. :)

Rambutanious
12-09-2009, 03:49 PM
The problems usually occur in my high-school English classes, when I find that not enough time is given for me to process all the thoughts in my mind.

I must get into the habit of writing thoughts down as soon as they flutter into my head. I wouldn't want to spend time re-thinking the desired middle and ending half-way through a writing exercise.

half.jaded
12-09-2009, 03:53 PM
*Edit*

Yipes. I found a giant plot hole.

Forget this plot. I'm going to put it away for a while until I can fix that hole. *is embarrassed to have put it here in the first place*

Rambutanious
12-09-2009, 04:03 PM
It sounds interesting -- really interesting! It sounds like something I'd definitely love to read.

half.jaded
12-09-2009, 04:17 PM
Thanks, but do you see any hole there? I'm trying to fix the world before I put in my protag and the other protag. xD

Rambutanious
12-09-2009, 04:27 PM
It sounds like a fascinating dystopia.

I did pick up on one thing: you say that the Civies' vocal cords are cut, making communication for rebellion impossible. I believe that if they can understand the language of the Affies, they would be able to evolve a type of sign language or use the written word as a form of communication.

Perhaps you intend a rebellion in the storyline because the Civies discover the ability of sign language or written word?

It sounds very good. Definitely something I'd buy.

half.jaded
12-09-2009, 04:46 PM
The Daevas are there to murder anyone who attempts to communicate, but yes, there will be a rebellion down the line.

^^

secretblue3
12-10-2009, 03:33 AM
I feel like a story starter, though I don't skip around from beginning to beginning much. It's just that I don't know what to do with my rough drafts once I've finished them.

I'm working on finishing my NaNo right now. I wrote 80,000 words on it in November and completely lost steam after that. I've only got a few thousand words to go, but it's just grinding out. I think it's partly because I've really only finished two things before, so I don't really know how to write endings.

But I feel like my biggest problem is finishing a draft and then having no idea how to revise it. For example, I can see the big problems with the Hunted Moon novel in my sig, but I don't know how to fix them. I understand at least somewhat how to fix sentences and even scenes, but for something as big as a character's motivation arc over 85,000 words I have no clue. I'm tired of accumulating first drafts and then going nowhere with them.

And then there are the stories that are such a big mess that I don't know where to start, but I'll still get ideas for them, usually when I'm stuck on something else.

I did write 1,000 words on my NaNo so far today. I had the day off work and was hoping to finish it, but I'm not sure that's going to happen now. But back to work. I'll get it done eventually.

raburrell
12-10-2009, 04:14 AM
But I feel like my biggest problem is finishing a draft and then having no idea how to revise it. For example, I can see the big problems with the Hunted Moon novel in my sig, but I don't know how to fix them. I understand at least somewhat how to fix sentences and even scenes, but for something as big as a character's motivation arc over 85,000 words I have no clue. I'm tired of accumulating first drafts and then going nowhere with them.

Hi Secret,
When I feel like I'm in the weeds on a story (which is, to say, usually), sometimes it helps to go back to write a single sentence that outlines the central conflict in the book. A must do B in order to C, but he/she can't because D. When you can write that sentence, you've got your plot. (Incidentally, that works for scene/chapters as well) Sometimes if I'm stuck, I find I have A, B, and D, but not C. Figure out C, no more stuck. Etc. No idea if that will help you or not, but maybe it'll help someone else :)

secretblue3
12-11-2009, 05:24 AM
Hi Secret,
When I feel like I'm in the weeds on a story (which is, to say, usually), sometimes it helps to go back to write a single sentence that outlines the central conflict in the book. A must do B in order to C, but he/she can't because D. When you can write that sentence, you've got your plot. (Incidentally, that works for scene/chapters as well) Sometimes if I'm stuck, I find I have A, B, and D, but not C. Figure out C, no more stuck. Etc. No idea if that will help you or not, but maybe it'll help someone else :)

I'll have to give this some thought. I've never been very good at condensing my stories to the "elevator pitch", much less a single sentence. I was planning on snowflaking my WIP when I'm done, but maybe I need to go back to some of my other stuff and think about it on this level too.

Thanks!

AuburnAssassin
12-11-2009, 05:54 AM
I am not an SSA...yet...but I do sense my potential for such.

Frankly, up until a few weeks ago, I didn't think I was a storyteller at all, felt like a total fraud in that respect. I knew I could engineer a clever turn of phrase, but stringing them together into an actual story...nah.

BUT...I tell you 2 things have changed my mind and made me believe that storytelling, like grammar and the other technical components CAN be learned. 1. Sunday night flash fiction challenge and 2. Outlining my NaNoWriMo novel, sticking faithfully to it and finishing it pretty much exactly as I planned it.

I'm still working on developing my storytelling muscles but it's like those 2 things unblocked a hallway in my head that I never thought was there. Now, I get these ideas and think, "yeah, that'd be cool" and I jot them down. But I do fear that this could be a slippery slope to SSA'dom if I indulge it too much.

half.jaded
12-11-2009, 08:35 AM
I have officially started Megalomaniac, my dystopian urban fantasy. YA, as usual. It's the one I posted here. I've worked out the kink in the world. I think.

><"

Pray I finish this.

bettielee
12-11-2009, 10:28 AM
Greetings all. I do not know if I am a story starter. For the last two years, I've been writing novels that all take place in this one world, and I've finished two, am almost done with the third <-- this is the one that is stand alone and will be subbed. I know it is THE ONE.

However, I have 9, count 'em, 9 documents in my "story beginnings" file. These are all 3-10 pages, manuscript format, of what I call "scenes." You see, I get visions. Occasionally, these visions come pouring out of me in words, often between the hours of 2 - 5 am in the morning.

They are just that - scenes. Well, 4 of them are "scenes" for a grand sweeping epic idea I have about these multi-dimensional super heroes (each "scene" is for a different superhero.) None of them have a plot. Where do they come from? Why are they visited upon me when I am doing other things?

Why God? Why?

i might be a story finisher, who never has anything for anyone to beta read. What is that about? I don't feel like a real writer because, for one reason or another, I don't get it to that stage. :( I've got someone reading something that is two stages away from being ready, just to have someone read something and give me some feedback.

secretblue3
12-11-2009, 07:01 PM
However, I have 9, count 'em, 9 documents in my "story beginnings" file. These are all 3-10 pages, manuscript format, of what I call "scenes." You see, I get visions. Occasionally, these visions come pouring out of me in words, often between the hours of 2 - 5 am in the morning.

They are just that - scenes. Well, 4 of them are "scenes" for a grand sweeping epic idea I have about these multi-dimensional super heroes (each "scene" is for a different superhero.) None of them have a plot. Where do they come from? Why are they visited upon me when I am doing other things?

I have these too, but I don't see them as a problem. I consider them ideas I'm not ready to write, rather than stories I have failed to write. Not every idea will ever be ready to make a story, and I think that's ok. Meanwhile, my ideas file is simmering away. When I need a new story to write, that's where I look to see if anything is ready.

entropic island
12-13-2009, 01:09 AM
I have a billion of these!

bettielee
12-13-2009, 03:56 AM
sings...

...then I am not alone...

...you are here with me.....

half.jaded
12-13-2009, 04:10 AM
sings...

...then I am not alone...

...you are here with me.....

I <3 Michael Jackson.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
12-18-2009, 10:55 PM
Well, I'm now 2039 words in and feeling fine. How is everyone else faring?

I started keeping a little word count journal to make sure that I was getting in at least 1000 words a day. If nothing else, and I'm churning out crap, at least I'm getting practice on my craft and getting my mojo back.

I started on December 7 with around 23,000 words. As of about an hour ago I'm up to 43,081. I've gotten the skeleton in place with lots of meat. Now it's just a matter of more fleshing out of characters, locations, and observations.

Who knows, I may not belong to this group for much longer!

Angie
01-03-2010, 06:40 PM
Who knows, I may not belong to this group for much longer!

That's great! Keep plugging away at it, and keep us posted! :)


My apologies for being absent, everyone. I'm back now, and still looking forward to hearing everyone post their goals and helping reach them.

bettielee
01-04-2010, 01:14 AM
Well. I sort of have a confession to make. I think I've learned my lesson. NaNo taught me that I can write a novel in two months. This I have done.

Now what I need is to edit. To not do a little passthrough and toss it aside and go on to the next - all because I have this gutwrenching fear of subbing, and ... that my stuff is not good enough for someone to read. I mean, really, have a beta read it. I see everyone else subbing and writing synopsis and queries, and I don't feel like a real writer.

Is my invite rescinded? I mean... I could relapse...

Angie
01-04-2010, 06:24 AM
Nope, you are still stuck here. You have to edit it, and sub it at least once before we'll let you off the hook. ;)

bettielee
01-04-2010, 06:53 AM
Yes! :)