PDA

View Full Version : When your WIP goes stale



InfiniteDreamer
03-02-2012, 11:14 AM
Before the weekend, I was charging full speed ahead and doing quite well. I set my project aside so that I could focus on visiting with family. Now that I'm back to working on my novel, I'm having great difficulty getting into the flow of things. :Headbang:
Has this ever happened to you and what do you do to get back the spark to continue on?

Polenth
03-02-2012, 12:01 PM
I read it (or when it's getting long, I read my favourite bits).

Anne Lyle
03-02-2012, 12:01 PM
Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. In other words, just write. The words will start flowing eventually, and deleting some drivel is less waste of time than just staring at a flashing cursor.

Also, go back and re-read what you wrote to try and pick up the thread of the story.

If you're still stuck, try writing a "just for fun" scene where your characters do something together - visit a fun fair, argue over a dinner bill, whatever fits.

gothicangel
03-02-2012, 01:05 PM
I wouldn't say it has gone stale. Just that you've developed a creative blockage.

A novel normally goes stale from over-editing, and you just get to the point that you can't stand the sight of the damn thing, and you don't have the energy to rescue it. When this happened to me, I trunked it, and I have no regrets.
That's when I think a WIP goes stale.

Rhoda Nightingale
03-02-2012, 03:23 PM
Well you're a more dedicated family member than I am if you set it aside during your visit--I bring my notebooks and my lappy EVERYWHERE. And if I didn't, I'd obtain something to scribble on while I was there. Because the muse doesn't stop kicking, ever.

Having said that, certain WIPs do sometimes get a little "meh" depending on where I am in them. The middle is the hardest part, and tends to get stuck. It's the "en route" part of getting from the established conflict to the final confrontation (at least in the WIP I'm thinking of right now) and it is like pulling teeth. You just have to write through it anyway.

Sometimes, I will go back and read the last chapter or so to get my brain back into the headspace for that story. Another weird little trick I have is to never stop at a stopping point--take a break, not at the end of a chapter, but mid-scene, sometimes mid-sentence, so I'm guaranteed something to type when I come back.

Michael Davis
03-02-2012, 03:51 PM
You bet. Never happened on first few novels but now that I'm up to my fourteenth, it occurs more and more. What do I do? I start on another book. I think that sometimes we become drained at the settings and characters once we get half way through the WIP. Working on a new story juices up your muse. Once I'm away month or two, I've had new ideas seep into my fictional world on the other novel and I switch back. At any time I'm working 3 or 4 stories. Keeps the blood fresh.

Midian
03-02-2012, 09:02 PM
Before the weekend, I was charging full speed ahead and doing quite well. I set my project aside so that I could focus on visiting with family. Now that I'm back to working on my novel, I'm having great difficulty getting into the flow of things. :Headbang:
Has this ever happened to you and what do you do to get back the spark to continue on?

For me, I find that it stems from a lack of motivation, not a lack of creativity. I find that when I've lost the motivation and just keep writing isn't working, taking anywhere from an hour to a day of reading something I know is really good helps me get motivated again. Inspiration is what gets me going. Read, get inspired and then if I feel like I can't pick up where I left off, I go to another scene that I might find more intriguing at the moment.

Jamesaritchie
03-02-2012, 09:43 PM
Sure, it happens, but it shouldn't mean much. Keep writing, and you'll get back in the flow.

But this is why I hate taking unscheduled time away from writing. I spend a bunch of time with my family, here, there, and everywhere, but writing hours are writing hours, and assuming eight hours of sleep five hours of writing,and three hours of reading, the family still gets nine hours, even on a workday.

They get much more on weekends, but I rarely have weekend hours scheduled, anyway.

InfiniteDreamer
03-05-2012, 04:39 AM
Well you're a more dedicated family member than I am if you set it aside during your visit--I bring my notebooks and my lappy EVERYWHERE. And if I didn't, I'd obtain something to scribble on while I was there. Because the muse doesn't stop kicking, ever.


Me dedicated to my family...maybe. It was a family emergancy where I was needed and I felt that whipping out my writing during the chaos would have offended the one's in need.

I try keeping my notebook on hand wherever I go, even if I have to carry around a purse(which isn't always helpful). Lately, I've been getting a few words down. Not as much as I would like but it's definietly better than none.:D

InfiniteDreamer
03-05-2012, 04:44 AM
You bet. Never happened on first few novels but now that I'm up to my fourteenth, it occurs more and more. What do I do? I start on another book. I think that sometimes we become drained at the settings and characters once we get half way through the WIP. Working on a new story juices up your muse. Once I'm away month or two, I've had new ideas seep into my fictional world on the other novel and I switch back. At any time I'm working 3 or 4 stories. Keeps the blood fresh.

I'm all for having multiple novels going. I've done that ever since I took to writing, but I'm finding that it can distract from the main one I'm focusing on. :ROFL:I've actually stumbled upon some of my earlier work when I was super rusty and found that I had came up with the same idea for two different projects.

Rhoda Nightingale
03-05-2012, 05:41 AM
Me dedicated to my family...maybe. It was a family emergancy where I was needed and I felt that whipping out my writing during the chaos would have offended the one's in need.

I try keeping my notebook on hand wherever I go, even if I have to carry around a purse(which isn't always helpful). Lately, I've been getting a few words down. Not as much as I would like but it's definietly better than none.:D
Okay, family "emergency" is different from just "time with family." Gotcha.

(That said....I still would've. Perhaps in the bathroom or something. Yes, I've written in my notebook in the bathroom.)

IrisFlower81
03-08-2012, 01:24 AM
For me, I try and have multiple different projects I'm working on at once. Doesn't have to be novels. For example, I'm currently at work on one novel re-write, one novella editing, a short story for a challenge, and another short story just because. I don't necessarily have space in my brain for multiple novels, but I can write multiple things at the same time, which keeps me feeling fresh and productive.

That said, I also am a big believer in shelving things you really stop caring about. I'm on the third rewrite of a novel idea that I once loved, but because I still can't get it to work properly for me, I've decided that--for now--it's going on the shelf. Maybe I'll come back to it someday, when I've had a nice long break from it. But for now, I have other ideas to work on.

HannahLovely
03-09-2012, 02:43 AM
Whenever I get stuck (which is quite often, I hate to admit) I honestly just have to force myself to sit down and write the thing. Lack of motivation, inspiration, whatever, I have to sit down and force my fingers to type word after word after word, and eventually I get motivated again.

However, the process is different for everyone, so whatever works for you is awesome :)

Kamyara
03-09-2012, 12:08 PM
Sometimes, I will go back and read the last chapter or so to get my brain back into the headspace for that story. Another weird little trick I have is to never stop at a stopping point--take a break, not at the end of a chapter, but mid-scene, sometimes mid-sentence, so I'm guaranteed something to type when I come back.

Wow I really like that idea. The day before yesterday I stopped after I finished my first chapter and it was quite had to start the new one the next day.

What I do when I get stuck is, that I lie down and start dreaming about my story and that makes me all excited again and then I know what I want to write, so it's easier. Or I just start to write a scene that I really like even though I'm not there in the story yet.

InfiniteDreamer
03-10-2012, 01:30 AM
I did a couple of your suggestions and I came to the conclusion that I wasn't fully connected to my mc. So I'm going over his motives and such to reconnect with him; Also, I'm giving another project a go to see if it will keep me juiced to continue writing.

Thanks for all the helpful tips and letting me know that I'm not alone :)

Please continue posting how you break through the walls that keep you from writing as I'm sure I'll need them soon :p

HoneyBadger
03-10-2012, 01:36 AM
Or how about, not when it goes stale, but when you suddenly loathe every word?

I hate this stupid book today.

(I think it's because I'm like 2k from the climax and like 10k from the end. Or, because I suddenly gained some self-awareness and have realized what a miserable heap of shit it is I've been writing.)

I'm still writing this stupid thing, though. If it's gonna be horrible, it's at least gonna be done.

Kewii
03-10-2012, 02:29 AM
I'm still writing this stupid thing, though. If it's gonna be horrible, it's at least gonna be done.

Good for you!

I know that feeling well, where it's like what's the point? I keep telling myself that the point is for the experience. Even if it is crap (which mine might very well be), I'm going to learn something out of this which will make me a better writer.

elindsen
03-11-2012, 04:47 AM
I know that feeling well, where it's like what's the point? I keep telling myself that the point is for the experience. Even if it is crap (which mine might very well be), I'm going to learn something out of this which will make me a better writer.
We all get stuck or lose motivation and inspiration in our stories. Just breathe and re-read what you have written. It will come back :)