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View Full Version : What's Hardest for You?



JenNipps
02-21-2006, 02:24 AM
In working on your WIP, what is the hardest thing for you?

Characters?
Plot?
Setting?
Getting started?
The ending?
Slogging through the middle?

For me, it's slogging through the middle. I usually know how it starts and how I want it to end, but getting there is -- often -- torturous. It's always riddled with questions, second-guessing, mental kicking myself, and severe self-doubt.

AprilBoo
02-22-2006, 07:45 PM
It's been a while since I've been able to visit the boards, but I'm glad to see this one hasn't disappeared.

My toughest is always the middle - I lose momentum. If I let something sit for a day or two without working on it, I feel like I can't get back into it. Although I probably worry more about the ending. As a reader, there's nothing I hate more than loving a book up until the last 3 pages.

JenNipps
02-22-2006, 11:06 PM
Well then, welcome back. :)

Yeah, the board is still here, though I disappeared for a while. *s*

I think I have a similar problem with the momentum thing. If I can work on it every day, I'll do OK, but once I miss a couple days, forget it.

pdr
02-23-2006, 04:58 AM
I am, I have to be, a very organised person.
Writing a novel is so hard compared with a short story. There is so much more of it and I cannot plan in detail or the story's lost. Finding the confidence to believe I can get to the end when I don't know where I'm going, when I just have a few scenes fixed in my head and a character's voice nagging me to tell his/her story is difficult. What's so clear and perfect in my head never translates to paper and needs hours of editing to get maybe 50% closer.

Jen, the whole process is tough but the beginning and the end are less so.

maestrowork
02-23-2006, 05:01 AM
I'd say the mid-book blues are the worst. Everything else can be fixed, but if the middle drags or if I lose momentum, it's very difficult to get back on track.

Liam Jackson
02-24-2006, 02:20 AM
Another vote for the middle

Good Word
02-24-2006, 07:57 AM
I think for me, it's struggling with setting up writing time on a daily basis. I lose momentum if I don't.

I was going to say the middle, until I realized the above. I don't write linearly--ch 1, ch 2, etc. I just write scenes that I have outlined as they appeal to me.

Puddle Jumper
02-25-2006, 11:06 AM
Getting started - I hate trying to introduce characters. I'm fine once they're established but trying to introduce them is a royal pain in the rear for me.

September skies
02-25-2006, 11:24 AM
the middle
I start fine and I always have an ending in mind (even if it goes a different way) but that middle - sometimes, I just get stuck for a little while. If necessary, I skip a section and come back and fill it in later - that way I can just keep writing. (talking about articles, not novels in this case)

my wip is kind of in the middle right now -- I just haven't had time to pick it up. too busy this month

JenNipps
02-25-2006, 07:35 PM
Thanks for the contribution, guys. I'll come back later and say something hopefully a bit more intelligent than this. *s*

JenNipps
03-01-2006, 06:56 AM
Well that took longer than expected. Sorry about that. I'm fighting a cold and have realized only just today that I'm losing the battle. So while I've been around, I haven't really posted much anywhere.

Onward...


I am, I have to be, a very organised person.

Do you mind sharing some techniques on how you get/stay organized for writing? For nonfiction, I don't have a problem with it. For fiction, I'm finding that it is a problem since I work in a completely different manner than I do for NF.


I'd say the mid-book blues are the worst.

Another vote for the middle.

the middle

For those of you/us who have trouble with the middle, what do you find helps with it? Do you outline or just fly by the seat of your pants.

I'm thinking about trying an outline method. It's not a strict outline and in fact may not exactly be able to be called an outline at all. I'll see how it goes and let you all know the results.


I think for me, it's struggling with setting up writing time on a daily basis. I lose momentum if I don't.

I can relate to that. I've been trying to carve out some time when I'm not too mind-mushy from doing transcription but before I get too lazy in the evening. Maybe I just need a kick in the pants to get un-lazy.


Getting started - I hate trying to introduce characters.

I don't usually have any trouble with introducing characters. If I do, it's because I don't know them well enough myself yet, so I need to flesh them out a bit more. I have character biographies that are only one (typed) page and some that are 6 or more.

Lyra Jean
03-01-2006, 08:04 AM
Getting past chapter three. Although descriptions in general so I have good interesting characters who talk in a void. I'm thinking about working on one of my WIP novels and just not tell anyone. Maybe that is my problem. I tell people and it all leaks away.

JenNipps
03-01-2006, 08:21 AM
I'm thinking about working on one of my WIP novels and just not tell anyone. Maybe that is my problem. I tell people and it all leaks away.

I can relate to that. I have talked very little about my current WIP (Confessions of a Fat Chick - tentative title) and it doesn't seem to be suffering the same fate as my others so far.

pdr
03-01-2006, 11:34 AM
Jenn, me being organised for fiction only means planning on Sunday night to see where, every day during the week, I have time to write and the peace to write then making myself sit down and do it.

It's Uncle Jim's BIC (or BOS as we say) for two hours. And I don't move until the timer pings after one hour. Ten min break for RSI exercises, a cup of tea and two or three quick chores then it's back for another hour.

It's no magic formula I'm afraid just the 3Ds, especially the discipline.

Cures for struggling through the middle? Contact with other writers who know all about it and sympathise. Sheer bloody mindedness helps and a bribe of a crazy few days off doing something special when I've finished.

triceretops
03-01-2006, 12:58 PM
I hate character background and avoid it until I'm at the last draft or so. I don't know why that is. I guess I believe that good, developed characters must have a prior existence and depth--3-dimensional, and I avoid this like the plague.

Setting is tough too. I admire anyone who world-builds in fantasy and SF and pulls it off.

Tri

pdr
03-02-2006, 04:55 AM
readers are more willing to accept anything in a fantasy world. You can make up what you like as long as you set the rules.

In mainstream and contemporary settings you really have to be careful as some reader is bound to come yelling 'it's not like that'. And as they have real memories of the setting then they'll stop reading.