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KStar

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Hi there everyone! I'm Kiki and I wanted to finally introduce myself after lurking for a few months, ha!

I used to love writing as a kid and started up again about 4 years ago. I have a story I've been working on (on and off) through those years but I've never been able to finish it. Multiple half finished drafts of 20-50k words and it's just not working for me. It has made me a little frustrated and sad at times, but with November looming I've decided to participate in NaNoWriMo for the very first time and start fresh with a new story that I'm excited to work on.

My ultimate dream is to become a published author but for now my only goal is to finish the first draft of one story! Just one, dangit!

I'm looking forward to meeting some new writer pals who understand the struggle. :)
 

Nether

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Welcome, and best of luck.

Just out of curiosity, what do you feel is stopping you from completing a full draft? Because it seems like you've gotten pretty far a few times (depending on the genre, you might have even been halfway there in some cases).

I will mention that up until this year I hadn't finished the first draft of a novel, and I've finished several since then... so, there's always hope. And I got back into it during last year's NaNoWriMo, even if it took me a bit longer than that to finish (although eventually I got the hang of finishing a draft in a month)
 

KStar

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Hi Nether :)

I think there's definitely some perfectionism at play that holds me back but also the plot just never seems right. I began that story really knowing the characters more than the plot so now whenever I attempt to write it the plot feels like it falls flat. Like it's just a series of random events happening to my characters rather than a story being driven by them. And then I revise the plot and start again and it still doesn't work, hahahaha.

I read and write fantasy so I made it halfway, huzzah! But then I realized how disjointed it was and my inner editor got the best of me.

Congrats on finishing so many stories! What do you think clicked that finally allowed you to finish? Did you just have to force yourself to push through it?
 

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Welcome, KStar! You'll find heaps of folks here struggling with the same issues you are, and heaps of support and encouragement too. And heaps and heaps of fantasy readers. Yay, my favourite genre!
 

KStar

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Welcome, KStar! You'll find heaps of folks here struggling with the same issues you are, and heaps of support and encouragement too. And heaps and heaps of fantasy readers. Yay, my favourite genre!
Thank you for the warm welcome! :)
 

Nether

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I think there's definitely some perfectionism at play that holds me back but also the plot just never seems right. I began that story really knowing the characters more than the plot so now whenever I attempt to write it the plot feels like it falls flat. Like it's just a series of random events happening to my characters rather than a story being driven by them. And then I revise the plot and start again and it still doesn't work, hahahaha.

Are you writing with an outline? It could help with direction and structural issues, and trying to tie the events together.

I read and write fantasy so I made it halfway, huzzah! But then I realized how disjointed it was and my inner editor got the best of me.

Just remember you can always edit after the fact. The one thing you can't do is edit a blank page :p

Congrats on finishing so many stories! What do you think clicked that finally allowed you to finish? Did you just have to force yourself to push through it?

Pure force of will, at least for the first manuscript. I committed to finishing that one, and then tried to maintain a daily habit. It took a few months to really build the habit, and it was torture at times, but I saw the light at the end of the tunnel when I was about 90k words through the draft... which is also when I realized that the genre convention for YA actually favors something closer to 70k, and a lot of agents won't even touch YA manuscripts around 100k (and mine wound up being 102k), so that was a whoops.

The second one was a bit faster both because I had the habit built and it was the second book in a series (that's going to have to sit fallow until I managed to do something with the first one) so I had a continuing storyline. That one clocked in at a genre-appropriate 68k on the first draft. The third book in that series I managed to draft in 6 weeks (and at 76k words is still reasonably genre appropriate)

It wasn't until the fourth book, a fantasy novel, that I finally got into the habit of finishing a first draft each month (that one was 95k words, because it was either that or go super-long), which is more or less where I've been with the last few. The latest hasn't been going as well, but I didn't really do much planning beforehand and, honestly, I still haven't mapped things out.

But yeah, once you break through on the first one and prove to yourself that you can do finish a draft, it gets easier.
 
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Izz

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Welcome to AW, Kiki! You're going to love it here, I'm sure :D

AW has everything you need to help you develop good writing habits and upskill at the same time. Not only is there more information here regarding all aspects of the craft and business of writing than you can shake a stick at, we have an inclusive, encouraging community to hang out with, full of peeps at all stages of their writing journeys, from newbies to seasoned pros.

The forums are large, as you would've seen from your lurking, but it's well worth the effort to acclimate and find your hangout spots. Please carefully read the Newbies Guide you were linked to when you registered, as well as the stickied/pinned threads at the top of each forum page. Those will help you understand the rules, etiquette and culture of all the various spaces within the forums.

Pretty soon our NaNoWriMo and Beyond forum will be popping again. I'm sure you'll also enjoy our Science Fiction | Fantasy subforum, too.

Explore, continue to lurk if you like, join in conversations you find fun or interesting if you want, make friends, enjoy yourself!

See you around the boards :)
Izz
 

regdog

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Welcome to AW


Take some time and read the Newbie Guide and the Stickies found
at the top of Forum pages. They are your best guide to learning about
Absolute Write.

Stop by the Weekend Progress Report each week to brag about your weekly writing accomplishments. Awesome smilies and awards are given out.

Please read the FAQ about posting photos.


In fact we have lots of brilliant FAQs check them out.


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Take some time to greet fellow newbies, critique other members’ works, or join a discussion.


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KStar

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Are you writing with an outline? It could help with direction and structural issues, and trying to tie the events together.
Yes but, and it's a big but, I'm still trying to figure out this whole structure thing. I've probably downloaded 20 craft books on plot and structure, devoured them all, and it just hasn't completely clicked yet. Hahaha. But I think it will be similar to just getting in the habit of finishing where once I do it the first time it should become progressively easier? Or so I hope! :p

I'll definitely be taking your advice on building a writing habit! Good luck on your latest project, may we both finish what we start! 🙏😄
 

Nether

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Yes but, and it's a big but, I'm still trying to figure out this whole structure thing. I've probably downloaded 20 craft books on plot and structure, devoured them all, and it just hasn't completely clicked yet. Hahaha. But I think it will be similar to just getting in the habit of finishing where once I do it the first time it should become progressively easier? Or so I hope! :p

I'll definitely be taking your advice on building a writing habit! Good luck on your latest project, may we both finish what we start! 🙏😄

I think there's probably a point of diminishing returns when it comes to books about craft. I half-expect that too many books on the subject might make some things more confusing than clear, particularly when those authors approach the subject differently.

Planning is an area where I can't offer much advice, since I don't approach it in a consistent manner. I usually just create a planning document incorporating everything and, as I fill some areas, I get ideas for other areas. (Which is the only consistency to my approach.) But it tends to be very different for each book, depending on the overall vision and such. I might start writing with a partial plan and just fill in the rest as I go along, or I might have a full chain of events beforehand.

And as much as I find planning helps, I just tend to go with whatever I have once I finish my current project because I just dislike going days without writing.
 
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mccardey

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Yes but, and it's a big but, I'm still trying to figure out this whole structure thing. I've probably downloaded 20 craft books on plot and structure, devoured them all, and it just hasn't completely clicked yet. Hahaha. But I think it will be similar to just getting in the habit of finishing where once I do it the first time it should become progressively easier? Or so I hope! :p
Nether is completely right about the planning thing. Some things work for some writers and not for others - which is bad enough - but some things work for some books and not for others which is, well, cataclysmic.

I think it comes down to - just write. Read, and write. And write, and write and write, and keep on writing. See where you are when you've reached The End.

It should be easier, but I haven't found it easier.
 

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