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Author Topic: Writers' Aquarium  (Read 10614 times)
Reiter
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« on: July 05, 2010, 10:16:40 AM »

Because fish have no privacy, and neither do writers struggling to get a story finished. Grin

This is where you, dear fellow writer, post comments, track progress, and b*tch about your stories or other people's. Have a smashing story but don't have the time guts to see it through? Stuck on the same segment for half a year because you've shoved it unceremoniously under your desk and out of sight? No matter! Peer pressure will solve your issues. There's nothing better at smoking out those unwritten words than the insistent cries and jabs of half a dozen brothers-in-arms.

So post your progress, piecewise, and allow the potent power of peer pressure to ply its preternatural phenomena on your penmanship! Wink
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 11:15:42 PM »

okay, I got two story ideas but the problem is, the content (One deals with beastility, the other with cub) is contreversial and I rather not start a dramafest by writing them.
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Erkhyan
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 09:08:52 AM »

Hmm, let's see... I'm in a bit of a conundrum about two of my characters and showing their relationship.

First we have Njara. Grew up as a rebel, got into more and more trouble until he got involved with less than savory characters (read: outright criminals) in university. When his group was targeted for capture by the authorities, he was betrayed by some of his colleagues and got caught. Njara spent some time in prison and as a result was pretty much disowned by his family. When he came out of prison, he pretty much decided to take a new identity, start a new life, preferably without having to trust anyone again.

Second character is Tony. Met Njara shortly after the latter got out of prison. Finding the young man intriguing, he managed to still befriend him. After a while, such friendship became a romantic relationship. Unknown by Tony but known by Njara, Tony's father is part of the organization that helped the authorities track down Njara. Tony also agreed to never ask Njara about his past.

By the time the story begins, the two have been an item for two years. Tony wants the relationship to move forward (e.g. stop seeing each other in hiding, possibly even move together). Njara, afraid of letting Tony's father know who he really is (and thus letting Tony know of his past), isn't too thrilled at the idea and stalls for time.

I have some difficulty portraying the arguments the two get into when the subject of their relationship comes up. My initial plans had Tony bring Njara out of time for a romantic week-end, and Njara accepting despite initial protests.

I need to flesh out their relationship and its perk early in the story, since an important plot point involves Tony being abducted, and Njara himself being framed for it when his earlier criminal connections get known.

There. That's what I've been mostly working on lately.
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 10:57:20 PM »

Hmm, my idea that I've been wrestling with is based on cartoons. I want to write a story that revolves around the theme of "growing up doesn't mean you stop having fun". What I've been able to nail down so far:

1. Main character is a writer (or wanna be writer) who's main job is a spellchecker for a publishing firm
2. There is a cartoon fox who the MC becomes involved with

And that's it unfortunately XD
Stuff I'm still dealing with is based on the overall relation between toons and humans, I guess. Plus I'm unsure whether I want the story to take place in the real world on in a cartoon world (which would be inside a blank notebook, as my interpretation of toons has them as raw possibility rather than animations). Also unsure if I want to keep MC's changes entierly emotional or give him a foxification of his own.
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2010, 03:44:12 AM »

I'll admit that I'm having one hell of a battle with writing these days. I haven't even written as much as a sentence on any of my works since March and, here's the unsettling part, I haven't really felt like it either.

I have ideas every now and then; snippets of plot and description that if strung together correctly could work but by the time I get in front of the computer or reach for pen and paper to jot those fleeting ideas down they have faded and any inspiration I had to write has evaporated.

I like to think my long term projects are good stories, that they're worth writing, but it seems to get tougher and tougher with each passing month for me to actually write. I can daydream non stop about my characters and all of the things I have planned for them but sit down in front of the compy and all I do is stare at a blank page and that damned cursor mocking me with it's lifeless, mechanically timed blinking. nothing comes forth, not a single damned word. My mind seems empty as the page on the screen, and my muse is threatening to leave for greener fields.

Maybe I need a holiday or something but I'm periously close to shelving a couple of projects that I once thought had great promise. I worry that if I do that it won't be long before I fade from places like this and become a nameless face in the teeming crowd of non-writers.

Believe me, I don't want that to happen but I'm not sure how to prevent it.

So, my big question is how do you get that drive back and find the inspiration that has fled to parts unknown? Really, I could use some help here because I'm fresh out of ideas.
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Chromium Steel
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2010, 08:59:37 AM »

Ah, where to begin.

  • Well I've got to sit down and plot out the rewrite of `The Fox And The Kiwi' since I trying to turn it in to a commercial grade novel.
  • There's at least a good dozen more short story ideas I want to write for the Ferals universe before I'm willing to see if I can build a crime mystery/thriller out of the universe.
  • I've also got to sit down an plot out a on-line episodic story that got at least 96 episode to be planed. To make it work, I might even have to plot out a fictional 6 season anime show that provides background for it.

First and foremost for me is a major examination of my writing style to fix some issues that I keep getting remarked on. That's been the hardest for me, I've got to rewire part of my brain to correct these bad habits. On top of that, now that I'm working full time (after 18 months unemployment) it's been hard to find the time or the mental/physical strength to sit down and write.

The only good note on the horizon is that I just found an Open Office template that is a complete novel writing sytem. It has all the features that those expensive writers assistance programs but it's only a 470kb macro set that sits inside your work, and it's open source. The Book_Writing.SW.0.0.9f.1 can be found at the OO website.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 09:01:33 AM by Chromium Steel » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2010, 06:01:32 PM »

Hey Jona, nice to see an old face around here.

I had the same problem as you. Suffered it for years, and only recently did I start coming out of that slump. I don't know what advice I can give, though. Probably very little. That's something you have to solve on your own, in your own time. But if you're concerned about your not-writing, force yourself to write, at least one paragraph, at least one letter, every single day even if you're feeling down or depressed. It doesn't matter what it is or who it's addressed to. As long as you're writing something, it'll work.

You need the momentum. You need the maintenance. Eventually you'll recover the drive to write what you want to. You'll pick up insights from your thoughts along the way. But you have to write. If you can't write on your computer, write in your notebook. Write on envelopes. Write on cereal boxes. But write. When you find a medium that agrees with you, take advantage of that. Use it to get your thoughts rolling to the maximum. And read. You'll pick up ideas, you'll pick up styles. And inevitably you *will* find a story to which you'll say, I can do better than this. If that doesn't restore your passion I don't know what will.

Anyway, try that for a year, half a year. If symptoms persist, consult your friendly writing doctors. Wink

Now, doop de de doop de doo, here's some of my current projects. Working on two shorts, both of which should be finished at the latest in a couple months. One of them's a slice-of-lifey thing about this mythical bird (w/c is really some other being, maybe human, trapped inside that body) who has to help this coyote escape some people chasing him. It's practically already written; just have to type it out in full. Aaaand the other's about this rebel person who's captured by these anti-rebel persons and hooked up to a Matrix-like machine which is supposed to fool him into giving out certain secret informations. That one's still in the conceptualization stage, but it's roughly plotted out already and I just have to let the rest write itself. I'll post excerpts of either story here when I finish them or encounter hurdles that need bypassing.
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 03:11:18 AM »

I too have gotten in a slump, for me, I am putting the blame on lack of reader response. Due to my schooling, I have little free time and it doesn't motivate me to spend the free time I have to write for people who can't be bothered to even leave a single comment!
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2010, 06:45:08 AM »

Hmm, I found one way out of my block. Resorting to flashback-through-bad-dream to begin a story might be a bit cliché, but in the case of Njara it nicely helps me establish both his past problems and his current relationship with Tony. We'll see how that goes. Also — using the Malagasy language in a story will always feel weird, but I'm not going to make all the characters English speakers and hope that it still looks like it's happening over here...
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Reiter
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2010, 10:56:37 PM »

Hmm. That sounds risky, Erk. Have you tried approaching it as a script? I generally treat my stories like plays or films, as I find that helps bring out subtleties in dialogue and body language. Granted, I'm not very good at it yet, but give it a try. The implications might suffice.
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Erkhyan
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2010, 08:16:43 AM »

Most of my stories actually play out as scripts in my head. Maybe I'm not very good at it either Grin

In this case, I wanted to show excerpts of Njara's past rather than have him (or his former colleagues) tell it. On the other side, the nightmare flashback trick only works once for that case (or it'd get old fast!).

Another thing that pushed me to use the flashback sequence is that there is one particular event in the character's past that becomes a plot point later (one character betrayed another, leading to physical harm and judicial problems). By having the main character still have nightmares about the event, it might imply that he still isn't over it despite his efforts. Cheap, I know.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 01:39:47 PM by Erkhyan » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2010, 02:57:00 PM »

Nah, not cheap at all. As long as you have a good reason, duhdaduhdaduhda. Smiley Just be careful with the flashback. Done carelessly, it could function merely as a plot dump, and that would defeat the purpose.

Anyway, just received the resources for my next story, which I sent home from abroad before returning those few weeks ago. I'm starting to read through them, though really I don't want to -- it will mean facing this story sooner, and that's something I don't know if I'm ready to do yet.
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2010, 07:57:36 PM »

Personally, I feel like I'm "waiting" for a story idea to grab me. Once I get going, I really enjoy the writing process - at least with what little I've written so far.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm not doing enough to make story ideas come together. But if I sit down and try to come up with something, I'm more likely to shut down, somehow.

Occasionally I have fleeting ideas - to use JonaWolf's expression - but they seem to evaporate as soon as I explore them more fully.

Guess I'll keep on readin' till inspiration comes to get me...
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2010, 10:56:03 PM »

easy part is coming up with scenes, hard part is stringing them together enough and getting the motivation to write.
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 04:22:20 PM »

Gosh, in the last few months I've got so much material and ideas, not to mention deadlines and requests, my fingers are twitching. And I'm loving every single bit of it. Only problem is I work some 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Can't remember last time I had a free afternoon.

Also I've never been more tempted to write smut.


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