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FFC #93 - June Update

Posted June 17th, 2022 at 04:52 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #93

Greetings, readers. I'm aware we're approaching the proposed release date for the final entry in the tale of Dilmir, and because I'm definitely not going to make that date, I wanted to update you on where things stand.

First off, I'm just going to get this out of the way: my interest for Dilmir is just not there. I've always had an issue where once I know how the story will unfold, my interest in it starts to dry up. I'm guessing this is due to there being nothing left to create or invent. Since the creation aspect of writing is always what gets me interested in a story, this makes sense.

My lack of interest has meant pulling the story together has been slow. I've known the general flow of how things go together for about two months now, but I've been unable to actually write the story due to lingering issues which needed to be resolved. I think those are all squared away now, but working them into a final outline is proving slow work, as I've already written mostly the same outline twice now, and redoing it, despite the changes, is, to be honest, just boring.

The obvious solution would be to skip the outline, or create an abbreviated version. I tried that. I need the detail when I'm writing, unfortunately, so I need the full outline.

Additionally, my interest in the world of Dilmir is flagging. I think this is because I've spent so much time there, and I'm in a situation where I know I won't be coming back, so I'm not continuing to invent it. Due to this lack of creation, my interest is flagging. While we haven't explored all of Feylund in what I've written, I as the author know every corner of the map by now, and it's getting a bit old for me.

Now the story is fine. It's definitely going to be longer than the previous two stories (which I simultaneously want but which means I have to stick with it longer). It definitely has it's fair share of twists, and I think I've done a good job of handling everyone's previous questions and wrapping things up.

It's just that I can't seem to work on it for more than an hour before my mind starts to wander.

The story is coming, and you will see it eventually. But it could be well into the summer before that happens. I would definitely like to be more excited about it when I write it, because I feel like my lack of interest might come across and I certainly don't want that. But at this point I don't think waiting for the interest to come back is really an option.

If any of you other writers out there have dealt with a similar issue, where you lose interest once you've created everything there is to create for the story, I'd love to hear how you've handled such a situation. Or just your thoughts even if you don't have this problem.

Until then, Dilmir is coming, just very slowly.

~TGRF.
Posted in FFC
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Old
TheAverageFan's Avatar
I too am mostly an ideas man, with the actual writing always being the biggest pain, especially when the spark isn't there. I very rarely write for more than an hour at a time, though even just sitting down to do so can be troublesome.

I do it because it has to be done, however. If the ideas aren't put to paper and published then you're never gonna get to share them with the world. Certainly it'd be selfish to only get excited over the concepts when they're first in your own head, when any potential readers can only get excited over them once the writing's been done and given to them, yes? That's the way I see it.

Honestly though my latest story has been tripping me up in the ideas phase so far. I've chosen to split my party as well as give each character at least one arc of their own. And in doing so—while maintaining continuity overall—I've created a dreadfully tangled Act I knot. I've never needed a whiteboard to help write a story before O.o But at least I am writing at all.

~TAF
Posted June 19th, 2022 at 01:28 AM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
Old
The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar
Wise words. I certainly need to be able to handle this lack of interest if I'm ever going to publish novels.

Two tools I use which really help me keep things sorted (mind you I'm a visual person), are yEd and the outline view on Word.

yEd is a chart/graph tool which can really make juggling simultaneous arcs/plots a lot easier. Completely free. It uses nodes and lines to make flowcharts in any configuration, but you have complete freedom over how it's built. I've even used it for family trees.

You can put Word into an outline mode under the view tab, and then just list out every scene. The great thing about this is that if you nest scenes under headers, you can move the headers and everything nested under them is moved as well. Makes it super easy for sorting/organizing what goes when. I'm using outline mode for the Dilmir outline.

~TGRF.

EDIT: Looking forward to what I assume is Apostle's Creed.
Posted June 20th, 2022 at 01:40 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Old
TheAverageFan's Avatar
Seems useful. I will check it out.

I imagine that novels of publishing quality* must be monstrous, so maintaining interest throughout the writing and editing phases would be difficult. It definitely becomes more work than hobby for that part I'm sure. But people like you and me have no publishers, and therefore no deadlines. So I just keep chipping away at it whenever I can gather the effort to do so. Until I find a better way

~TAF, whose interest often wanders more often than fades, sometimes even back to already finished works

*There are lots of published novels that are not of publishing quality, I understand
Posted June 20th, 2022 at 10:05 PM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
Old
The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar
I find that when I do have the drive to work on writing, interest will usually switch to something else after about an hour. However, I've gotten some quality work done when stuck in a car for several hours, using my laptop. Switching location in this case seems to usually help.

I think this might be because I do everything on my computer: writing, work, playing games. So when I'm there everything is on the table. When I'm stuck in a car with a laptop which can't connect to the internet, the only option is writing, so that's where my interest seems to stay.

Might be a strategy worth checking out. Change location and available tools and see what happens.

I reread your first comment, and one thing I will say if you're giving every character at least one arc is to watch out for 'protagonist-burying'. Everyone having an arc is fine, but the main character still needs most of the screen time. Otherwise he's not the main character. And the reader needs a main character to latch onto, otherwise everyone seems equally distant.

~TGRF.
Posted June 21st, 2022 at 02:59 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Old
TheAverageFan's Avatar
90% of my competition entries were written in the often-lengthy periods between my classes at college, so I am very used to that strategy to get results

Protagonist-burying is definitely a thing, though I can deal with that in subsequent drafts I'm pretty sure. For other characters' small arcs only a handful of scenes in a huge story are required, after all. I can maintain focus as long as I consistently remember to do so while writing.

Also I agree that Train To Busan is very good, but I'll keep this post here for simplicity's sake. It had good, smart characters if memory serves.

~TAF
Posted June 22nd, 2022 at 04:50 PM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
 
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