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FFC #81 - Another piece falls into place

Posted November 16th, 2021 at 07:04 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #81

In case it hasn't been obvious over the last few entries, I feel closer now to restarting my writing than I ever have. The confusion which was present at the beginning of this writing drought has been replaced with clarity. I've knocked out obstacles to better stories one by one, and I've learned some really important concepts which I previously had not known (like character arcs and the 3-act structure). The pieces of what I need to restart my writing are steadily falling into place.

There aren't many pieces left to go. Over the course of a few days, one of the last pieces has fallen into place, explaining - if not exactly eliminating - one of the biggest problems I've been facing with my writing.

I've detailed elsewhere how, until Red, I never had 'failed stories'. They simply didn't occur. The closest thing was a truly awful attempt at a comedic story, but even that made it to the forums (I deleted it shortly afterwards - it was so bad). In the pre-Red years, everything worked.

In the post-Red years, virtually nothing worked. I kept losing interest in stories. There was a lot of other stuff going on too, but losing interest was a big contributor to 'failed stories'.

For a long time, I couldn't figure out why I could get excited about a story for a few days, only to get bored of it soon after. Even more confusing was the fact that some story ideas refused to lose the spark of interest, despite having failed multiple times to yield a working story.

Recently I came up with a theory to explain all this, and so far it has been proven true. So here it is (keep in mind this only applies to me; what works for you is probably completely different):

Story interest seems to be based on my ability to generate stories within that given setting. Basically, the more open-ended a story premise is, the more interest I can have for it.

This explains why I would have a lot of interest in a story initially, and then lose interest once I had the skeleton of an outline: I knew what was going to happen, and there wasn't any room for sequels or alternate stories. If there wasn't anything else about the story I was that interested in, interest would inevitably die off.

This also explains why I couldn't get some stories out of my head. I've mentioned before the story idea I had about Cyprien, Sonya, Cormin, some Utgar elves, and the lynchpin victim Cyprien was protecting. The simple fact that there was no story allowed me endless speculation on how the characters could interact, and what different ways the story could go. I still can't get that story out of my head.

Finally, this also explains how the stories which did get posted were able to work. My interest in HiS was mostly on Isadora. The story was mostly on Valhalla. This allowed me to speculate about how things would turn out, without actually outlining them. The tale of Utgar, while more or less set, still had a lot of potential for sequels (and still does). For both of those stories, the un-outlined interest is what kept the story going.

Knowing that this is how my interest operates is obviously a big thing. It will allow me to come up with stories I can stick with, and identify those which aren't going to make it.

And thus another piece falls into place.

The writing is coming.

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