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  #1  
Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:30 PM
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Writing a Novel...

During spring break I had decided to write a novel. I started to write away, filled with a frenzied inspiration. I loved the characters and had their histories all mapped-out and everything! I had the plot moving along, charted out to the minute detail, when school started, leaving it at a measly 6,000 words.

When I came back, I couldn't get back into it. Everything I write seems stiff and forced.

Does anyone have any advice on getting back into the excitment?

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  #2  
Old May 23rd, 2007, 11:10 PM
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I would first suggest that you go back and re-read everything that you have written so far. Revise as edit as you go through this process. Hopefully, after 6,000 words, you will have both gained a desire to see where the story leads to and better connection with your characters.

"Clay lies still, but blood's a rover; / Breath's a ware that will not keep.
Up, lad: when the journey's over / There'll be time enough to sleep!"
~"Reveille", A.E. Housman
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  #3  
Old May 24th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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I have wanted to write a novel for ages but could never think of what i could write about. I've always been better at writing poetry
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  #4  
Old May 24th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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I've written one that I had worked at off and on from 1990-2000. Yeah, that long becuase I would either get too busy to work on it or writer's block or what have you.

I finally finished it and sent it to a couple publishers and got the usual rejection notice. It wasn't a huge book, around 120,000 words and after re-reading it a few times I realized that it wasn't any great masterpiece , kind of on the level of Christopher Paolini's Eragon, but without ripping off Star Wars. I'm pretty good at developing characters, but I guess the story was too D&D ish.

I started another one last year and have over 20,000 words, but havn't done anything with it for almost a year. I used to have time when I was laid off from work, but now that I have my own business and twin 4 year-olds, I really don't have the vast amount of time needed to seriously keep up with writing It sucks because that was one thing I have loved to do since being a kid.

Anyway, my suggestion is to simply write, write and write some more. Sometimes when I was having a hard time getting back into it, I'd just start writing and the story would come out. You could even write bios of your characters and that might give you ideas about where to go in the story. You can write a few chapters ahead and then you can figure out how to fill in between. When you aren't writing, read, read and read some more.

Revise your work after each chapter, but don't go nuts about it, just tweak it, otherwise you will get bogged down getting too nitpicky and lose your creative flow. You can edit the heck out of it when you are done or are totally blocked and can't create anythng for awhile.

Anyway, good luck!

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  #5  
Old May 24th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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I have that SAME PROBLEM! When I write, I'm going in at 3 pages a day, then take a break for a day or two and can hardly do a paragraph.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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Write from the middle. If you have an idea for a scene, just start writing. Take a cue from how movies are made. They are almost never filmed chronologically or rarely even written like that. Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle, put together the things you are comfortable with and can see by heart. Then put the pieces around that. Soon your individual scenes will be connected and they your story will start fleshing out. In a sense, your writing several short stories. That's how ol' JRR did it with the rings. Worked for him, worked for me.
And always carry a little note book. How many times have you been out when an idea hit's you and later on you forget it.

Braxas can be killed by peanut butter.
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  #7  
Old May 24th, 2007, 05:56 PM
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Sometimes when i'm trying to get to sleep i end up thinking of some good story ideas but when i wake up they don't seem so great anymore.
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  #8  
Old May 25th, 2007, 01:27 AM
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Don't write a novel. Write an essay, or an article, or a short story.

A novel is really hard because you can't finish it before you get bored with it. Then you're only writing because you feel guilty, not because you like it.

Plus, novels take a huge amount of work. I've written two, and neither is even worth submitting, because a rewrite on a novel is a kick in the crotch. A rewrite on a short story is an afternoon; a rewrite on a novel is two months, assuming you stick with it.

And then if you can't finish your novel, your self-confidence starts to take a hit. Between that and boredom, you start to think you're a crappy writer.

So start small. Once you've written a couple awesome shorts, work on a novella. Submit stories to fiction mags. Nothing bolsters confidence like seeing your work in print.

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  #9  
Old May 25th, 2007, 01:42 AM
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I *heart* reading.

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  #10  
Old May 25th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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I'm with Hahma and Imax on this one.

Hahma suggested you "write, write, and write some more". You might have 2-3 stories going at the same time and that's perfectly ok. It's also just fine to set a manuscript down unfinished and come back to it when you're ready.

Imax suggested writing shorter stories and I believe this is a good place for new writers (myself included). But at the same time, don't look at the novel as some kind of monumental undertaking reserved for the elite. A glance around any B&N is enough to realize there's really no rhyme or reason to why things get published. That is why you write isn't it, to be read? (Hey you might be one of those eccentric folks who write for their own amusement.)

I've only read one book about writing and it's title is very appropriate: On Writing by Stephen King. His approach is highly practical, well written (duh), and reads effortlessly. I highly recommend it. My copy is falling apart. His advice is simple:

* Read. 99.99% of writers are made better by constant reading.

* Write. 100% of writers are made better by constant writing.

* Have a specific place where you write. Shut the door. Put on some mood music. Whatever it takes to get in the zone. It should be as excluded as possible. It's your "special place". Corny, but true.

* Write for one person. This is the person who will read your draft when it is finished and not one nanosecond before. That means you take your excitement about this character, or that scene, or the latest story development, bottle it up and use it as fuel for your next writing session. Your "Ideal Reader" (as King calls it) should be someone who loves you enough to call your on your mistakes and your BS. So, probably not your mother.

* Set a goal. This might be 1,000 words each time you write, or it might to be to just sit down and spend some amount of time every day. Your goals are whatever work for you, but they should challenge you enough to force you to adapt to them and thereby stretch to new heights.

Good luck dictatorbilbo!
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  #11  
Old May 25th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Thanks Everybody!!! All of your advice has been extremely helpful!!!

Hmm... On Writing? I'll look for that! Suprisingly, the 'just write' approach works! (which I guess would be common sense)

I like the sound of Tholar's non-chronological approach- I'll try it!

Thanks!

MR. GRUBBY'S
GRAND ADVENTURE

~ ONLY IN THE ~
KAUNAN KEEP
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  #12  
Old May 29th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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My advice

I have one full novel written myself, but it needs a whole lot of editing. After writing it, which took a few years, I got involved with a writers group and learned what I was doing good and what I needed to work on. That was when I decided I needed to focus more on short stories for the time being to improve my skills as a writer, since you write short stories much faster and through that learn what you are doing right and wrong much faster as well.

I've not had time to really put into working on a new novel or editing up the old one for a while now. I barely have time to work on my short fiction.

My advice to get back into the writing state of mind is to just write. You don't need to write the story itself, just write. I do a daily journal and that helps me to just be writing regularly. When I can really dedicate some time to focusing on writing, I go through various stories and work on each one until I find something that I just go on with. Unless the idea is fresh in my mind and the passion is really there, it is hard to force myself to work on a particular project. I would recommend you start up a few pieces of short fiction, possible off-branches of your novel. This way even if you are not working on your novel, you are still writing and developing your skills.
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