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anyone know any ways to get past writers block ?
a story, and i think i know what i want to write and then when i put pen to paper it sounds terrible. It's not really writers block, i think its more not being able to organise my ideas well enough, but i don't know how else to describe it.
I think a lot of story concepts sound good in theory, but not so great on paper, so to speak.
Put what you've done away somewhere, work on something else, then come back to it in a couple of weeks minimum. See if you still hate it or not. The more you work on it right now, the more I think you're going to dislike what you're producing. It's a mental state I know all too well.
Also, if you have someone whose criticism you respect, give it to them to look at. Perhaps they'll see an idea worth developing, perhaps not. But an outside opinion helps.
I don't think any writing practice is a complete waste of time, but maybe there's something with more promise you could be dedicating yourself to instead.
which is the cold hard painful truth :(
while it's true there are techniques and routines you can adopt to help you be more efficient, there's not some mystical power blocking all the genius from entering your brain. only actual geniuses can sit down and write something amazing every time, you just have to accept that sometimes, or maybe often, you're not that good.
to be a great writer, it's just for some they can produce greatness only in spurts, rather than constantly.
i don't believe it's a "block" it's just you can't always be inspired and unless you're a genius you can't pick the moments that you want to be inspired.
Stick whatever's there on the page and then start working to improve it - sitting and starting at a blank page only exacerbates the problem.
and you're now sitting down ready to write the first sentence of your 100,000 word novel, then forget it.
Best thing to do is to create scraps. Lots of small bits and pieces that you end up weaving together into something larger. There are heaps of techniques for getting started and for producing fragments that you'll later integrate into something else:
1. sit and write down everything you can hear, see, smell, feel, touch.
2. Grab 20 disparate objects and then use them as a basis for creating a character.
3. Take any photo and the describe it in as much detail as you can.
If you build up a pile of scraps — whether they stem from some defined idea of what the story is 'about', or whether they're just random bits that you've scrawled in an attempt to get started — you'll suddenly have a wealth of material to rework into something much greater.
Don't allow yourself the luxury to think you've got it. Fuck that.
Every book, every screenplay, every article begins with an idea. "I want this and this to happen in this scene." OK, where do I start the scene? Don't spend two pages driving over the house where the thrust of the scene takes place. Start right in the room.
So your opening paragraph can either be "in media res," right in the middle, say with dialogue, or it can it can more of a set up to it. I like to mix it up with alternating scenes/chapters.
Then, you've got to have the journalistic thing: who, what, where and when. Set the scene early, so the reader knows where the fuck the characters are.
Try not to be static. If the conversation between the MCs is the important part, do they have to have it on the couch...because it's a lot more interesting if they can do while they're skydiving.
Then, you want to leave the reader wanting more. This can be done in various ways, but simply put--you'll want some twist or cliffhanger to keep things moving.
Some writers, like James Ellroy, like very detailed outlines to their plot, and most just try to wing it for the first 100 pages or so.
The most inspirational thing I've ever read was by ...I forget...who said he wasn't a great writer, he was a great re-writer. That makes sense to me. Because, early on, I thought...holy shit I'll never be any good at this...it takes me 25 drafts before I'm able to keep my food down! Come to find out, all my favorite writers are great...because they're great re-writers.
Read Kurt Vonnegut's, and Elmore Leonard's 10 rules for writing. They got some great advice. Like, I think Vonnegut says, he likes to take likeable characters and make bad things happen to them.
Join an online writer's group. They're more helpful than you might think.
And then, just sit down and write. No bullshit. Just do it. I interviewed Dean Koontz once. He starts writing at 7.30 every morning...whether he's in the mood or not. It's his job! So fuck your "writer's block" dilemma! You want to be a writer, then write.
And if you want to be a good writer. Re-write it. And then re-write it again...and again!
I want to print it out.
'genius' and 'having ideas' are the myths.
he also treats it exactly like what it is: a job. a profession. not the painful birth of artistic perfection. to this end, he used to get up two hours earlier than he had to when he was just starting out so he could write two chapters before he had to go to work.
start two stories. if you get stuck on one you can go to the other, steal some ideas and take them back to the first, or vice-versa.
go for walks, pay attention to what happens in the news, amongst your friends.
don't think about the story. a good writer writes from his gut. trying to force meaning, brilliance or depth into your story will result in too much shit blocking the exit. hence writer's block.
the moment you start taking it seriously, you will fuck up.
Even if what comes out is total twaddle, interspersed with the odd good idea. Make notes on what you want to improve as you go. You can edit it and organise it at a later date.
It's always a good idea to have a couple of projects on the go at once, so that if you're feeling stuck with one you can work on something else.
write it! damn you! what else are you good for?