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General Writing Discussion For aspiring writers of science fiction and fantasy to discuss issues of writing.

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Old 24th November 2011, 11:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

I note at this point that many depressed people also turn to alcoholism. It really is a cure all.
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Old 25th November 2011, 12:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

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Oh, wait, maybe depression doesn't exist either. Maybe I should plan to be better tomorrow and the dark cloud will lift. If only I had known that these complex and life destroying problems could be solved with better planning!
This may not be helpful, but as I said earlier:

"... I do think mental and emotional health is extremely important to writing. When I'm relaxed and happy my creativity is "sparky", and humour comes easily. When I'm tense my writing is awkward and forced."

I think it's interesting to compare writing block with depression, because I wonder whether the two are very much linked. It makes you think, which comes first -- does writers block cause depression (or feeling down), or is it the other way around?
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Old 25th November 2011, 03:43 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

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It makes you think, which comes first -- does writers block cause depression (or feeling down), or is it the other way around?
I think that writer's block is a symptom of clinical depression. Other people fall into a deep depression and can no longer function at the jobs they do. With writers, they lose the impulse and the ability to write. Unfortunately, they don't lose the desire.
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Old 25th November 2011, 04:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

no more then depressed people loose the desire to live. we just get so frustrated with ourselves for not doing it the way we think we should that we think we want to give up, we wish we could want to give up.
i suppose i should only speak for myself, but i didnt and cant be sorry about it.
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Old 25th November 2011, 05:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

I think if this thread is going to stay on track, it would be better if people remembered the original premise and stayed with that -- which is what do you do when you are stuck -- and stay away from sweeping (and misinformed) statements about writer's block.

The topic here, as I take it, is what to do when things are not progressing for a few hours, a day, or the better part of a week.
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Old 25th November 2011, 06:03 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

well going off topic is one way of getting unstuck. but i think that's been mentioned before.
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Old 25th November 2011, 06:11 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

Since Sunday comes every 7 days, Parsons can not afford to be blocked long. One of my favorite things is to locate the center of the problem (what seems to be lacking or unclear or dull etc.) and then sleep on it. --- Sounds dumb I know --- But very often the next morning a fresh thought will pop up and away I go again. The Holy Spirit and the sub-conscious make an awesome team.
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Old 29th November 2011, 02:01 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

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Well, I've viewed Rachel Aaron's blog post, and I can't say it has helped! Not AT ALL!

It hasn't removed my motivation for writing, but it has dented my confidence in my ability.

She has her "triangle". I.e., we require knowledge (planning), time, and enthusiasm, to optimise writing. Well, I have all three in spades, but while she's pumping out 10K per day I struggle to hit 0.5K. Sad to say (?) sometimes I spend hours and hours on a single paragraph, honing it, polishing an idea until I'm happy.

Now, I'm hoping Rachel Aaron is a talented ("freaky") extreme. Surely, most writers can't consistently write 10K, or even 5K or 2.5K, every day????

Please, back me up here!

Coragem.
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Old 29th November 2011, 08:32 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

Yep, she depressed the hell out of me, too, Coragem.
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Old 29th November 2011, 08:39 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

But her idea of just planning (and writing down) your ideas for what you're going to write work incredibly well in unlocking creativity. Did for me, anyway... I see it like those athletes who visualise their activity by focusing, before carrying it out. I didn't mean that the other two sides of the triangle would stimulate the blocks, as they're more concerned with writing thousands of words. Confuscius says: a one-sided triangle is a straight line...
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Old 29th November 2011, 10:18 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

Does anyone believe that someone can write 10,000 words a day and still take time to edit? Can you really, in those few minutes of planning that she advocates, figure out how to express what you want to say in the best words possible? It sounds highly unlikely to me. If she accomplishes it, then she must indeed be some kind of "freaky genius." And if that is the case, I don't think that any of us who aren't geniuses need feel bad about not matching her output.

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But her idea of just planning (and writing down) your ideas for what you're going to write work incredibly well in unlocking creativity. Did for me, anyway
How long have you been using this method? Have you written anything and had a chance to review it later in terms of its quality?
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Old 29th November 2011, 12:17 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

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Does anyone believe that someone can write 10,000 words a day and still take time to edit? Can you really, in those few minutes of planning that she advocates, figure out how to express what you want to say in the best words possible? It sounds highly unlikely to me. If she accomplishes it, then she must indeed be some kind of "freaky genius." And if that is the case, I don't think that any of us who aren't geniuses need feel bad about not matching her output.
It's nothing to do with being freaky or genius. It is simply different methods. There are probably as many ways to write as there are authors and many will produce a great final draft. (That after all being the important bit).

Every writer is different - some write fast, some write slow. Neither way is right or wrong as long as it's working. Some write dirty drafts, some write a clean first draft. I write with published writers all the time, some write 900-1K words in 20 minute challenges, others write 100 in the same timeframe. Both produce decent complete works. Mine depends on how serious I am taking it - I do about 600-900 in that timeframe when I am focused, but usually I write when the kids are watching TV or playing outside. When hubby takes them out I can do more.

If I didn't have three small children 10K in day would be a doddle (take about 5 hours), with them 3-5K is about usual. (2-3hours) No I don't edit it in the early stages there is no point as I tend to bin a couple of drafts and start from scratch. By the time I come to edit it's pretty clean though - just needs tweeking, but the story is consistent, words usually good and characters don't need work.

I don't write my ideas, but I scrapbook relevant pictures (it's easier to edit when the story changes), create a playlist of songs to remind me about the characters again etc I've been using that for about a year and my final drafts are as good as I am capable of at this time.
http://charlottepimpernel.weebly.com/scrapbook.html

They look like this - that is the one for my current story. It's a similar idea to Rachel Aaron's it allows me to visualise the story giving the characters an actor generally helps with body language etc- takes an hour or two to produce.

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Old 29th November 2011, 02:51 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

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in the best words possible
That what takes SO long for me, finding the best words possible. No matter how meticulously I plan, and even if I know exactly what I want to say, I have to strive and struggle (hack and chip away, often for hours) to find the best words possible.

Besides, what makes good writing, in the end?

While "knowing what to say" (plot / chapter content) is obviously important, it's meaningless unless the author works (and works) on how he or she says it.

For me it's all about the things many readers might not even notice, if they're there. That is, the small details in the setting, the little noises and smells, the subtle character mannerisms. Those are what make a novel come to life, together with careful choices of words and crafted sentences.

If there's a secret to doing the above quickly, I wish I knew it. I've been looking for it for a very long time, but I don't think I'll ever find it.

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Old 29th November 2011, 04:25 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

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It is simply different methods. There are probably as many ways to write as there are authors and many will produce a great final draft.
After more than twenty years in the business, I know that. But what she did not mention in the article was writing subsequent drafts. It was all about writing 10,000 words a day. But writing is not just a race to see how many words you can get on the page. There are aspects of writing that don't even take place at the computer, and they take a lot longer than a few minutes a day.

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Some write dirty drafts, some write a clean first draft. I write with published writers all the time, some write 900-1K words in 20 minute challenges, others write 100 in the same timeframe. Both produce decent complete works.
Is that the goal, then? To produce decent work? To become competent writers? Or are some of us striving to be something more?

Besides, while "decent" may work for established writers, to break into the business right now a new writer has to produce work that is extraordinary.
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Old 29th November 2011, 06:03 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Getting STUCK and Strategies to Cope

Maybe Rachel Aaron can type faster and after years of practice, and some planning doesn't need subsequent drafts. My current drafts are cleaner than they were a year ago, maybe in a years time more than one draft won't be necessary.

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Is that the goal, then? To produce decent work? To become competent writers? Or are some of us striving to be something more?
I have no idea what you are striving to be or what your goals are. Again the goals vary from writer to writer.

My goal is produce work other people want to read, which I do. Fun, twisty plot, good characters, and written as well as I can at any given moment in time.

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Besides, while "decent" may work for established writers, to break into the business right now a new writer has to produce work that is extraordinary.
I guess it depends on your definition of decent. Mine is a work the writer is happy with and that can vary. A writer can only produce what they are capable of. Also not every writer wants to break into the business or it is the primary goal.
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