Discussion Focusing on One Story

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by windu4, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. windu4

    windu4 Jedi Master star 4

    May 15, 2008
    I've got a problem when it comes to fanfiction. I'm a huge fan of Beyond/Saga AU stories so that I can write my own take on Star Wars (even though it sucks). But when it comes down to it I can't commit to a story. I'm always stopping one story in favor of another. And I really feel like it's unfair to people who read my stories since I often just feel like stopping what I'm doing and writing another fanfic with the same characters but at different ages or a different plot. That's my biggest problem with my YJK fanfic now. Just as I started getting into the groove I felt that it would be necessary to develop my characters beyond what I have written so far. At this point I'm ready to just head back to the drawing board and start over again.

    Is there any advice on how I can focus on one story and not let my dissatisfaction with what I have so far result in me just scrapping it and moving onto the next one?
  2. LexiLupin

    LexiLupin Jedi Knight star 4

    Mar 27, 2011
    Don't post anything until you've actually written the whole story, would be my advice. Any dissatisfaction can be edited from earlier chapters, you aren't stuck in having something already posted. If you ever want to share anything, that will force you to commit to and finish the entire story. Then you can post updates on a regular schedule, not have to worry about getting the next chapter written, and be already working on the next project.
  3. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 4, 2011
    I agree with the above advice. I, too, am terrible at sticking to one story. If you were to look through my blank books (not blank, per sé, as I've written in them), you would see one unfinished piece after another after another. Out of every ten stories I start, I only finish one. That average may vary here and there, but it's a pretty consistent 1:10 ratio. So, it's not an uncommon problem to start something and move on to another.

    My advice would be to start small. Join in on one of the challenges and write a short story. Write that one short story with one plot point. Don't worry too much about what you can further work on, just focus on cranking out a story for that challenge. Will it be gold? Might not. But, does it matter? Not really. I've churned out some stinkers that after a closer look, I found holes galore and places where I could have done something different. My first story I posted here? I've been actively undermining story points in that since. Do I plan to revisit it? Never. It's done. It's been expunged from my project list. I refuse to touch it. This way, I don't get caught in rewrite hell.

    Rather than focus on a group, focus on one or two. Put the characters in a small situation and go from there. After it's done, leave it. Sure, it may not be absolute gold, but it's done. Give yourself the satisfaction that it's done. Change plot points around later, undermine it all you want. Retcon it into oblivion. But, prevent yourself from revisiting it, as you will be trapped in rewrite hell. I've seen many an author go down that path. Few return.

    After that story, go for a slightly longer one. Then, try a longer one. Take the stories one at a time, focus on one at a time, and don't go back when they're finished. They're done. They may not be great, but they're done.
  4. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 16, 2006
    Yeah, right now I have two stories going on that I abandoned one for the other (look at my siggie). "The Bond" took over my muse even though I started "A Family in Exile" first. Perhaps it's because I identify with Shmi more than any other character. I should wise up and take the advice of LexiLupin and Traknar.
  5. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 16, 2004
    I just have the same advice: don't post until you finish a story. Try doing some short one-or-two-post stories.

    I have at least 8 WIP on my hard drive; one of them is over 80 pages long, but the plot keeps going astray and I keep having to re-write parts. Others might be cannibalized for new stories. But I'm the only one bothered by them. People online won't see them until I get them done.
  6. Mayla

    Mayla Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 4, 2012
    That's generally what I do. For one of my last fics, I didn't start posting until I was about 75% of the way through--and even then I felt that was a bit "early". I might recommend waiting until you're 80% or 90% finished, even. It's much more convenient that way, than uploading as you write... especially if you're like me and have a tendency to lose interest in your plots, move onto other things, and/or just plain forget where you were going with a story.

    Regarding the waffling itself... I don't have any suggestions there, I do it all the time. :) For me it's more of a 1:20 ratio, ish, with fragments anywhere from 2 pages to 40 pages in length. But that's okay... I know if they're any good, I'll pick them up again later. If you have something that just really isn't working for you, you can always cannibalize the best parts for other stories, like ardavenport mentioned; some of my favorites (or out of the stories I've actually published, the ones that ended up being other people's favorites) started out as Frankenstein chimeras mashed together from scrapped fics.
  7. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    I used to just post away on multiple stories at once (oh, to have that much time again!), but when I started getting slower and having less time (basically, when I had to abandon a trilogy at the start of the third story because I simply ran out of time to write it), I began writing my big stories and finishing them before I posted. And by that I mean few have seen the boards :p But it makes me feel much less guilty than abandoning them here.

    I think moving between multiple stories while you're writing is sometimes necessary--we can't dictate when the bunnies bite :p --but the way to get around abandoning them is write them mixed together all at once and then delay posting any except the completed stories.
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