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@@@Inspiration@@@ When The Words Won't Come...

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by tangled_sphere, Mar 11, 2004.

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  1. tangled_sphere

    tangled_sphere Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Welcome!

    I would like to make this a haven for those who are facing writer's block or rejection of a hard worked on piece or worse, silence.. to get the inspiration to keep going despite setbacks.

    I think each one of us has a unique voice and a story inside to tell. We all come from our infinitely different experiences in life and have a lot to add here in the forums. There is a lot of talent here that I don't want to lose! I believe if we can keep practicing and writing, we will someday get to where we want to be.

    I'd like to add to this thread, inspirational quotes, tidbits and ways people have gotten through writer's block or rejection.

    I think we've all been to the point where we want to quit, or that plot bunny nibbling on you won't get on the paper right, or you just look back on what you've written and think, "I can't believe I just wrote that!" :_|

    I have a few ideas that I'm going to post a little later but I hope that other's wisdom can come forth and give our fellow authors some encouragement when things get rough.
     
  2. obi_ew

    obi_ew Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Great idea for a thread! :) Ugh! Darth Writers Block! Is there anything worse? One of my stories in progress has been stubborn from day one and it doesn't appear that it is going to get better anytime soon. The ideas for where I should go next and how to write it are causing me major headaches. I'm not used to having this much trouble and I certainly am not enjoying it. :(

    I have found the best way to get over the dreaded writing blues is to lean on the friends you have made on the boards. I luckily have met some of the most talented and nicest people here and don't hesitate to cry out to them for help when I am stuck. Just tossing around ideas with them has gotten me out of some really sticky jams and broken down those walls that were keeping me from knowing what to do next. Make friends and reach out to them when you need help. :)

    Also keep in mind that you are not alone. Even those who have a large readership go through the same doubts and dry spots that you do. Just keep on writing! :)
     
  3. JadeDjo

    JadeDjo Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 14, 2004
    This is a great idea! I usually get some kind of writers block, *sigh*, so this will be a great place to get creative ideas.
    :)
     
  4. Shaindl

    Shaindl Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Wonderful idea! I usually do one of three things:

    1. Whine to OE (hi OE!) or my other friends here and they help me out.

    2. Write something else until I have something else for my story.

    3. Go and find a good book by one of my favourite authors. I find that reading a well-written book usually inspires me - i.e. makes me want to write.

    And quotes? Two favourites right now, both by Stephen King:

    Life isn't a support system for art, it's the other way around.

    and

    All writers suffer from self-doubt. True writers are the ones who push on regardless.

    Cheers,

    Shaindl
     
  5. tangled_sphere

    tangled_sphere Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Hi Obi-Ew! I think that is a great idea to go to the people you meet here when the ideas don't come.

    Thanks for stopping in JadeDjo :D

    Hello Shaindl Thanks for your suggestions! I love the last quote All writers suffer from self doubt. True writers are the ones that push on regardless.

    Here's one quote that I really like by Goethe:

    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it,

    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

    Only Begin and then the mind grows heated,

    Begin and then the work will be completed.


    I have found it to be so true that if I can just get to the writing and (edit..edit...edit..), I eventually can get something down that I like or gives me a plot bunny for another story. Doing the challenges here also seems to get the writing flowing.

    Thanks for your ideas you guys!!! :D
     
  6. AlrikFassbauer

    AlrikFassbauer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Usually, when I feel some kind of block, I go out into Nature or simply do something *entirely* different. ;) I think it works ! ;)
     
  7. tangled_sphere

    tangled_sphere Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Hi Alrik!

    I think there is something magical about getting back to nature. I love going for walks with my dogs and just absorbing what's around me.

    I think there is something to taking your mind completely away from writing for awhile.

    I just saw the opera, Ariadne Auf Naxos and it was really inspiring. I went to the lecture before hand and it was really interesting to hear the corroboration between the author of the words and the creator of the music. I think there is something to bouncing your ideas off others to create something truly special.
     
  8. Calandria

    Calandria Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 12, 2003
    eeeeeek writer's block... ask anybody who's been reading my story how long my block lasted this time around (I think I had about a month between posts :( )

    Normally when I get that way, I'll start writing poetry. It's something that, for some odd unknown reason, soothes me and clears my mind. And if that doesn't work... I just take a break from writing, let it sit for a while, and then when I go back to it, I can find some way to keep moving. I have one piece of original fiction I've been working on for 5 years (and I'm only at chapter 5... of draft... errr... 6 or 7 ) It seems I'll start the story, finish it, then scrap every last word I wrote, and start over again, using the same idea, but going about it in a slightly different way.


    Fanfiction is actually my way to chill out from that particular monster haunting my days and dreams. :D

    (hmmm I do seem to ramble on a lot :p )
     
  9. Stormtrooper_Shrink

    Stormtrooper_Shrink Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2004
    We all suffer from block. It happens to everyone. The thing is to try and take your mind off it, go for a walk, read a book, watch TV, talk to your friends, and then come back to it. Don't leave it too long, because I can guarantee that if you have a mentality similar to mine, you won't ever finish it!
     
  10. Tsavong_Lah

    Tsavong_Lah Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Hmm. Writers Block. I think there are many different ways to handle it. For me thnough I will get inspired and motivated by the craziest things. Reading other peoples fics(not to plagerise mind you) , a boring speech, clouds, movies, rocks. I watch a lot of Anime too. Sometimes though I can?t surmount it and I concede the field and take a break from it. Sometimes your mind just needs a rest from having to worry about the story. This is how many fanfics die though. Mine almost did many a time. Thanks to many factors?ah life.

    I find sometimes a story will get to lull point or a point where you have to do some sort of set up to bridge events into the next part of a story. Sometimes I can bulldoze through then with planning and writing out what I want to happen. True I have an outline that I follow but most of my writing is on the fly. I have a general idea and the words just flow until I hit a lull. If its tough to come up with something I will write it out on paper and in entering it onto the Comp I get good ideas or just suffer through it. Another good form of stimulation for me is rereading and reediting older chapters until I get into the flow again. Being a member of a message board also helps as it keeps you writing and thinking in that midset.
     
  11. rogue11lovesjag

    rogue11lovesjag Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Rogue's Tips for Darth Writer's Block:

    1. Drink a very tall glass of orange juice.
    2. Turn off the monitor and just start typing anyway, no matter how bad you think it might be.
    3. Bang head against desk. Many times.

    Okay, so the last one is for desperate measures only, but here's something that's helped me improve my own writing considerably. They come out of Terry Brook's book, Sometimes the Magic Works:

    1) Write what you know.
    2) Your characters must behave in a believeable fashion.
    3) A protagonist must be challenged by a conflict that requires resolution.
    4) Movement = Growth, Growth = Change. Without change, nothing happens.
    5) The strength of the protagonist is measured by the threat of the antagonist.
    6) Show, don't tell.
    7) Avoid the grocery-list approach to describing characters.
    8) Characters must always be in a story for a reason.
    9) Names are important.
    10) Don't bore the reader.
     
  12. AlrikFassbauer

    AlrikFassbauer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2003
    @tangled_sphere : Yes, I feel the same about nature. (Although I have no dog. ;) ) "Wind blowing through my head" ... ;)
     
  13. JalendaviLady

    JalendaviLady Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2002
    One idea that has helped me for the past few weeks to figure out what each character has already been through in life and how they changed because of it. Sometimes issues and people from earlier in a protagonist's life can resurface rather conveniently when the action is slowing down and the author's new ideas are slowing down.
     
  14. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    What do you do when you're going along, everything's great, and then you abruptly lose interest in a 'fic? And when you get finally interest back, nothing comes to you? I'm currently struggling with that with a 'fic.

    Dana
     
  15. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    I've actually just hit that problem, Dantana. A friend of mine and I are co-writing a story and we've got the shole thing blocked out, outlined, planned, and 83+ pages of it written, but we've hit the point where we know what's going to happen and how it turns out, so we're ... bored. The story's done as far as we're concerned and we've lost the motivation to write it.

    The only solution I can think of is maybe to change something so that the outcome is now in serious question.

    For plain old writer's block, though... I usually try and work on something else, like Shaindl said. Which is why I have no less than twenty stories in various stages of completion.

    If I get []really[/i] stuck I find that talking it out with someone helps a lot. My sister has always been good for that, or my friend Ping, or my friend Frosty. Just having someone there and listening is the biggest part, letting me put the problem into words, saying them outloud usually helps more than anything they actually say. I often don't actually take any of their suggestions, just use them to spur my own ideas, but the times I have I haven't regretted it. I once spent a week asking all my friends, "If you thought you were a 15th century pirate at the ren faire with two Jedi, what would you do?" The answers were varied, funny, and I didn't use a single one, but they certainly spurred my own mind until I came up with a few ideas I was happy with.


    For plot problems I often ask myself what I would do if put in this situation. Then I think of what could go wrong with that solution and make my character's life miserable. <eg>

    For dialog problems, always say it out loud. Listen to how it comes out. I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself doing something silly by doing that. Try to make sure that your dialog is consistent with the character.


    And then, if I'm still stuck, I find that sitting and reading what I've already written on a particualr story will often remind me of what I was trying to get across and help me 'get into the mood' as it were.



    Hope that helps someone out there.
     
  16. JadeDjo

    JadeDjo Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 14, 2004
    I'm in the same boat you are Lilith Demodae. I get to a point were I know what I want to happen next but dont know how to write it, or I just get bored and move on to another story. I don't have twenty yet, but I'm well on my way, LOL. :)
     
  17. tangled_sphere

    tangled_sphere Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Thanks you guys.

    Calandria I like your idea of writing in other areas like poetry. I think it gets the mind in that writing groove. I have a plot daemon file on my computer that I write ANY idea that comes into my head.
    When I delete scenes in my stories I add them to this file just in case they come in handy later.

    Stormtrooper_Shrink I think you are right in sometimes you just need to get away from it all and not think about it!!!

    Tsavong_Lah There are parts where the action just comes to a complete lull for me but that its completely necessary to the next part. I think you're right about just bulldozing throught. Now that I'm at the point where I'm my story is where I want it to be, I'm still having some difficulties. I just asked one of my fellow readers for help. It feels good to bounce off ideas to other people.

    rogue11lovesjag I love your tips :D
    1. Drink a very tall glass of orange juice.
    2. Turn off the monitor and just start typing anyway, no matter how bad you think it might be.
    3. Bang head against desk. Many times :D

    I love the turn off the monitor!!!! I saw this class on writing that was titled "What I write is none of my business!" I really like that and I always put that on the top of my rough draft. ;) If I try and judge my own writing, I would never get anything down!!!

    Terry Brooks book looks really interesting. I really like his suggestions.

    JalendaviLady I like the idea of writing things down from the individual point of view of the characters. Sometimes when the plot just gets too complicated, I think feelings and thoughts can be missed. I like this idea!

    Lilith Demodae I think you're right about running things by other people :)

    "For plot problems I often ask myself what I would do if put in this situation. Then I think of what could go wrong with that solution and make my character's life miserable. <eg> " I love this!!! :D I think you're right about just sitting down reading what you've already written to get back into the story.

    Datana Skywalker That sounds so familiar! I have been in a similar problem with my fic. The words were definitely not coming! I just PM'd someone for help and if they had any ideas for me. I am hoping that this helps!

    There's some great ideas in here. Thanks you guys!
     
  18. Jedi_Suzuran

    Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    May 22, 2002
    Excellent topic! :)

    I'm in a situation that's similar to Dantana's. The fic is outlined in my head, but the words won't come. It's worse because I keep re-editing everything I wrote there, and it feels odd. :p

    Writer's Block is a real hell to go through. I spent 6 months blocked on one story, and 3 1/2 on the other. It's not a pleasant experience. What I tend to do, is distract myself with something else. Another story usually works for me. It takes the pressure off me producing something.

    Sounds odd, but it actually works for me. :)
     
  19. The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose

    The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Tangled: You know what really helps? If you go to an art museum. Or look at an art gallery. Try to feel the emotions of the artist as they were creating their masterpiece. Ask yourself things like: "If I do this in my story, how will it reflect the message I am getting across in this fic?" I find that this method helps a lot.

    Music is a great helper, too. Listen for inspirational phrases or chords that strike you as important or emotional. Incorporate what you feel into your writing. Sometimes just a snowball can start an avalanche.

    Try to read over what you've started. Does it make sense? Is it important? What is my message/moral? Is there a reason to write this? And the ever reliable question, Do I really care? That's a good one. Overall, decide what you're doing and why. Move from there.

    When you're drained, sometimes all you need is a break. Forget what you're working on. Then it may come to you! Nature is a great way to relax, as well as meditation or exercise. Try different methods to find what style suits you best. Participating in a different, completely unrelated activity is a great way to just let everything even out.

    If all else fails, get your boyfriend(in my case) to give you a back/neck massage. That'll loosen you up. lol!

    I hope this is of some help to you. I look forward to seeing you elsewhere on the boards!

    ~*Ambyr-Rose*~
     
  20. tangled_sphere

    tangled_sphere Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Hi you guys

    Jedi Suzuran I hear you about re-editing and re-editing and RE-editing. I feel like I could do it forever.

    I like the idea of just starting another fiction. It may just get the juices flowing. :)

    Amber_Rose Nice analogy to an artist. The artist has to get a feeling across with a picture and it's the same for writing.

    Thanks for your suggestions and encouragement. :D
     
  21. _-Darth_Greek-_

    _-Darth_Greek-_ Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 11, 2003
    im kinda ok on writers block. one big set back for me

    no one reads my fics

    just depressing
     
  22. tangled_sphere

    tangled_sphere Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Hello Darth Greek Looks like we registered the same month. ;)

    I still feel new here. I was looking around and I found this great thread that I think is helpful:

    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Fan_Fiction_Writers_Resource/b10304/15052466/?38]click here[/link]

    I hope that is helpful to you! I think there are some good suggestions there.

    And by the way, good luck with your stories!

     
  23. Keeper_of_Swords

    Keeper_of_Swords Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2003
    I love going for walks with my dogs and just absorbing what's around me?. Even me! I take out my dog at night, and think about my fics while I go. Sometimes I think a bit before I sleep as well.

    Try to read over what you've started. Does it make sense?..Indeed it does. Sometimes even though I know how the story?s going to continue, I still re-read what I?ve already written, so that the thoughts get more flowing, and I write less similar words or phrases of description used in the previous section.

    Movies and books help me to write a lot.

    Before I start a story I usually have an outline of the events that will take place throughout it, so I don?t usually stop writing and leave a tale unfinished. However, there come times when I find a particular section of the story difficult to write and spend a lot of time on it.

    These mostly involve conversations and battles. I find conversations difficult at times because the characters have to be believable, and made life-like through words. Something that helps me is imagining someone from a movie who looks like the person I?m writing. Just looks like, not has the same character, so that I can imagine what I?m writing more easily.

    (Ex, when I write about Herger a Jedi Master in my story, I think of the Viking Captain in The 13th Warrior?he doesn?t have anything to do with him, but in my descriptions he looks like him)

    I find battles difficult to write because they?ve got to be realistic and as random as possible. In movies, you see these complex scenes (ex someone ducking an arrow shot, parrying, jumping, slaying then turning to block a sword strike.), but it?s not easy to describe these happenings in a story, especially when you?ve got lots of things going on during a battle.

    Also I find lightsaber fight more difficult to write then metallic sword fights, because more interesting moves can be written in medieval fights, (ex. clashing of word against armour and hitting off helmet..a lightsaber cuts through and therefore I find myself much more restricted when writing these kind of duels)

     
  24. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    I'm also having a very rough time finishing my long fic. I know what's going to happen so I've gotten rather blase about writing it. I think my readers will come after me pretty soon if I don't post but I can't seem to get out of that slump. It isn't that I haven't been writing (I have) but I'm either burnt on it or hestitant to start up again.
    When I do write on that one, I definitely reread the preceding parts to get the flow back. I can't just jump in. Unfortunately, that makes me want to re-edit it again and again.



    KS Also I find lightsaber fight more difficult to right then metallic sword fights, because more interesting moves can be written in medieval fights, (ex. clashing of word against armour and hitting off helmet..a lightsaber cuts through and therefore I find myself much more restricted when writing these kind of duels)

    Lightsabers make all kinds of interesting sounds (hisses and clashes and reverberations) plus you have the smell of burning meat (plus the hiss and crackle of flame) when blade meets flesh. Also, if the lightsaber goes through something, that something has to crash down afterwards. Just think Vader/Luke's duel on Bespin for lots of sound effects.
     
  25. Keeper_of_Swords

    Keeper_of_Swords Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Good points dianethx. Also, in a lightsaber battle, Jedi can use the Force, Sith can use lightning and there can be that real "sword and sorcery" feeling in the duel.

    I agree with the hissing and burning descriptions, I like them as well but I wouldn't part them with that classic clanging and "heavy" feeling metallic swords have.

    But then, I love the way lightsabers are ignited and how they glow and the lightsaber duels in starwars are as entertaining as seeing any sword fight in a historical movie.

    What made me think about this is that part in Attack of the Clones when Dooku hits his lightsaber against Obi's skin twice and pulls back.

    That wasn't very realistic, cause with lightsaber duels if you get in a strike, you just keep cutting through.

    (Now if that part was choreographed using metal swords it would make sense, because it's much more difficult to penetrate armour and flesh)

    Anyway, I suppose both types of swordfights have their advantages and disadvantages when being described and written in fics.

     
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