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Discussion The Scribble Pad (Fanfic Writing Discussions)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Briannakin , Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    I think apathy might be a good word for what I'm feeling right now, but I'm not sure. As I've mentioned before, after about a month (more probably) of being in a state of complete brain mush, my muse and my energy, in general, is slowly - OH SO SLOWLY returning. I now have ideas for fics! (thanks to the revival of the mini-games challenge) but none that are like "I GOTTA DROP EVERYTHING AND WRITE THIS IDEA RIGHT NOW". And finding both the mental and physical energy and mental space to write some days is difficult (kinda like what @Findswoman said, some days are just so packed and so fragmented that finding that time and mental clarity to sit down and write is hard).

    I've also been getting back into other past-time activities (when I'm not working) - I picked up a sewing project today for the first time since like December, and I was building the last LEGO set I got for Christmas over the weekend. It's not that I don't want to write or can't write due to a lack of ideas, it's just that other things are attracting my interest more right now. Hopefully as spring comes and - knock on wood - things and my brain get back to (relative) normal, I can get back into a bit more of a settled routine of working and other activities during the day, followed by relaxing with Fanfic and watching a branless show in the evening.
  2. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I will take credit for this, so I could motivate myself. [face_party]

    *gets up*


    *sits down again*

    Look. After fifteen seconds the apathy is back. [face_nail_biting]

    Darn. O_O
  3. amidalachick

    amidalachick FFoF Hostess Extraordinaire star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 3, 2003
    Thanks for the support, everybody, and I offer my own hugs and good vibes to everyone. [:D][:D]

    In the words of a true Canadian icon:
  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    I am not Canadian, but I definitely appreciate some Red Green.

    Also, has anyone tried duct tape? Because I once heard someone say that it fixes everything.:p
  5. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010

    Yeah, today is a perfect example of my muse/writing issues. I want to write and I have ideas, but today has been such a mentally and physically exhausting day that I just curl up in a blanky, watch an episode of something I love, then go to bed. Rest is important too and I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be less crazy that I have the energy to write in the evening.
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I love Corner Gas. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    Time for another stream of conscious post while I try to figure out why I fail at being a productive writer :oops: because it's been a minute since I made one of those.

    I feel like this past year I've struggled with focus for writing my longer, multi-chapter stories. Sometimes it's a case where I start with a lot of inspiration, and then I lose it as the story goes on. Other times, I have the inspiration, but I don't have the time or the energy to write.

    Perhaps it is that I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew too. That I'm too ambitious and driven to start too many projects that I then take a longer time to finish than I should or that just sort of fade along with my inspiration.

    Making me feel bad for unintentionally sort of stringing readers along on my unfinished projects. My writing is like one of those highway projects that never gets finished. Just is always under construction while motorists drive by, wondering what is taking so long and shaking their heads.

    And my attention keeps getting distracted as it moves from one shiny new fic to another and just lacks focus.

    Ugh. My writing and me are such messes. Which I guess means we deserve each other.

    Anyone else having these problems? Or is it just me?
  8. Dark Ferus

    Dark Ferus Chosen One star 8

    Jul 29, 2016
    Yes, absolutely.
    You’re not alone, Devil [:D]

    I never wrote my epilogue to my Indy story nearly 4 years ago, and I have several unfinished PT-era stories on here.

    On, I have a couple Harry Potter stories unfinished, and I was developing a Star Wars AU set in medieval Europe left undone.

    Even now, I am struggling to decide whether to focus on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 3, Episode VIII of my sequel trilogy rewrite, or this HP idea called The Scorpion King.

    I know what you mean about inspiration. I worry about my story making sense and it stalls my creative process.

    Definitely not alone.
  9. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    It's definitely not just you. I've had these exact same issues for years now. I got around it by mostly doing vignettes, short stories, and longer series told through vignettes. My brain just cant commit to a natural story arc thats more than like 5000 words long. And for the most part I was okay with that. Sure I had ideas for longer fics but I got my creative outlet though those vignettes.

    But lately, I cant seem to write anything (for fun and pleasure) and there's both a mental and a physical component to this I dont want to get into publicly. It is coming to the point where I might give up fanfic as a past time and focus my leisure time elsewhere... and that's hard to come to terms with. But thats life and sometimes you have to shift focus... but occasionally come back to what once was a large part of your pasttime.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to turn this into a "woe is me"/"my situation is worse" but it's something thats been on my mind and that I've been struggling with for awhile.
  10. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    I am sorry to read this. I hope things improve soon.
  11. amidalachick

    amidalachick FFoF Hostess Extraordinaire star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 3, 2003
    @devilinthedetails that sucks that you're feeling this way about your writing, but if it helps any, you are absolutely not alone in these feelings! [:D]

    Same here. All the stress and anxiety of this past year has really affected my ability to focus and my attention span in general, but I've never been good at longfics. I typically write oneshots because I just don't have enough ideas and can't follow through for anything longer, but even with those I don't actually finish very many. The only difference is, just because they are unposted oneshots, nobody ever sees them to know about all my abandoned projects. :p

    I also agree with what @Emperor Ferus said, that worrying about whether a story makes sense (as well as, for me personally, whether it's 'good enough', which I KNOW is a completely subjective standard that only I really care about but still struggle to get past) stalls the creative process. It's easier to procrastinate by spending ages fiddling with a couple of lines trying to make them 'perfect' than to actually sit there and just write the story. And, it is definitely a valuable and enjoyable part of writing to fine-tune our stories and make them as good as they can be. But I think sometimes it just becomes an excuse to not write the story, because there's always something that can be done 'better'.

    And after all that rambling I don't really have any advice to offer, but I just want to repeat that you're not alone in your feelings. And as a reader, I look forward to the things you are able to write and share, no matter how long the writing process may take! [:D]

    I've been there, and it is a difficult thing to go through. It's always hard when interests shift or change, but I think it's particularly hard with fanfic because (speaking for myself of course) there's so much emotional attachment and investment involved.

    I've also found, though, that it never entirely goes away. As The Boss puts it:

    Regarding fandom and fanfic specifically, maybe it's stupid, but when real life is so chaotic and uncertain (and I'm not just talking about 2020), it's comforting to realize that the characters and stories we love will always be there, whether we want to spend a lot of time with them or just drop in for an occasional visit. [face_love]
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    @devilinthedetails ... I like to think of it as a possible transition as an author. I've always done short stories and found longer works easier to do in collaboration. Lately, though, I find myself inspired and drawn to do one-shots using the MMM or OTP prompts, or the mini-games. I even would hesitate to do the UDC challenge. Even though I can do a year-long DDC, the posts are short enough.

    Your one-shots are marvelous and insightful, and as for your longer stuff, they resonate with me big time, especially Cold Harvest. Hopefully as RL gets back to something close to normal, things can pick up again in terms of your mental/physical energy. And with new users coming along on the boards for them it won't be a long delay.

    I know what you mean about highway construction; where I live I don't think they even have a finish date for the project and :rolleyes: when I ride on it, it still is rough. :p
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  13. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Emperor Ferus Thanks for the hug, Ferus[:D]I think the longer the story, the greater the odds are that I will leave it unfinished. It's like a law of the universe. I can especially relate to what you say about your Star Wars AU still being unfinished because I have one of my own that I really should complete one day. As for unfinished stories in multiple fandoms, I am guilty of an unfinished Harry Potter "epic" that I posted on under a previous identity from way back when I was in high school. But I've mostly forgotten about that because it was so poorly written by my current standards[face_laugh]And inspiration can definitely be so fleeting and fickle. When it's gone, it's hard not to worry that it won't come back. Also, yes, worrying about what makes sense in a story can be a huge creativity drain and can definitely have me second-guessing myself, that's for sure.

    @Briannakin Vignettes and short stories definitely have their appeal since I think the shorter forms of writing such as oneshots and multi-chapter stories that don't go on for too long probably come more naturally to me at this point in my writing. I also do like the idea of telling a longer sort of story through a series of vignettes. That seems very creative to me!

    I'm so sorry to hear that you haven't been able to write anything for fun and pleasure lately due to your mental and physical circumstances[:D]The difficulty you are describing somewhat put me in mind of a recent interview I listened to with one of my favorite fantasy authors, Tad Williams. He was explaining how a shoulder injury had made it very challenging for him to write, not just because of the injury itself making it physically difficult for him to write/type, but also because the pain was in a very real sense sapping his creativity and inspiration for his writing. And that second circumstance was in some ways more terrifying for him to face than the straight up pain and physical challenge of his injury because before injuring his shoulder, he said he had liked to believe that he would be able to write up until the day he died because writing brought him such joy and fulfillment. The way he described it, he had always defined himself as very much a creator not just of stories but also of drawings and music and not only a consumer of those media, and so to be sort of trapped perpetually in that role of consumer and never creator was really eating away at him.

    I suppose my point to all this rambling is for those of us who write it does seem to becoming a defining part of who we are and how we see ourselves and how we define ourselves in relation to our world. We see ourselves as writers, whether of fanfic or published stories, so to have that taken away from us in any way would be incredibly painful and difficult. As a fanfic writer, I also feel that we have created a special community, especially here on this site, so that can also become something that we don't ever want to think about losing in any sense.

    I do hope that your physical and mental states improve as much as is possible, and that if you do have to spend your leisure time in other ways, those leisure time activities will come to be just as fulfilling and meaningful to you as fanfic and writing. And also, that the fanfic community is here with hugs and support whether you can write fanfic or not[:D]

    @pronker Thank you!:DI think writing sometimes gives me a rollercoaster of emotions. I am very happy and pleased with myself when I can be productive, but sometimes feelings of frustration and disappointment with myself set in when I can't write as much or as well as I would like. But the great thing about this community is that it supports me when I'm productive as a writer and when I'm struggling to be productive. So that is a huge gift!

    @amidalachick Thank you so much for your kind words![:D]The stress and anxiety of this pandemic has definitely impacted all aspects of my life, but I feel like it has been especially insidious with my writing.

    I tend to be fairly lucky with my oneshots in that normally once I start to write them, I have enough inspiration to finish them even if they are never as perfect as I envision them in my head, but with longer stories, the inspriation cannot always carry me over for chapter after chapter of story production. But still I can't resist sharing the unfinished, in progress longer stories that I write, so then everyone can see just how fickle and inconstant a creature my muse is...

    I think a lot of times we writers have a perfectionist streak, and that can make us really hard on ourselves, wanting us to create the perfect story or the perfect phrase or whatever. So in a way we become our own worst enemies and can sabotage our own creativity by getting too judgmental and harsh about our own writing.

    Thank you so much for supporting my writing, and I always really enjoy your fanfic as well. You have a beautiful way with words and a knack for exploring your characters in a deep way!

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you so much for your thoughtful words and support![:D]I really like and agree with your comment about transitioning as an author. Because I think that could be some of what this is. When I started writing fanfic way back in high school, it was always long, epic fic (that in hindsight was not all that well-written and full of run-on sentences because while I can be verbose now, it's nothing compared to what I was early in my writing career:p) and then gradually I transitioned to writing a lot more oneshots. Now I seem to be transitioning to a mix of oneshots and some longer pieces. So it really makes sense that having become accustomed to oneshots, I have some growing pains when transitioning to the longer forms of writing, but in a way, it is good to stretch myself and continue to grow as a writer. It helps keep me from getting into a rut at any rate, and sometimes it can be especially satisfying for me to be able to complete a story I've been working on for weeks or months.

    I am so flattered that you find my oneshots marvelous and insightful and that you find my longer stuff resonant because that's what I always hope for and worry I never achieve.

    I think my mood and mental energy should continue to rise as the pandemic situation improves, and even now, some days are definitely better than others in terms of energy. I might get down sometimes, but that doesn't mean I have to be trapped long-term in that defeated state. I can come out of it and find ways to be productive and creative.

    Highway projects are crazy[face_laugh] Where I live, they give us an estimated date of the project being done, which they will then exceed by two or three years. Leaving us to wonder why they bother to give us an estimated date of completion. Instead of just throwing up their hands and being like, "We honestly don't know when it'll be done."

    Which is probably what I should say about my WIPs. I don't know when they'll be done. But hopefully the journey to the end will be worthwhile at least.
  14. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 22, 2007
    devilinthedetails I know where you're coming from.

    During this pandemic with staying away from the public and keeping inside my home, you would think it would be a writer's dream. All that time just writing. Not true! It's almost like there's too much thought going on. Plus, with me still being caretaker for my stroke-ridden mom, I can't find long spaces of time to write anyway.

    In my case, I have a few large epic stories. I almost didn't finish one. It took a year or so to pick it back up and finally finish it. I only have one more long epic in Star Wars that I haven't finished. One of the problems I have with it is that I started it right after TLJ and I anticipated where the story would go from there. Lo and behold, I didn't finish it in time when ROS came out and ruined my speculation. What's more is that I'm getting almost zero feedback (I know, cry me a river) so I don't know if it's worth it to finish it. I came up with a great title (What You Have Learned) and I finally wrote a famous character for the first time in my fanfics. (Do you really think I'm going to tell you who?)

    Funny thing about stories that authors write. It's the same concept as what Lucas said about directing. A writer is never finished with a story. I have been reposting some of my epics that were completed before the move to this site and the chapters are chopped off. I have been revising them as I go. Proves my point that any writer can go back to their older works and still revise them. Yes, writers and artists are perfectionists. They are also procrastinators. I have won many awards in Procrastination, but I haven't picked them up yet. Maybe tomorrow. [face_laugh]

    Like you, devilinthedetails, I have lost my focus for multi chaptered stories. Lately, I have been sticking to the one-shots. It's like our muse is just tuckered out and tells us, "Eh, sorry, can't go that long anymore." Writing can be a fickle friend. The point is just to allow the spaces of lack of inspiration to flow until that inspiration floods back in. And it will flood. When you least expect it.

    Carry on!
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  15. DaenaBenjen42

    DaenaBenjen42 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 15, 2005
    I have something to add, but it can wait until after work... in short? No, @devilinthedetails , you are not alone. Really not.
  16. DaenaBenjen42

    DaenaBenjen42 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 15, 2005
    I had to go indulge, finally, the poem plot bunnies (I'm me, it was going to happen eventually), and I'm someone who normally keeps to PM about the personal stuff rather than posting it to public thread. Sometimes, the funny stuff might get posted in the "you know you're a fic writer when" thread... IS the fact that I had to write something traumatic while listening to the Here's Your Sign guy hilarious? Yes.

    Being serious now, as this is the thread for that... what I was going to add was that I took an accidental (kind of purpose but really not) vacation from fanfiction where I got severely stuck and stayed there due to all sorts of stress and not plugging my new desk lamp in for more than a year. (When I finally did, I guess I was ready to. What does the desk lamp have to do with anything? Looking at a computer screen without a backlight behind it is hard. I'd try to write and couldn't.) What were the stressors? An uncle died after a stint with Pancreatic Cancer, we had more than one fire crisis out here (Two of them made my author's notes attempts for Sometime This Century), a parent needed a pacemaker (she's fine)... and THEN we had pandemic, and I've worked in a doctor's office since 2007. This is my second pandemic in that office... and I've not had a cold or the flu since December 2019 or January 2020. Normally, because I do work in a doctor's office, I catch colds frequently. So... yeah. Stress beyond the telling of it, and I was playing the Sims 4 instead of writing. I'm admitting to that, because I never tried to hide it, and someone on the You Know You're a Fic Writer thread was all "I see those sims references!" Um... yes? Was very stuck and staying there.

    And... **points down to sig** Right when I started to finally on purpose get myself unstuck for real (before, I might add, plugging my new desk lamp that I've had for a year in... laugh, someone should), we lost a fic writer suddenly. It's still in my sig on line two, just grayed out, without the roses. If no one yet knew before, BrightFeather, who was one of ours, though she hadn't actually been to the boards since 2012, died very suddenly on 3/20/21. As in, she posted to her FB account on 3/19 and NOTHING on 3/20 and she was in the habit of posting often, all day long. I found out on 3/24 while scrolling down the wall while wondering what didn't look right, and suddenly The Friends of Lois and Clark were posting her obituary and giving me the answer, and... seriously, there is no good way to find something like that out.

    Not sure if this helps at all, but... I've got long stories going, but I excel at short. I love short. (I might also STILL be a bit scrambled, but less so than last week.)
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  17. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    You have my sympathy for all the stuff that Darth Real Life decided to dump on you, and even though we haven't interacted a ton, it's nice to see you back on the boards.

    (I seem to recall an MCU fic of yours in the NSWFF board that I was following with great interest, but now I can't remember the name of it. Which stinks, because having thought of it, now I want to read it again.)

    EDIT: Never mind. I found it.
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
  18. DaenaBenjen42

    DaenaBenjen42 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 15, 2005
    I'm glad someone is enjoying the story that kills ink pens. (Which is true. For a while there, it was a running gag of "Oh, I killed another one.")

    And... don't let me be the one to stop all discussion, all. We all have life issues and drama... sometimes it might be a parent that forgot to schedule a thing and suddenly thing is Friday and wants you to go with in the middle of a work day, and sometimes it's a wall of text that just comes pouring out when talk one finally does. Honesty is good for the soul, and it's better NOT to be scrambled all to heck over fixable problems or things one can not solve.
    Also... **waves to MadMan, pronker, amidalachick, and devilinthedetails**
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  19. amidalachick

    amidalachick FFoF Hostess Extraordinaire star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 3, 2003
    @DaenaBenjen42 I'm so sorry to hear about BrightFeather and everything else you've been through. DRL is a nasty thing. I'm glad you're back and able to write again at least. [:D]

    I wanted to bring up something I've noticed because as usual I've been overthinking about it, and I was curious if this happens to anyone else.

    I seem to go through cycles where for two or three weeks I can come up with ideas, write (usually chaotic first drafts that don't go anywhere but that's besides the point :p), do some reading, and just be generally excited and involved in fandom stuff. Then it's like a switch flips and I stop reading/writing/interacting. Trying to edit anything sometimes leaves me in tears because all I see is awfulness and I can't get past that. I try to come up with new ideas and there's nothing. I stop reading because I can't concentrate and I'm not in the headspace to leave any sort of comment and I feel so guilty about 'reading without acknowledging' (which is a whole other topic but, again, not the point of this post haha).

    Occasionally the 'downslope' is tied to hormones (without going into too much detail, PMS is pure evil) but usually there's no specific cause that I can figure out. It's not dependent on how bad or less bad real life is at the time. It's not character- or fandom-specific (example: a few weeks ago I was super-excited to work on a Star Wars fic for the first time in ages and now I can't even stand to look at the document). It's not purely physical or purely mental (in the 'excited' phase I can stay up and write until I literally can't keep my eyes open, but in the 'downslope' I can be wide awake and unable to write a sentence). It [face_dunno]:p

    Anyway, if anyone actually read all that, sorry for all the rambling. I really am just curious if this is a thing anyone else has noticed with their writing or if I'm just losing whatever grip on sanity I have left. [face_laugh]
  20. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard FFoF Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 22, 1999
    @amidalachick I go through something similar; I go through depressive cycles every two to three months where I get into funk where it feels like everything I write, draw and do sucks and I just suck in general. And yes, editing is painful, because my stuff sucks so much and reading is painful because everyone else's stories are so much better than mine. This can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks, and I haven't found any consistent way to "snap myself out of it". Logically, I know it's a phase and it too shall pass, but while I'm in the midst of it, it feels like I'm at the bottom of a well. I don't have any words of wisdom, but I do sympathize. Hang in there [:D]

    At the moment, I'm struggling with finding the right frame of mind to write. Things with real life are not great and I'm angry and frustrated a lot. It's not conducive to writing cute YA romance :p I wind up wasting time playing Candy Crush or taking my frustrations out on Nightbrothers and giant spiders in Fallen Order (on a totally tangential note, Dathomir is a real pit in the game, not nearly as nice as it sounds in @Anedon and @Adalia-Durron 's stories)
  21. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU/Costume/Props/EUC Mod. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 3, 2003
    Ours are Legends stories and the majority of stuff these days is Canon. So utterly and completely different worlds. I have weeks where I am busy with DRL and there is utterly no creative words in my head. I an lucky, some of the people I write with are inspirational and they get my creative juices flowing, it helps me snap out of that dull spot. Muses if you will and mostly because the characters they have that interact with mine 'feed' me. We all find inspiration in different places, and having lulls is normal. You get burnt out and need to re discover you creative flare, its there, just tired. ;)
  22. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 30, 1999
    Have lost all motivation in the last couple of days. I just feel overwhelmed with everything that I have to do. Doesn't help that I'm sick too, but the mojo has gone (for the moment).

    I think if I just ignore everything and try and get the longer fics and abandoned stuff done then it might help. It's just that the challenges on this board are so much fun...
  23. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    I want to join the "right now everything I write feels like crap" club please.

    Last week I was bitten by a positively rabid plot bunny. Rabid, I'm telling you. And it's occupying all of my headspace, even though I'm trying to finish at least some of the neglected stories I have on the boards, so it's throwing me off-track. But hey, at least you'd think a rabid plot bunny would get the writing to flow, right? Well, no. I have the story ready to go in my head, but when I try to sit and write the words are just not coming, and what I write is ABSOLUTE GARBAGE (yes, I'm shouting here). I know exactly what I want that story to be, but I can't put it in words.

    It's so, so frustrating. I blame the pandemic. [/rant]
  24. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    I am somehow in both the "I have no ideas and no motivation" camp and the "everything I write is garbage and not worth the energy" camp. And have been for several months.

    At work I am just so stressed and overwhelmed, that once I'm off, I just dont have the brain space or the physical energy to work.

    But this long weekend I finally had both things one evening to sit down and work on an old, stupid vignette (I just really wanted to write!) and I actually had so much fun, unfortunately, all the ideas I have to continue the plot are just garbage.

    I think I need a random prompt to just inspire something totally new.
  25. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Just a moment, my friend, as I reach into the metaphorical hat and retrieve from it a random prompt of randomness.......

    And your random prompt is: A Jedi, a loth-cat, and a garbage can.