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Plotting/Pantsing aren't working out…what now?

Forums Fiction Plotting Plotting/Pantsing aren't working out…what now?

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  • #62279
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    As the topic states, neither plotting nor pantsing has been working for me that well. Sometimes I get an inkling of discouragement picking at my 1/2 a brain and telling me there’s no hope of completing something. Why have I managed to write pages and pages and pages over the last few years, but still not have anything finished? 🙁

    HAPPY WRITING!!

    #62317
    Jane Maree
    @jane-maree

    @kr-lalonde It’s all about your tagline. 😉 Struggling but persevering.

    I definitely feel you with this struggle. I’ve been there. My best advice is this: get a simple plot for your story (you could use the three act plot structure worksheet from the resources page) then sit down and write that beast.

    It doesn’t matter if it seems like trash. It doesn’t matter if you hate it. You have to keep going. Don’t go back, don’t fix mistakes. Right now, you just want to get your book finished. Just keep on writing.

    When you’re stuck like this, it’s honestly better to throw everything to the wind and just write the book with absolutely no care of whether it’s a good book or not. Once you’ve finished your first book you can start seeing things from a new perspective. Don’t try make it perfect, or you’ll never finish, trust me. 😛 Just write it.

    Writing Heroes ♦ Writing Hope // janemareeauthor.com.au

    #62356
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    @parker_hankins

    HAPPY WRITING!!

    #62358
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    Good advice, @jane-maree – advice I’ve actually heard before. But it’s something I keep struggling with. My life is so full of imperfections that I want to write one thing “perfectly”. It’s no wonder I’m failing so miserably.

    Thanks, btw.

    HAPPY WRITING!!

    #90485
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    OK. I’ve been absent for quite a while now. Several months, at least. But I really am serious about wanting to be a writer. And while being a Christian writer isn’t looking too good right now, I’m still going to try.

    While no writing contests fit my writing speed/needs I’m still going to try to get something completed. Soon.

    I’ve been looking up different things and saving web pages to my bookmarks for some time now. Hopefully going back to review them will help.

    I admit I’m still not 100% certain what to work on first. But I’ll likely write one of my novels-turned-novellas that may end up being a short story instead (sad face).

    HAPPY WRITING!!

    #90487
    Princess Foo
    @princess-foo

    @kr-lalondd Your comment about how no contests fit your needs reminds me of this website. It has a list of places that will buy short stories from you. If you want a goal, you could try and get published by one of those.

    The cake is a lie. acaylor.com

    #90488
    Princess Foo
    @princess-foo

    @kr-lalonde Blah the tag didn’t work in my first post.

    Your comment about how no contests fit your needs reminds me of this website. It has a list of places that will buy short stories from you. If you want a goal, you could try and get published by one of those.

    The cake is a lie. acaylor.com

    #90490
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    Oh wow. Many thanks, @princess-foo! I’ll check it out!

    HAPPY WRITING!!

    #90496
    Inactive
    @red_converse

    @kr-lalonde I’m classified as a “plantser.” I always felt like I *should* have an outline, but I totally suck at making them. I’m learning to embrace the plantser life and do a bit of both. Most of the time, I’ll do a bunch of research and planning, and then I won’t know what else to plan, so I’ll write. And then I’ll come to a point where I can’t write unless I know more about something, so I park it and plan. And the cycle repeats.

    I’ve also discovered the beauty of small, attainable goals. Currently, I work full-time and am in an accelerated Master’s Program, so small, attainable goals are the best I can do. My goal is TINY: write 1/2 a notebook page a day. Sometimes I don’t make it, sometimes I fight for those 1/2 pages, sometimes I do 5 pages in one sitting. I will take them all. And my writer community reminds me to give myself grace and forgive myself for missing a day or two or 30.

    Perfectionism is also something I struggle with and occasionally embrace. But it’s okay to have bad first drafts, and it’s okay to have novels turn into short stories–they can still be complete pieces that you’re proud of, and/or lead you further. Btw, short story muscles are muscles I do not possess, so way to go!

    Good luck on the contests! ^_^

    #90509
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    Hmm. Thank you, @red_converse. That’s somewhat encouraging. 🙂 I do pretty much the same thing as you, except that researching is something I’ve always had trouble with. Even in school. But I think I’ve figured out a way to do it that will work for me.

    HAPPY WRITING!!

    #90523
    MyClipboardIsMyViolin
    @myclipboardismyviolin

    This problem sounds deeper than writing – it sounds like an intense case of discouragement, and maybe even self-hatred (I know, loaded word). I want to encourage you that you are a beautifully and wonderfully made creation of God, and that God looks at and admires every word of your work, even the unfinished pieces.

    What I think you’re doing is that you’re writing and writing and writing trying to get to the perfect ending, the grand conclusion, the a la Trois de finale. But here’s the thing: no ending that you write will ever be good enough for you. Why? Because you think that whatever ending you think of will be so terrible that you are scared of writing it.

    So: no ending that you write will ever be good enough for you. So why don’t we just end it…here? Where it is? Right now?

    Just think about it for a minute. Imagine that the story ends with the last line that you actually wrote. I would strongly recommend going through all of those scary unfinished Word Processing Documents with their gap-like imperfections staring at you from the depths of the textual black lagoon, and add two words to the end of each one: THE END. This will no doubt produce some things that are terrifying, and some things that are hilarious, and your perfectionist brain will likely scream its terrified self off for a few minutes, but it has lost. You. Are. Done.

    The story is now finished. Begin revising. 😛

    With your story. And your perfectionist brain, too.  It hasn’t really done anything for you except causing you agony and misery and produce unfinished stories. Your worth as a human being is not based on the quality of your work (or how unfinished your work is) , it is based on Jesus’ finished work on the cross. I mean, we’re all unfinished works in progress as the sanctification process goes on, too (as per the Mandisa song :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejycllx5iwA). Even God has unfinished work.

    With that in mind, it’s okay to end unfinished work and give it to other people and even publish. It’s okay to leave something undone, too. Sometimes that undoneness will be permanent, because sometimes even Christians can start pieces out of sinful purposes or them not understanding what God has in store.  But if you’re having anxiety or frustration or fear over a piece and the fact that it isn’t done, just end it. Don’t subject yourself to any more misery. If you don’t enjoy it, you get to escape. Escape Room pass code: THE END.

    Enjoy your freedom.

    Sarah, Miss S, Sierepica_Fuzzywalker

    #90576
    NCStokes
    @ncstokes

    @kr-lalonde This is a veeeery familiar problem to me. Here’s what I did, in case it’s helpful: I made it a goal to write something short, finish it, edit it, and then… move on. Let it sit. It wasn’t anything publishable, was rarely something I felt like showing off, and a lot of the time I moved on and didn’t miss it. BUT!! I finished, and that was all that mattered to me. I was trapped in the mindset that I needed something worth pitching to a publisher or I was failing the writing game.

    Dude, was that wrong. As long as I was writing, especially playing with new ideas, I was improving. Finishing something is a very rewarding feeling, even if it’s a single scene of a book no one will ever read and it’s not even a great scene. My writing skills have improved so much since I started that, and now I feel capable of taking on a longer project because I know I can finish.

    So my advice is: make something small and silly that you’re excited about. Write it, cringe, edit it, cringe, then let it go. It might feel like trash but it’s completed trash, and that’s what matters.

    P.S. nothing you write will ever feel perfect to you, but that’s just how writing goes. Even if it was perfect, you would be the last person to notice. We are our own worst critics. Trust what God has to say about your writing, not what your brain is telling you.

    *shameless self promotion* https://weridasusual.home.blog/

    #90587
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    @myclipboardismyviolin & @mcstokes

    Thank you both. I think this may help very much. Your encouragement and advice mean a lot to me.

    HAPPY WRITING!!

    #90588
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    Here’s something I wrote that’s not the actual story. And the biggest problem with it is that it’s not finished. And I haven’t continued it in a long time. 🙁

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DKpmzBKvSB4Oeiz9ZK866Ultrnj-GrOM195bGgoA8o8/edit?usp=sharing

    HAPPY WRITING!!

    #90589
    KR LaLonde
    @kr-lalonde

    I have so many bits and pieces of stories…. As a result, I’m pretty sure I could never do what Clipboard has suggested. Ending the stories where they are wouldn’t work. And in my mind, the ending is the end. Does that make sense?

    Like this one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o6AjmYIAsEQqtz311v8eu-DhDN9Dpl98n9Pa7jVwdvI/edit?usp=sharing

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by KR LaLonde.

    HAPPY WRITING!!

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