May 30, 2019 at 1:03 pm #90594MyClipboardIsMyViolin@myclipboardismyviolin
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
I really like this, actually. Very mysterious. I thought perhaps the woman and the man weren’t exactly the person he was supposed to be interviewing, and perhaps the woman had some connection to a fantasy world?
Not sure what happened to the real interviewee, either. Late? Kidnapped? Is this the real interviewee, and this is all a setup with some secret from the journalist’s dark past? Hmm.
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
Hmm. Okay, this state is a little bit different from what I originally envisioned. Again, this story is extremely good – it’s what may be called dark idiosyncratic humor.
Do any or a lot of these “fragments” and stories actually share characters in common? The problem may be less perfectionism and more like that you have so many plot ideas for the same characters that you want to do them all, and they are competing in your head for the honor of being The Plot. You get like 2 pages into one plot idea, then your brain gets attached to another idea and you want to do that one.
I used to have that problem, heh…it actually goes back to importance and theme, because you’re suffering from postmodern fragmentation of story in this case. Other than identifying the fragments that share elements in common and stitching them together using reality bending and postmodern storytelling techniques, the best solution is to ask yourself: What theme or meaning am I trying to convey with these characters? Because that’s notably missing from the two story fragments you’ve posted here.
Everything else is beautifully done. The settings are compelling, the characters are engaging, and you’ve got the concepts square. But if you don’t have any meaning, any truth that you’re trying to get to your audience, you’ll burn out because you feel that your work and your writing is meaningless and you’ll stop. Sure, you’re good at it, but what’s the point? Human beings aren’t designed to exist in meaninglessness and do meaningless work.
(Now you could make “writing is meaningless” the theme of your work and stitch it, but I don’t recommend this course of action. It’s not Christian writing. If you want to do postmodern writing, that’s your own choice…but this will lead to depression quickly. Postmodernism is an intellectual philosophy that life is meaningless and fragmented; depression is the feeling that life is meaningless which leads to actual psychological fragmentation.)
This doesn’t mean that your story has to be like Bibleman – far from it. That’s part of the point of Story Embers is to place Christian themes into one’s writing without being cheesy. But it needs to have a point. Perhaps the second story is about the despair of working in the modern workplace. We have an abusive boss taking advantage of someone who is psychologically fragile to start with. Maybe another character is gaming for a promotion and cheesing off his coworkers. Only God provides satisfaction and hope – the modern workplace clearly does not. Maybe that’s the theme.
Or maybe you just started it in the office to explain the first character’s decision to quit her job and start her own business. Maybe the theme is that’s better. I don’t know, it’s your story. I’m trying to help you, but if what I’m saying doesn’t work, ignore my bad advice. It seems that I’m still not understanding your problem very well. There has to be a reason why you’re not finishing your stories, unless you just hate writing for some reason.
You clearly have the skill, but that’s not an obligation. I actually have language-learning abilities that allow me to retain the Spainish I’ve learned much easier than others and learn over 6 programming languages. I’m here to tell you that I highly dislike programming despite the fact that I can do it very easily, and I should not be doing it the rest of my life as a career. It strikes me as meaningless and it’s not good for me. You don’t have to like everything that you are good at.
Anywho, I hope some of this helps.
Sarah, Miss S, Sierepica_FuzzywalkerJune 13, 2019 at 12:08 pm #91343
I’ve recently become aware of a different kind of outline. The Reverse Outline. It could possibly work. What do you think? Is it worth a try?
HAPPY WRITING!!September 23, 2019 at 1:03 pm #97569Buddy J.@wordsmith
Hey there… It’s been a while since this topic heard from you, and I recently stumbled upon it, so I wanted to ask if you’re doing alright. How are things in the writing?
While I wait for a reply, I’ll leave something here for you. A little something to remember.
I am a panster. At least, that’s what I’m more comfortable with. Plotting and outlining is something that seems to be growing on me, both out of necessity and the love of meeting that need. But something I’ve learned, something I still struggle to apply to this day… whether pansting or plotting… is just writing. Writing messy words.
As far as writing goes I have moderate experience, a little less than three years. And in that time span I could do nothing but write messiness. Sometimes it was painful, other times quite enjoyable… but above all, whether it was awful or not, the end was what meant most. Having finished a work.
There are few things better in writing than to literally spit out words that are not great. That can be downright terrible. That is expected, and has to be or else no one would learn. The process almost always… necessarily… start out with not good writing. But it’s following through that really matters. Following through to the end. And I struggle with it.
I pray you can figure out what needs to happen, and do it.
-Wordsmith- Author of short stories, Reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!September 23, 2019 at 1:58 pm #97572
So a few people have suggested that I write the ending first. The following ending would be for one of my main novellas. I admit, though, it’s not been that high on my list of writing projects lately.
Blue Heart (ending)
Renee stared off into the distance, trying her best to see the glimmering dot of brightness in the obscurity. Aaron once told her seeing only the blackness was seeing the glass half empty.
Of course, that was before he went and shattered her dreams with his honest replies to her emails.
Never mind that I was too forward. He didn’t have to go and be so blunt about his feelings. He could have been kinder about it. Renee reached up, twisting her long hair around her cold fingers hoping to warm them somehow. She glanced at her watch.
Gasped. It was half past eight and she would be late if she didn’t head for home right away.
Spinning and heading for the tree against which she propped her bike upon arriving at the place she deemed her Thinking Spot, she grasped the handle bars and threw one leg over the seat, pressing the [pedal] and picking up enough speed to begin pedaling.
Arriving at the back door she locked her bicycle up using the porch and walked inside. Her father watched the news as her mother worked over something in the kitchen. Renee allowed a smile to quirk her lips, hoping it was some kind of dessert. Her brother was probably in his room either doing homework or playing on his Xbox.
Probably the latter, she frowned. Entering the kitchen she retrieved a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water from the pitcher in the fridge. Moving a few steps away so her mother would have access to the [refrigerator] if necessary and proceeding to gulp down about half the contents, she let out a sigh as she lowered her arm.
“Where’ve you been?” Her mother’s question was not unexpected, but Renee felt unprepared to answer just now. If she told her mother she had gone to be alone and cry, she would want to know why. And Renee didn’t yet want to discuss why.
More to come.
HAPPY WRITING!!May 19, 2020 at 2:20 pm #112806
@MyClipboardIsMyViolin, I will be reading and rereading what you said above. I don’t know if you posted more than once because I’ve been so bad about being here and paid so little attention. That’ll change, but I’ll read what you wrote because it may very well help.
HAPPY WRITING!!May 19, 2020 at 2:33 pm #112807
You said: You get like 2 pages into one plot idea, then your brain gets attached to another idea and you want to do that one. And that is almost exactly right.
HAPPY WRITING!!May 19, 2020 at 2:37 pm #112808
I thought we could quote by selecting part of someone’s “speech”, but I’m having to copy & paste instead.
Anywho, I hope some of this helps. Immensely!!
HAPPY WRITING!!May 19, 2020 at 2:45 pm #112810Arindown@arindown
I know it’s been a while since you started this thread, but I just thought I’d pop in.
I think I can relate to some of your struggles. I literally have over 300 pages of random, short parts and pieces of stories. Actually, I’ve been writing for years, but its only this past year that I’ve actually buckled down and decided to write a real book. And it’s hard. The biggest thing I’ve been learning is just do it. Just write it…even if it’s horrible (and I’ve written some pretty horrible chapters in the last couple months😆).
Also, I’m not really a plotter, or a panster either. I don’t like research, and I don’t like mapping stuff out…too much work.😉 But, I can’t just fly by the seat of my pants. My stories are all a mix of tons of plotting (even years), and spur-of-the-moment ideas.
I don’t know if this helps at all, but always remember that inspiration comes in bursts. It will never be enough to carry you through a whole project. Only patience, grit, and God’s grace will get a book written
Live doing what you love. Die doing what you love. Do what you love for the Master.May 19, 2020 at 3:09 pm #112816
I pray you can figure out what needs to happen, and do it.
As do I, @wordsmith
HAPPY WRITING!!May 20, 2020 at 12:10 pm #112854
So a few weeks ago I saw someone comment about being a plantser – a mix of the two. What do you think? I agree wholeheartedly.
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