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Writer Offline
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Finishing my book. -_- - November 16th 2014, 11:16 PM

I'm having difficulties.

I'm a writer, but I have difficulties finishing my books.

Almost ten-thousand words into my last book, I gave up on it because I thought it'd be boring and un-publishable when it was actually finished. Now I'm almost eleven-thousand words into another, and I'm bored to tears. Well, not really: I've just lost all the writing spirit required to write a really good story.

The characters are all reasonably good, the plot has a moral, there are some funny moments scattered through it, nothing drags on too long. I think my problem is that because my book lacks any supernatural/super-powered/'perfect' characters or situations, I view it as a little... Well, sappy.

When I finish it (sometime around Christmas, at this rate), it'll be the first book I've ever written through. The genre I write best is not the genre I like reading: This particular story idea just concerns the meaning of life, a girl trying to figure that out, and a group of mischievous new friends who inadvertently give her an answer. There's even a small love story on the side. And, quite frankly, I don't read stories about love and imperfect characters: I read stories about wild adventures and genius characters maneuvering through them.

What if I finish this, and even publish it, only to find that it's another Twilight: Something sappy and stupid and useless, that everyone loves to hate? What if it's so boring that no one would dare touch it with a ten foot pole?

*sigh*

Someone, reassure me that science fiction/fantasy/historical fiction aren't the only non-stupid genres in the world, and that someone, somewhere, might like simple stories about everyday people.
   
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Re: Finishing my book. -_- - November 17th 2014, 03:08 AM

Hey, you sound just like me if I hadn't given up on writing, so at the very least you can rest assured that you're not alone in these struggles. Now, I don't think a down-to-earth, coming of age story is "stupid" at all. It just isn't what *I* connect to and draw inspiration from. The beauty of creative work is that it highlights how diverse we are in terms of how information is best received, processed, and integrated. A coming of age story can evoke the same profound realizations that a dystopian fiction story can, in two different people, each of whom connects more easily to one type of story than the other.

How much have you tried writing in the genres that you actually connect with? Personally, the main difficulty I had was with creating entire new worlds and societies and having to explain every facet of it in detail - it was so much easier to go with a story set in the present time, in this society that I and any potential readers live in every day, and just take all the assumptions we make about our world for granted in the story as well. In the end, taking the time to work through my difficulties probably would have yielded much better results than continuously settling for stories that I didn't connect with - and eventually made me lose interest in writing altogether. As you're well aware of, writing (not just reading) something that you don't connect with isn't all that enjoyable either.

Also: Twilight has a huge following. Having a book turn out "like Twilight" doesn't mean it's a failure. It might even make you famous. But it sounds like what other people think isn't as important as how you feel about your own work, and being able to experience a sense of accomplishment and pride through it.


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Re: Finishing my book. -_- - November 17th 2014, 03:16 AM

That's quite the achievement. You should be proud. And none of the genres you mentioned is stupid, in fact they're my favorites.
It's hard writing your first book I do poetry and investigative journalism and I've got two projects underway; a compilation of poetry and an exposť on the mafia (marketed as fiction to protect sources). My poetry book had been underway for a year and I'm not even halfway. The exposť had been in the world for six months and all I have is an outline (still researching).


"And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live." - Stephen King
never's the word God listens for when he needs a laugh.- Stephen King

Battles that last five minutes spawn legends that live a thousand years.
Stephen King, The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7)
   
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Re: Finishing my book. -_- - November 17th 2014, 08:23 AM

Maybe you are familiar with National Novel Writing Month? It's going on right now, and the point is to write a 50k word novel in 30 days. The idea is to pressure you to get your ideas down onto paper, even if you think they're stupid or have plot holes of whatever. Once you hit your word count, you go back and edit it. It helps me make progress especially when I'm feeling bored with a story, as it forces me to get creative and not self-edit as I go.

Don't be put off thinking people won't enjoy it. I find the majority enjoy stories which are realistic and relatable.
   
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Re: Finishing my book. -_- - November 26th 2014, 04:58 AM

Thanks, guys, for responding! I thought I'd replied to this, but evidently, I didn't.

Quote:
How much have you tried writing in the genres that you actually connect with? Personally, the main difficulty I had was with creating entire new worlds and societies and having to explain every facet of it in detail - it was so much easier to go with a story set in the present time, in this society that I and any potential readers live in every day, and just take all the assumptions we make about our world for granted in the story as well.
I've tried, a lot. I have a very, very good imagination, but when it comes to building worlds, so many ideas hit me all at once that I don't know which ideas to write down first. If I don't get the ideas down immediately, I lose most of the best ones. Inevitably, opening the door to imagine new worlds leads to imagining more and more and more of them, different types of worlds and different types of plots... All of which I feel compelled to write down immediately. I end up a crazed insomniac, writing until four-o'clock in the morning and waking up at eight to work again. Eventually, I get so tired that I give up.

(For instance: Right now, it's 1:00AM where I live. I meant to go to bed hours ago, but two days ago I decided to take a break and work on something that had meaning to me. I've been working on plots and character profiles like crazy, all while adding chapters to the main story as they come to me. The stress has driven me to procrastination, but if I tried to go to bed right now, I'd toss and turn until I got up and started writing again. I enjoy it, but as I get tired I'll get progressively more reclusive and protective of my writing space. Inside the week, I'll get so tired that my brain refuses to work anymore, and I'll sleep fifteen hours several nights in a row, and start all over again. It gets really, really stressful sometimes, even though it's my favorite thing in the world to do.

So, I guess it's difficult for me to write in the genres that I connect with because the weight of all the ideas makes me crazy. When I imagine other worlds, I imagine so many things all at once, all so special that I want to get them written down before I lose them, so that others can read them. With stories I don't connect with, I can rest my mind.

Quote:
But it sounds like what other people think isn't as important as how you feel about your own work, and being able to experience a sense of accomplishment and pride through it.
Absolutely. If I can't be proud of what I've written, what's the point in writing at all?

Quote:
Maybe you are familiar with National Novel Writing Month? It's going on right now, and the point is to write a 50k word novel in 30 days. The idea is to pressure you to get your ideas down onto paper, even if you think they're stupid or have plot holes of whatever. Once you hit your word count, you go back and edit it. It helps me make progress especially when I'm feeling bored with a story, as it forces me to get creative and not self-edit as I go.
Yeah, I've heard of it. I tried it for a few days, but I'm the sort of person who likes planning out plots in advance and editing as I go. There's no way I could hit 50,000+ words in a month.

Quote:
It's hard writing your first book I do poetry and investigative journalism and I've got two projects underway; a compilation of poetry and an exposť on the mafia (marketed as fiction to protect sources). My poetry book had been underway for a year and I'm not even halfway. The exposť had been in the world for six months and all I have is an outline (still researching).
I do fiction and philosophical ramblings. Poetry too, sometimes, but my poems tend toward incomprehensible. Good luck on writing your book. Every writer needs luck. Luck and belief in their project, that is.

Last edited by Writer; November 26th 2014 at 05:16 AM.
   
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