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    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2008
    my problem at the moment is finding the focus to edit a short story.
    i wrote the first half quite smoothly, but the second half ended up being done in snatches, and as a result i know the material is there, but doesn't hang together.
    but focusing on it to connect the dots and make it hang together is something i'm finding tough.
    though at the moment, i'm trying to balance that out by starting a new piece.

    i've done nanowrimo several times, i find the deadline and set word count helped a lot. some days i didn't hit word count, but i made it up on other days. unfortunately, having several "novels" sitting i don't actually have anything i could consider readable. and come back to the focus problem for editing it. actually the short story is a chapter stolen from one of my "novels", and i'm converting it from the rough as fuck original 1000 words into something better around 7000 words.
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2008
    I've found that the only way I can edit fiction is to follow Stephen King's advice: put it away and don't look at it until, when I pull it back out, it looks like something written by a stranger. after that, all I have to do is open it up and I start seeing flaws that bug me.

    making myself sit down and open up that document is the only tough part, because once I do I know I'll be there for at least an hour at a time.
  1.  (1222.23)
    I've found that the only way I can edit fiction is to follow Stephen King's advice: put it away and don't look at it until, when I pull it back out, it looks like something written by a stranger. after that, all I have to do is open it up and I start seeing flaws that bug me.

    I have a problem with editing my work in that I edit WHILE I write, which sometimes changes the text into something so different that I intended that I just chuck it completely other than lose the point of what I was making. It's a bad habit that I need to break. Probably have to force myself into just not thinking about it too much.
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2008
    For me the main problem is actually going into my stories and writing a consistant wordcount every day. I write down all the story ideas on paper and I'm good at keeping them in my head, but I either have to deal with homework or end up procrastinating on the internet, like what I'm doing right now.

    What I've been trying to do is do it in baby steps. Since January, I've been trying to get 100 words a day. After I start doing that consistantly, I'll go up to 200, then 300, and so on. What I want to do is try to get to 1000 by November for NaNoWriMo.
  2.  (1222.25)
    I love writing, but sometimes, just don't have the time, or the energy. Admittedly, some nights when I'm finally finished work I'm just to tired to do little more than mash my keyboard at 10 p.m., 11 p.m., or 2 a.m. I find what works best for me is not writing in my office on my computer.

    I prefer writing at night, while letting ideas and storylines ferment in my mind during the day. Late after dinner, I sit down with my Palm TX either on the couch or the dining room table, and start writing all the things that were rattling around my brain during the day.

    If there's anything distracting in the background (TV, upstairs neighbor etc), I get out my ipod and headphones and play classical or non-lyrical music so I can block out the distractions.

    I prefer writing on the Palm so I don't have the internet and all it's glories distracting me from my writing. No IM apps open, no email and no web surfing. If there's something I need to look up, I'll stick a note in the middle of the paragraph and do that research later.

    I started off with goals of 500 words, then 600, and so on. Sometimes I can hit 2,000 words easily, like tonight, in about 60-70 minutes.

    When I get really stuck, I'll put the story away, and move onto another one, working on that, or another, until I come back ready to go further on the first one. I currently have 5 stories going, with plots/outlines etc for another 18. Some have as little as 4,000 words written, while the two largest are at 20,000 and 68,000 words.

    The goal is to get the story written. Then edit. Don't get bogged down in the minutia. Get writing. Get to the part where you can put "The End" on it. That's the goal.

    Ideas are a dime a dozen. Until that idea is fleshed out on paper and finished, it's just wishful thinking and daydreaming.

    Writing is work. Hard work. No one can do it for you. No one can really help you. They can encourage and support you, but it's still a solo act. Keep at it!
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2008
    BenelGermosen-- I learned a term for that on the NaNo forums: the "inner editor." I've got one of those too, and she keeps popping back up no matter how many times I try to kill her.
  3.  (1222.27)
    Roque-- Yeah, isn't it amazing how that shakes out? It's the same with drawing. At some point you just have to stop being a creator, come back as an editor/audience member, and then resume work.

    Then again, too long and you risk imposing your developed style on the younger artist's vision.
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2008
    I'm told that if you do something 30 days in a row it "becomes a habit," so I try (and fail but try again) to write every day. On that note, congrats for the work that you HAVE done! To me, that many pages is immense!

    I've never written anything that's over 10 pages, and I'm approaching that mark with my current story, it's nowhere near finished and I continue to get stuck... I plot it out from present to the end, and each time I sit down to write, nothing happens or the story falls off the rails and decides move somewhere else ...

    This has happened to me four times now... Bah.
  4.  (1222.29)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    DEADLINES!!!! Give yourself dealines and respect it even if its sucks!
  5.  (1222.30)
    Definitely good to make things a habit. I'm up at 6AM every morning, and I write for ninety minutes five days a week.

    Vetes, do you plot before you write?
    I've reached a point where I plot out the whole story before I put a word to the paper. I basically write the "structure" and then wrap it in flesh and bones afterward.

    That doesn't mean I don't change things as I go along, but it means I can lean on the structure if things get tough.
    Honestly though I'm just getting started on using that process for something novel sized. So far it's been mostly comic scripts and short stories.
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2008
    These days pretty much all of my writing is journalism-based, so I don't really have the problem of trying to figure out how to stick with something of length without growing bored. 600 to 800 words (sometimes more, sometimes less, but that's about the norm) and I'm done and off to Whatever's Next.

    Or at least that's what I tell myself...

    I cover the education beat for the local paper in a small city, and it actually does feel like an ongoing saga a lot of the time, and thus I do get bored.

    I want to say my favorite days are when someone in the newsroom is sick and I get to fill in on another beat, but that's wrong. I love my beat, I just have a lot more fun writing about completely random things like up and invading the first day of Kindergarten for the sappy yet amusing story and photo op... it breaks up the scheduled monotony of sitting in on twice-monthly school board meetings and writing about that day's financial woes.

    So I guess I'm saying write something that wasn't on the day's schedule - it helps me. The book will still be there when the impromptu one or two-page short is finished.
  6.  (1222.32)
    Argh, I've had writers blocks for a few weeks now, I'm just not able to get anything out on paper. And the irritating thing is, I may have writers block, but I'm not stopping having ideas!! So I'm just slowly atrophying my brain with this lack of creativity and I don't know what to do.