Amateur Writer Probs

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by Arexio, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Arexio

    Arexio Blob Fanatic | AG Player

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    Do you guys find yourself having the problem where you start writing something and you get stuck more in exposition/world-building/other scenes than actual plot?

    I find myself having my story running away on its own, and I'm struggling to pull the reins back. I'm trying to find a good balance, but it's tough.

    Also, I find that the more significant characters there are in a scene, the more out of hand everything becomes as they all have their unique personality and want to say their own stuff.

    I try to do the whole outlining thing where I want a story to go but end up finding myself staying too long on a single bullet point...

    At the end of the day, I find myself wanting to explain everything about my world to the reader, but at the same time wishing they already knew everything, so I can just tell them the important bits (the plot).

    What do you guys do? Do you find that you go with the flow and hope everything works out or do you have to consciously discipline yourself?

    Am I just trying too hard? It feels like I'm doing something wrong.
     
  2. Liyus

    Liyus Laksha's Desu~ Cat

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    Write only the plot for MC with a bit of world build, after that write some sidestory for other character developement. Finaly after you finish that edit or rewrite it with world building where you find it needed....
     
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  3. Jeanne_DG

    Jeanne_DG Well-Known Member

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    The fact that you're putting pen to paper is more than what other aspiring writers can do so a bit of panic and frustration is understandable. Breathe. Go back to your outline and focus. You can do this!
     
  4. Arexio

    Arexio Blob Fanatic | AG Player

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    Thank you so much.

    This is exactly what I needed right now.
     
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  5. The Everdistant Utopia

    The Everdistant Utopia Honorary Maou | Part Time Writer | Crau's

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    Well, outlining your story is always a good start. While bullet pointing can work, it's always good to elaborate a bit more your outline as to make things more cohesive. Other than that, as long as you keep the story as close as possible to the outline, having some sidetracking is not exactly bad as long as it's not excessive.

    About the whole world building stuff, you should try to avoid the urge to include every single bit of your world building, since most of them aren't really relevant to the story... What you need to explain to your readers is just the necessary for them to understand the situation, while other bits of exposition are really, really optional and up to you to decide whether you absolutely want to show this interesting part of the story to your reader. Do not fret too much over exposition, your readers will catch up with things if you explain in a good pace without resorting to exposition dumps.

    Though I wouldn't say you're in a bad direction. Writing more than necessary is not exactly bad compared to those who can't find the motivation to write at all. At the end of the day, it's your story to tell, so even if you end up with more than you need, it just means that you'll need to sort out what you will actually bring to the final package.

    About that... I'd say the best would be to strive for the middle ground between those two. You need to have some self-discipline to keep your plans structured, but should have some flexibility to go with the flow when you start to feel that the story isn't as good as you'd like it to be...
     
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  6. Ai chan

    Ai chan Queen of Yuri, Devourer of Traps, Thrusted Witch

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    There is nothing wrong with this. You end up making a lot of exposition? Big deal. You end up spending too much time on a few characters in particular? Not a problem.

    What you need to do, is write as you wish to write. Once you've completed your work, or you reach a tumblr, look back at what you have written. This is where self-editing comes into the picture. The stuff you wrote the first time, is always going to be flawed. You'd probably make some great masterpiece when you write 'in the zone', but most often than not, it would be trash.

    What you have done is not a problem. Continue as you have. Just don't forget to add an additional phase, which is editing. Editing will fix the flaws of your drafts. Do not stop yourself. Let it flow and then edit out stuff that you don't need.

    p/s: Don't be so quick to pander to your readers. They want you to release faster before you're ready? Tell them to pay up or wait like other people.
     
  7. Vanidor

    Vanidor Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of writing methods. Dean Wesley Smith has written over 100 books and who knows how many shorts and he just freestyles everything.

    My advice is read up on a few different planning methods and see which work for you. From seat of the pants to each chapter having a paragraph or two of notes planned.

    And as the above noted, finish and then edit or rewrite if you want.

    Edit: About wanting to show off all the work you did in world building, you’ll see a lot of authors say only show 10% of that because as long as it is internally consistent the readers often don’t want to know it.

    There are ways around it though like creating simple maps that explain easily where different locations are in relation to others. Something that can take a lot of words to explain over the novel. Another option is appendixs like Lord of the Rings and other novels have.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  8. lnv

    lnv ✪ Well-Known Hypocrite

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    Yes, handling multiple characters is extremely hard. You can't just make other characters shut up or exist in another world while MC has a convo with another character. This issue has often had me break up characters into teams, groups or doing other things so that they won't interfere with the plot by giving their 2 cents.

    For my story I decided to focus on what the MC is focusing on, and let most of the explanation move into intermissions. Which is usually told from a perspective of a different character.

    One thing we have to remember is that if each character is unique and has their own personality, they also have their own stories. Their own dreams, their own goals.

    If it's too plain, I try to spice things up with a bit of comedy.

    For example, I had my MC fight a bunch of giant rats, and it pretty much ended with the MC almost winning but losing at the last moment with 1 rat left, when they wake up all the rats are dead.

    In the intermission, I take the perspective of the rats and explain that the last one when trying to finish the MC off ended up bleeding to death.

    Now of course one might say, who wants to read a chapter about a low level monster's perspective? So to make it interesting, the rat actually sees themselves as a valiant warrior, and the MC is the evil vile monster that must be vanquished in the name of justice.

    So for characters who have an interesting story that explains the plot and world building, I write normal intermissions, and for explaining the little boring things in the background I use comedy based intermissions. In this way I can keep a lot of the stuff out of interfering with the flow of the story while at same time sharing information about the world and plot and not bore people to death.

    Also, don't hesitate to write stuff, then move them to a different chapter or elsewhere after going through it a few times. I find myself shuffling events here and there to improve flow of the story.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  9. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*Generous Penny-Pincher*Comedian

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    People say that a good story requires an Editor
    but I think a good cheering squad is more important
     
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  10. Sabruness

    Sabruness Cultured Yuri Connoisseur

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    +1 to all this. That bolded bit is basically what happened when i first wrote part of a story. I thought it was pretty great at the time. Came back a few months or so later and thought "It's not bad at the core but it's like the bare-bones outline of a story and not a story itself."
     
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