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Author Topic: Um, hello... maybe?  (Read 482 times)
HLHumbert
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« on: March 16, 2018, 10:13:54 PM »

So I've actually been a member of this site/forum since 2014, but I stopped being active after getting frustrated both with my writing and with my work situation. I started several fantasy stories in 2015, but stopped writing entirely in 2016. That was a rough year for me. Now I want to write again, but my motivation is shot. I've tried to pick up where I left off on some of those 2015 projects, but my inner critic picks apart every little flaw I come across. I've also attempted to start new projects and find my writing to be about as engaging as a newspaper article on the financial impacts of this year's abundant pothole population in Pennsylvania.

I don't know what I'm looking for in coming back to this site, but I'm hoping that interacting with a positive writing community may help me find my motivation again. (And maybe I can learn to shut up my inner critic long enough to get some semblance of a first draft put together.)

So hello again to everyone here. Long time, no see!
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gckatz
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 11:58:37 PM »

Is that a Bewick's wren.
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jldelozier
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 08:18:49 AM »

Welcome back!
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HLHumbert
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 12:00:57 PM »

Is that a Bewick's wren.

No, it's a Carolina wren. He likes to nest next to our vegetable garden in an old owl decoy that has a hole in the back of its head.
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gckatz
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2018, 01:47:07 PM »

Ah, close. We don't have Carolina wrens over here.
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blackhat
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2018, 06:17:41 PM »

Give your inner critic the heave-ho! Inner critics are just as fickle and unreliable as regular critics as far as motivation goes. They're the ultimate downer, the one you should never invite to a motivation party, or any party for that matter. If you're back to writing despite everything in your life then there's something positive pulling you back. Writing is such a thankless, arduous activity that no one does it for long without a strong pull. I say you should write and not worry about critics, or agents, or the millions of negatives that clamor to get you to stop. Just write until you've completed a project and only then let the critic out of his cell, and then only for a short while. Nobody goes forward while constantly looking back over his shoulder. Yeah, once in awhile you have to glance back just to check on who's gaining, but only rarely. Damn your critics, inner or otherwise! Write!

Oh, and welcome back to the fight, HLHumbert!
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HLHumbert
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2018, 08:01:03 PM »

Thanks, blackhat! I need to hear that. I've spent so much time away from any form of writing community that I forget things like that. They're easy to say but not always easy to do.
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cruppelt
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2018, 11:22:31 PM »

Welcome back from this newbie!  Grin
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McG
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2018, 01:24:50 PM »

Hey, welcome back!
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"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." -Charles W. Eliot
Vortigern
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2018, 09:59:19 PM »

Welcome from another newbie!

And I can totally relate. Motivation can easily be doused when both inner and outer critics get you down. A similar issue halted my flow of writing for about 5 months (also a time of some serious personal and family challenges of my own) between Nov. 2017-Feb. 2018. People kept telling me I needed to finish the novel I was working on but the reel in my head was showing me scenes from a different story. I became stuck as a result and didn't touch either one. When I started back at it, it took me a couple months of some seriously crappy writing before finally starting to accomplish anything that didn't sound like it had been recycled. We're talking around easily 73,000 words worth of serious bleh! The size of a full length novel!

And even then, I found myself going back through six of my other novels, chucking prologues, possible duplicated story lines, and in one case, the entire front half of a novel just to get things weeded down to where it was all meant to be in the first place with each novel now in its proper sequence in the series.
 
So, I agree wholeheartedly with blackhat. "Give that inner critic a heave ho!" and just write. Don't worry about whether or not its all that good for the moment. Cause, as the wise leader of my Writers Group once said, "Just keep writing, regardless of whether it stinks or not. Cause after awhile its bound to start sounding like a winner of a story." Besides, sometimes what you think is crappy might actually be better than you think.
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HLHumbert
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2018, 01:52:07 PM »

Thank you, Vortigern!

I have two stories right now that I am reluctant to work on for fear of screwing them up, but I really just need to write. I want to make them character-driven stories, but I don't feel like I know their protagonists. I've developed previous characters to a much greater extent than I have these newer characters, and so I'm having a harder time getting into their heads right now.
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Vortigern
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2018, 05:44:28 PM »

I'm curious, do you use a character chart for each of your characters? Maybe you already do? Don't?

I know a lot of authors don't. I never did when I first started writing but after a couple years I found I had to. I had a fair few characters between a few series and it was causing me to get confused. So a "writer friend" suggested I start using it to keep them straight. I personally have found that it not only has helped with keeping my characters descriptions, personalities and traits strait but it really helped me develop the characters. I don't use everything I wrote, like specific birth dates and such but I have a much better feel and can get into their minds so much better now.

Just a thought. Might help with your protagonist too. Unless you're already using something like that?
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HLHumbert
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2018, 05:29:08 PM »

I don't use character charts, although I do keep notes. I find charts tend to waste my time because not all details are important for story development across the board. (A birthday may be important for one character due to some other event falling on the same day, but such dates may be just superfluous information where all the other characters are concerned.)

I'll keep notes on important life events, motivations, physical traits that affect actions/abilities, relationships with/to other characters, education/career choices, etc... basically things that I know will come up in the course of my stories eventually.
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izzibella
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« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 05:45:59 PM »

Welcome, back. I'm a newbie here on this site, so hopefully, we can all motivate one another to continue writing.
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