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Do you enjoy writing?

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Taure, May 5, 2020.

  1. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion DLP Supporter

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    I like writing -- when it's working. I can get into a flow and feel like "wow, I really like that thought". It's when I'm stuck around a certain plot idea or angle that I can't figure out, that's when I don't like writing, or when I'm writing something that doesn't connect with me.
     
  2. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Writing is usually a chore, but I can put up with it when I've got an idea. Fleshing out an idea makes everything else worth the while. I usually like reading the finished product, but I probably enjoy it more than anyone else does, if the meagre response to my stories is any indication. I can't imagine what benefit there would be in writing something people want to read when I can't go over it again for the fun of it because I think it sucks.
    Worldbuilding takes a lot of time and effort for me, so I can't say it's my favorite part of the process. Starting stories isn't great either, because then I'm locked into finishing it by hook or by crook. I enjoy responding to reviews, but that's only because there are only a few of them. It would probably be tedious if I had a ton of them.
     
  3. Inverarity

    Inverarity Groundskeeper

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    I can't honestly remember what for. Was it because you thought Alexandra Quick was unrelateable?

    I still gets comments like that to this day. I long ago arrived where you are now, where I am at peace with the fact that not every reader is going to get it, and some readers are going to hate it, and that's okay, as long as some readers dig it. Pretty much every one of my readers agrees that Alexandra is a bratty, frustrating and often unlikeable character. Some love the story or the world despite that, some love her despite that, and some just can't with her. That's okay.

    I disagree with you somewhat that you should bend to the desires of the readers. It depends on your goal, of course. You want to become commercially successful? Then you probably should try to figure out what people actually want to read, but you still need to have a vision and a voice of your own and a willingness to say "Screw the critics" (because you're never going to appeal to everyone), or else you're just chasing trends and writing fanservice. (Believe me, some readers have strong feelings about what should or shouldn't happen in AQ book six, and if I listened to anyone telling me what they think should happen, I'd be writing a totally different story.) Fan fiction, though, is very much a thing you do for your own enjoyment as much as for the follows. I read parts of Alexandra Potter story and I did think it was trying too hard (and your justifications notwithstanding, the kids walking around nude thing was just weird and out of place), but it was also interesting and creative and the sort of weird experiment that fan fiction is for.


    I would say Stephen King protests too much, though. It's long been quite evident that King has a love/hate relationship with the literary establishment. He's obviously happy at his success and having millions of fans (how could he not be?), but he also resents the fact that he's never been taken seriously as a writer and is still considered a schlock. In fairness, I think he is a much better writer than a lot of non-fans give him credit for - but he is very much a commercial writer, which means the guy who wrote deranged shit like Tommyknockers and Dream Catcher is never going to get respect from the literati.

    But I don't believe he really in his heart of hearts believes he's the literary equivalent of a Big Mac & Fries. There are other commercial writers I won't name who totally don't care as long as they sell, but King does.
     
  4. Vira

    Vira First Year ~ Prestige ~

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    Writing is my life.

    When I don't write, I'm unhappy, depressed, and unproductive. I was not put on this earth to work a 9-5 job for decades, retire, and then die. The meaning of my life is to write, and if I don't, what's the point of being around?

    I have learned through the years I am only happy when I'm writing. As nature intended, my day is always me waking up, going to work while thinking about how I'm writing that one scene later, come home and write that scene in the night, then go to bed.

    And it is good.
     
  5. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    I guess I'm of a similar mind to Blorcyn. I enjoy coming up with stories and concepts, original or otherwise, and I think most of my enjoyment from the actual process of writing is getting those ideas down and fleshed out. That said, I do enjoy the writing itself...just not enough to force myself to do it when I'm not entirely in the mood - I'm pretty easily distracted.
     
  6. Hot Salsa

    Hot Salsa Hαn Sαlsæd First

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    I can't say that I do.

    I have a willingness to write, but planning a fic and feeling satisfied with the outline is impossible for me, and in my personal experience improv writing works.

    If I knew where I was going whilst writing, I probably would.
     
  7. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned

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    I've found that I really don't enjoy writing...but I do enjoy creating stories. Like, the grammar and flow of writing sentences is just tedious, but I enjoy the story telling aspect. Probably why I enjoy more interactive fiction.
     
  8. Inverarity

    Inverarity Groundskeeper

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    I'll make another observation about the topic of this thread (sorry, I initially responded just to @Taure 'cause I got pinged): those of you who say "I like having written something, but not the writing" or "I like creating stories and having ideas, but not the process" - that is the obstacle for would-be writers, in a nutshell. I think there are very few writers who actually enjoy, per se, the process of trying to get it out on paper. They may like getting into the zone, when the words flow freely, but it can also be a grind even at the best of times.

    You know how just about everyone probably has a book idea or two and talks about writing a book someday "When they have the time"?
    You know how there are a bazillion fanfiction (and other) stories that start out guns blazing, because the author is brimming with enthusiasm, and then they just peter out?

    It's because writing is hard. It's work, it's a process, it requires diligence and time and dedication and not doing a lot of other things that are easier and more fun. The words won't magically come out of your head and appear on your screen. Every writing forum talks about BIC - putting in the hours with your butt in a chair. And most people can't do it consistently.

    Why did it take me seven years to finish the fifth AQ book? 'Cause I was doing other things and not writing. That's it. And right now, I am writing posts on a forum because that's fast and easy.

    So if you want to be a writer, accept that reality: writing isn't "fun." It's work. It's effort. Creating stories is fun. Getting into your characters is fun. Rereading what you've written is fun. Writing is a chore. It can be enjoyable, sometimes, but for me it's more like working out - I don't particularly enjoy lifting weights or running. I can get into it at times, and I enjoy having done it after it's done, and I enjoy the results, but if I could magically make it happen without actually taking the time and effort to do it, I would.
     
  9. bking4

    bking4 First Year

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    I resonate with this quite a bit. Once I can get myself to actually start writing, especially creative writing rather than technical, I really do love it. The creation process is a joy to be involved in, and the few times I've worked on something collaboratively has been just as phenomenal. The process of conception of idea, fleshing out of idea, breathing life in the form of outlining and writing, I love all of it.

    I especially love the feeling right when I finish something. It's a hit of dopamine like nothing else, a release of tension I don't realize I'm carrying around. The longer the fic, the greater or tighter the tension. It's just that proud, accomplished feeling that's better than any drug.

    Editing is less my forte but with people to bounce ideas off of I enjoy it a bit more. When you get into some really technical or specific discussions of the how and why of what's been written, rather than just the what of it that I really enjoy.

    I will add a caveat to this, however, in the form of the frustration I feel when something isn't flowing right. When I have an idea but it just suddenly feels dead, or when the gap between what I'm writing and what I want to be writing (in terms of word length, I mean) is so large as to be immobilizing I can get incredibly frustrated. I'll occasionally have to take breaks away from writing because I'll beat myself up about the quality of what I'm writing or because I'm not fast enough, or for a million other reasons. I love writing, but not at the expense of my mental health/well being.

    So, overall, a love hate relationship?
     
  10. Vira

    Vira First Year ~ Prestige ~

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    This view definitely does not pertain to me, lol.

    Writing is a delight. It can be frustrating yes, but nothing can be great all the time. The last sentiment reminds me of what @Steelbadger said on Discord today, that his dream invention is a machine that will directly translate his daydreams into stories with perfect prose. That is a nightmare scenario. For me, I love constructing sentences. I love weaving description together to create a scene and an emotion, and a drive for my characters. I love expressing myself with each punctuation and over-dramatic line. I love it even when it turns out bad with shitty run-on sentences and so much telling that the only showing existing is when the readers show themselves the door. It's been two days since I finished the first draft of my second book and it is complete shit. Embarrassing shit. Awful writing and planning.

    But I loved writing it and I love the future it presents. Because every good sentence stands on ten previous bad sentences. That struggle to tame prose and creating an actual written work, and the improvement along the way, is an accomplishment I'll come back to again and again. If I had a machine that created perfect prose, I would give up. The result is not the only important thing, really. It's conquering an idea and making it your bitch that you can show off to your friends.

    That's why I find writing fun.
     
  11. AutumnSouls

    AutumnSouls Muggle

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    The process of writing is for the most part difficult, and while wouldn't say I actively dislike doing it, my appreciation does go mostly toward the finished product. Though conversations can sometimes be a joy to write, and sometimes I'm just in the mood for some nice prose. Arranging words so they flow smoothly is satisfying. I've spent an hour on a single paragraph before and not regretted any of it.

    But I've definitely had fantasies of waking up and finding my stories inexplicably finished, or using that drug from Limitless (with Bradley Cooper) to write out 50,000 words in a day.
     
  12. Microwave

    Microwave Professor

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    You don't already?
     
  13. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Stephen King had one for that, as well:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. WierdFoodStuff

    WierdFoodStuff Fourth Year

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    I've achieved comedy: https://imgur.com/a/IaxXv2w

    I've just started writing this past week, it's incredibly hard and I'm not enjoying it so far.
    Maybe with practice I'll like it.
     
  15. Garden

    Garden Chief Warlock

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    I dislike prose fiction writing. I love the end result, though I think my prose fiction is generally of lower quality than my other writing.

    Poetry writing is challenging but enjoyable, and I'm much better at that than I am at prose fiction.

    Non-fiction is fun for me as well and I think I'm pretty good. If I had to rank my writing, I'd probably say poetry > non-fiction > prose fiction.
     
  16. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    I like building a story like I like building anything else. There is a pleasure in working out all the steps needed to create a whole. Then refining each part until it gleams.

    I do like the writing part, I can sink into it like I can sink into a good book. It's frustrating when something gets stuck, but you can always go write some other part till that bit gets shaken loose.

    I don't really need people to read it, though it's nice when they do. I've been sitting on the final chapters of Anticlockwise for about 2 years because they arn't ready and I got distracted writing other stuff.
     
  17. Scarat

    Scarat Third Year

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    I imagine that many writers who hate the writing process itself are people who enjoy daydreaming of ideas and reading. These two interests are what they use to bridge the planning stage and the product stage, which correspond to the two interests mentioned above. This results in them writing without enjoying writing.

    It's kind of like how some people can develop useful apps despite hating programming. They enjoying designing an application and they enjoy using useful applications, but they hate the actual development process. They have to use their enjoyment of certain parts of the overall process to push through the unejoyable parts.

    This "bridging" concept is why I think so many writers who dislike actually writing stories exist. I imagine if a person only enjoyed daydreaming of ideas but hated reading stories, they wouldn't be able to push through the writing stage of a story to the product stage, because they don't intrinsically value that product. However, if they value the product for monetary reasons or something like that that might take the place of passion for reading.
     
  18. entropy843

    entropy843 First Year

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    I don't have the foggiest about writing. But from what is described above,it sounds a bit like drawing to me.
     
  19. Inert

    Inert Order Member

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    I love storytelling. Getting what I consider to be a compelling story on paper is extremely rewarding.

    Unfortunately it's so rewarding because it's so difficult at times. I usually have a few scenes that write themselves. They pop into my head fully formed. It's threading them together to make a cohesive whole that's infuriating.

    I suppose I enjoy the finished product of a chapter or a full story, but hate what it takes to get there.

    It's interesting seeing folks who like writing for the sake of community. I couldn't be more the opposite. I write stories that I want to read. Feedback is wonderful, but it's not a driver.
     
  20. bking4

    bking4 First Year

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    I couldn't agree more with both of these things. It's actually one of the things I struggle most with as a writer: how do I get from this one awesome scene to this scene I desperately want to write. I know it's important, all the little steps in between, but that doesn't mean I like it. I have to force myself into the right headspace, and once I can get it going it's easier. But getting there is rough.

    Also, I can't fathom why anyone would ever right any story if not because it's something that the would want to read. I know people have other reasons, but those reasons are mind boggling to me.
     
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