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Questions about YOUR FANFIC that don't deserve their own thread...

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Ched, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Niez

    Niez Second Year

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    I have one question:

    Is suicide an acceptable option when you realise the fourth chapter of your story could very well be the first? It feels as if I've just wasted two months of my life writing superfluous nonsense.

    I've been doing some research and I think pills are the way to go. Thoughts?
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Welcome to what happens to so many of us. Almost everyone starts the story too early at some point.

    Sucks but suck it up. You are not alone.

    ((Also don't kill yourself, srsly))
     
  3. Nexis

    Nexis Second Year

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    Well, you do get better at writing by writing, so even if you won't publish those chapters, it's okay, since the ones that you do publish will be better cause of it. At least that's what I'd like to think.
     
  4. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    Part of the process is going back to that thing you wrote a year or two ago and realising "Huh, this is complete garbage." If you realise something from the past is bad, you've clearly learned from writing it. Now you just gotta bite the metaphorical bullet, scrap the old stuff, and start fresh. Good luck! :)
     
  5. Stenstyren

    Stenstyren Professor

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    I would take some inspiration from the successful writers and do it the slow way, so pour yourself some whiskey!
     
  6. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I feel attacked.

    @Niez, the writing advice tends toward starting the story as close to the end as possible. That does not discount prologues, or you as the writer finding the start point even if it takes a meandering path to get there.

    If you recognise that the story is better off starting at Chapter Four, just remember that most people never get to Chapter Four, and those that do rarely have the courage to ax the first three unnecessary chapters.
     
  7. Niez

    Niez Second Year

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    Thanks guys, the post was meant to be slightly tongue in cheek, but I do appreciate the advice. I understand frustration is part of it though I’m not sure alcoholism is a solution @Stenstyren. Whisky never seems to work with my other problems (maybe it's the brand?).
     
  8. CareOtters

    CareOtters Dark Lord DLP Supporter

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    Writing those first three chapters was a valuable part of the process of creating the overall story. They may not appear in the final draft, but they will definitely have contributed to the final product. Your understanding of where plot and characters are going will be clearer and more grounded in chapter 1(4) than chapter 1(1), and the subsequent quality will typically be much improved.

    Plus, that was three more chapters of practice to hone your craft. That's never a waste. I once heard an author say that people should strive to write a million words before they even begin the first draft of their first attempt to make a serious publishable novel, and they had something of a point to my mind.
     
  9. Anarchy

    Anarchy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    This is pretty much every story I've ever written. You kinda have to figure out why it's happening. Is it just that people like instant gratification, or is it because all the extraneous world building stuff could perhaps work better as the behind-the-scenes motivation for the characters? Words need to have a purpose, and that purpose isn't always evident at first.
     
  10. LittleChicago

    LittleChicago Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    You should feel complimented. Christ, I wish I could drink at work. I'd get so much more writing - that is to say, any - done. Would have an easier time falling asleep under my desk, too.

    @Niez; I had an English teacher in high school who once told my class that there is hardly a work of fiction out there that can't be improved with the removal of the first chapter; he never elaborated because some smart ass suggested trying that with the Bible and long-story-short my mother had to talk to the principal.
     
  11. Salsa

    Salsa Seventh Year

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    I have a constant problem with writing fics. It's this niggling voice in the back of my head that's telling me:

    "You're doing it wrong! You're doing it wrong! You're doing it wrong!"

    This, of course, refers to a lot of things. The ones I have in mind are pacing, characters, story flow, plot, etc. Whenever I think how I want the story long-term to go this voice rears its ugly head.

    Mind you it's not an actual voice, I'm not a schizophrenic. I think I'm just too paranoid.

    Do you guys have a particular way of dealing with this, if it happens to you? I just bang my head on a desk.
     
  12. Silirt

    Silirt Auror DLP Supporter

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    This isn't that specific of a question. I have my doubts about how my story I'm currently writing is going to turn out, but there's virtually nothing I can do to make that go away, so there's no reason to worry about it.
     
  13. Salsa

    Salsa Seventh Year

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    Good point. I'll just ignore it.
     
  14. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I highlighted the part that I want to address with my own thoughts.

    Try outlining. DETAILED outlining. Go overboard with more outlining than you think you need then tone it down to what actually works for you.

    Here's the thing. I can hold a short story "in my head" without really outlining, but for anything longer I get that litany of "you're doing it wrong, you're doing it wrong, YOU ARE DOING IT FUCKING WRONG" every time I try to write anything longer than 5k words or so without an outline.

    But when I have an outline? I can write it, because even if the writing itself is shitty I don't have to stress about getting it 'wrong' when I write. I can fix the writing later. It's getting the story wrong that stresses me out.

    I've dialed down the amount of outlining I do a lot, but when I first realized I wasn't writing anything b/c I kept second-guessing myself outlining fixed that for me. I ended up doing a lot more outlining than I needed, so I do significantly less now, but it let me figure out HOW I write.

    It's unique for everyone. But if you haven't tried outlining yet give it go.

    If it doesn't work then drop it and don't do it again. It's not for everyone. But it helped me sort out my own methods.
     
  15. Salsa

    Salsa Seventh Year

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    Thanks. It does seem like a sound idea.

    Particularly because you can just write the outline like a script format. That feels strangely appealing now. Sure, I'll know how everything happens, which might be a bit boring, but I won't be stumbling around in the dark.

    Thanks a lot, Ched.

    Edit: I keep getting fucking Grammarly ads even though I already use the goddamn app. Fuck you Grammarly.
     
  16. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Unspeakable DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    I’ve just seen this, and I empathise with this so much. I miss the absolute surety I had when I was younger that the defecation I threw up on ffn was solid gold.

    To an extent I’ve found that the deeper my understanding of models of outlining becomes, and which works best for me, the more the voice that tells me everything I write is dire is diminished, too (although outlining has become its own sort of vice, now).

    So yes, the first reason I’m writing this is just to say this resonates with me - on a ‘I’d join your cult’ level, yogi Ched.

    The second is to ask, does it resonate with whoever else is seeing this thread too? I wonder if there’s something we can do about it as a group - if there are more than three of us.
     
  17. CareOtters

    CareOtters Dark Lord DLP Supporter

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    I have the opposite problem. If I write by the seat of my pants, inspiration can carry me through. If I sit down and try to outline something, I always set an inadequate space for the idea I have and cram them too tightly, and end up needing five times the wordcount to get to my original goal.

    Maybe I'll take a leaf out of Halt's book and make some plot technique threads when procrastinating from actually writing.
     
  18. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Ssshhh, don't give away the secret.
     
  19. LittleChicago

    LittleChicago Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    This is going to sound tautological, maybe even redundant, but I tell myself the story.

    Okay, I was wrong. It sounds stupid.

    What I mean is, I say it all out loud; if it makes sense out loud, I write it down. If it doesn't, I rephrase it until it does, or if it never does, I don't write down. Stories are just words in your head, used to put words in other people's heads. If the story you tell makes sense to you, it'll make at least some sense to people with similar points of reference.

    Stories should only slow down if you're going into detail; go into detail only if you're introducing something or talking about something obscure -again, talk it out until you hear it make sense. Likewise, you can assume everyone reading knows what water, bread, cars, phones and rabbits are. No need to explain. Even thoughts and feelings, realisations and insults can happen rapid fire.

    Another solution is to write only scenes. Leave them completely disconnected. You'll have to train yourself to do this; it's like building a muscular system without ligaments. Just seems wrong, but remember that you can go back and adjust the connective tissue, adding in a few lines here and there between the good stuff you're certain of to smooth it out. This way, you're only working in small, digestible chunks.
     
  20. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Moderator DLP Supporter

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    How has that helped you with writing your next book, Jim?

    I'm super self critical of my own work, my few attempts at original fiction have never went as well as my forays into Fanfic. The difference being that when I start trying to create a universe from scratch, I feel like its a thing where I lack the actual talent to pull it off in a effective manner.

    With Fanfic, I have the same feeling, but atleast I have a skeleton of something to base it off of. If you like writing, and you like writing fanfic then, as I've been told, you just got to write. I think in the long run the hard part is actually putting words on paper, the editing process is much easier.

    I have this weird bystander effect where if I read my own words, its like it was written by a totally different person. It helps me in the editing process, but there is this weird sense to it because ultimately I know its mine. The small victories is when I read back what I wrote and think, "Man, that's a solid fucking line,' or, "I nailed that, it's exactly the tone/style/etc I was going for." Its hard to not have the you're doing wrong thing, its just a matter of pushing through it I've found.

    I've been staring at the same paragraph for something I've started for over a week now. I hope to turn it into a story soonish, but we'll see.
     
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