Home Forums General Writing Discussions The Thread Where I Complain

This topic contains 10 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Dragon Snapper 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #36405

    Dragon Snapper
    @dragon-snapper
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 2598

    No wait. Dragons don’t complain. Meh. *shrugs*
    So anyway…
    As you know, my novel is evil.
    Okay, so maybe not in that aspect. I mean that it’s evil in that I can’t seem to write anything that I like in it. I’m also writing in a different person than I usually do, but regardless to that, the pacing is off, the characters are off, the theme–nonexistent ( @aratrea )–And it’s also in a completely new genre.
    But I’m really just asking for help in that, what do you do if you can’t write…if it isn’t as fun as before.
    I envision this entire book series as a movie. That’s really one of the only reasons why I’m writing this, because I want it to be a movie…which is ridiculous. Should I just write a script?
    In other words, what on earth should I do?

    There…rambling over. I’m done complaining.
    My apologies.
    Here, take some ice cream.
    🍦🍦🍦🍦🍦🍦🍦🍦
    @daeus
    @kate-flournoy
    @mark-kamibaya
    @hope
    @winter-rose
    @jess
    @jane-maree
    @that_writer_girl_99

    #36406

    Brandon Miller
    @brandon-miller
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 40

    I know the feel.

    My current book is having all the same problems… so I did something crazy last weekend. I printed it off and read it. Like it was a novel and stuff. On paper.
    Sure, it has issues. Lots of them. But I found that sitting in my reading corner with actual paper in my hands was encouraging to me in and of itself. Also, reading it from front to back let me get a feel for the building emotion and tension which, though not as strong as I had hoped, was still there and strong in some parts. Reading through my novel really helped me decide that, as I told some of my reading buddis, “if I didn’t hate it, I might actually like it.”

    My second, and much more effective, method for reviving my passion for a lulling story is to force myself to write 100 words a day. 100 stupid words. Some days I blow past that and write more. Some days I have to strap myself to the chair until my thumbs have hit the space bar at 100 appropriate intervals.
    Sometimes it takes weeks, or months, one time it took me all Summer of 100 word days, but eventually my momentum builds back to a point where I’m enjoying my writing again.

    All that said, if you want to write a screenplay, WRITE A SCREENPLAY. (But I know nothing about that… so I can’t help you there. πŸ˜› )

    Hope some of that was helpful!

    #36411

    Josiah DeGraaf
    @aratrea
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 596

    I know very little about screenwriting. @michael-stanton would be the person to ask about that if he has the time to respond.

    I’ve found it sometimes helps to get some distance. A while back I was having a rough time with my current WIP, so I set it aside for a month and tried to forget about it. Once I came back to it, the fresh perspective helped me see what elements of the story actually were good and how I could fix the other parts that weren’t working.

    I wrote an article here about this several years ago, so I’ll also link to that in case you find it helpful: http://kingdompen.org/5-times-everyone-wants-to-quit-their-novel/

    #36412

    Mariposa
    @mariposa
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 170

    There’s nothing wrong with picturing your book as a movieβ€”that’s how I see all the books I’ve written or am going to write. I was currently having problems with writer’s block myself and this is what I’ve found works best:

    1. Take a break from writing for a couple weeks.
    2. Do something else (I discover my best ideas when I’m drawing or four-wheeling).
    3. Try writing a different story (no matter how outlandish). When I was stuck, I began writing a wacky story just for my own amusement and it turned out being the best book I’d ever written.

    Above all else, don’t overthink (that’s my worst enemy). For writing the first draft, it’s best to write sloppily and save the brainpower for the second and third drafts.

    #36420

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3786

    @dragon-snapper what they all said.

    I will just add that it’s definitely not an uncommon problem to have. There were times in the past two years as I waded through two drafts of my WIP that I just felt like going and drowning any capability of conscious thought in a deluge of mindless articles— anything to save myself from having to open my file and click where I left off and find the next word.
    But I would force myself to do it. I was fortunate enough to already have good writing habits in place from my naive first years when enthusiastic passion was enough, and those habits helped me drag myself over the finish line at last.
    And now, looking back, it’s not so bad.
    Is it perfect? HA HA HA
    Can it use lots of shifting and organizing and shaping up (even after two drafts)? CAN IT EVER.
    But looking back, I’m pleased with it. Proud, too. Yup. If only for the tremendous amount of emotional and intellectual juice I poured into it.

    All that to second what @brandon-miller said— even if it’s just a hundred words, write them. More often than not what you’re looking for is hiding in the words themselves, and no amount of casting about elsewhere will bring you any closer to finding them.

    #36424

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3842

    @dragon-snapper Well, what everybody else has already said is fantastic, so I’ll just point out one other angle you could look at it.

    Maybe your trouble here isn’t so much that you don’t enjoy writing this story as that you don’t enjoy writing this story. If that makes no sense, it doesn’t matter. The point is, here’s the solution:

    Enjoy yourself.

    Now, I’m not saying to be a hedonist. Nah, not dat. I mean forget the duty of having to write your book and go on a day dreaming quest. Rediscover something that thrills you in your inner being. Writing for duty always pays off, but writing for the thrill is even better. So what would I do? Just go be an explorer. Spend time around people and just take in humanity via osmosis. Don’t worry about studying your situation, just wait to see if anything tics. On the opposite end of things, go take a solitary walk in the woods. Maybe listen to a sermon to see if it sparks any theme ideas. Conclude your day with a log fire outdoors and a cup of tea or two or three or four.

    Just relax and let your brain wander. Be willing to reimagine any and everything.

    #36425

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3842

    Oh. Duh. And pray too.

    #36426

    bethanysinkyroses
    @bethanysinkyroses
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 189

    I know I wasn’t tagged in this discussion, but I noticed it in the recent forum replies and wondered who was complaining. :/ Thank you for asking this, because I’ve been having similar issues. πŸ™‚

    #36427

    Elizabeth
    @that_writer_girl_99
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1482

    @dragon-snapper I think it’s funny you tagged me in this, because I can sympathize with you on so many levels. I sympathize with you so deeply, in fact, that all I can really do is sit down next to you, pull up my own WIPs, and cry, cry, cry because I understand how you feel.

    I agree with what @aratrea said. Maybe you just need to take a break for awhile. Sometimes, when I’m getting frustrated with one of my projects, I start something new–something to renew the spark of love that I feel for writing.

    You can get through this. It can be done. You’re gonna be fine.

    #36431

    Mark Kamibaya
    @mark-kamibaya
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 312

    @dragon-snapper Hey, I actually read what other people said before jumping into the discussion!! And I guess the ice cream is my reward for that, huh? Thanks!

    Yeah. I can’t do the funny things KeePers do. πŸ™ Anyways . . .

    I second what everyone else said which basically boils down to (1) take a break from your story (2) force yourself to write even if it’s complete trash. I did both of those things at two separate times (once during the most hectic time of the school year and once during NaNoWriMo) and it worked. It actually worked.

    But that’s not what I wanna talk about. I want to talk about movies and screenplays and stuff cuz that’s my thang! I wanted my story to be a movie too. So I eventually dropped the book form and began focusing on screenwriting. And then I realized I need to learn more about filmmaking in general. That’s why I’m gonna take Cinema Production this coming school year.

    Okay, so here’s the deal. Thinking of your book as a movie is great. I bet most authors do this. But that can also be a problem, because these two forms are quite different. The most obvious difference is that you can’t go into somebody’s head in a movie. Sure, you can do a voiceover in film, but delving into somebody’s actual thoughts can only be done on the page. . Use this to your advantage.

    But the second difference is a little harder to accept. Your book will not translate well into a film. Just watch interviews with screenwriters and they’ll say that the hardest part in adapting a book is deciding which part of the book to cut out. This is done through shortening scenes or doing away with them entirely (and sometimes even entire plots). Wonder why so many people hate book adaptations? It’s because the story has been uber-condensed. Movies are more like short stories. Books are more like . . . TV series. So maybe try reinvisioning it as a TV series. It will free you up more, and might reveal some things you’ve missed.

    So before trying to transform your book into a movie outright know two things. (1) It’ll be hard. You have to read, read, read scripts to know their form. You have to learn how to write a good script (formatting and all). You’ll have to revamp the way you write. You’ll have to outline a lot. You’ll have to pump out drafts faster than you’ve ever before. It’s hard. (2) It probably won’t be any good. Yeah, we all know our work is already horrible. Changing it into a screenplay won’t be any different.

    My final advice? Do what everybody else said (take a step back and write every day) and continue working on your story. Just finish a freakin’ draft of the thing no matter how horrid it is. Then, if you really mean it, delve into film and screenwriting.

    #36432

    Dragon Snapper
    @dragon-snapper
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 2598

    @mark-kamibaya @daeus @that_writer_girl_99 @kate-flournoy @mariposa @brandon-miller @aratrea
    Thanks for the encouragement guys. I am feeling alot better about it now. And I will definitely try most, if not all of your suggestions. Thank you so much!
    @bethanysinkyroses *commiserates with you* Yeah. It’s tough. πŸ˜€ We got this, though!

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