Does your brain just keep spewing meaningless scenes of your characters doing things that aren't even meant for the plot. It sure is hard to keep a focus on things once you get slightly off track.
(The ramble section) I'm so frustrated with my characters. Always wandering off to do their own things. Inserting themselves into other genres. I can always make more characters but they are just like dead puppets and can never be comparable.
Why can't I provide a good enough story for them that they always run away and my motivation dies. Balancing subtly but still keeping the depth is so hard. Writing a simple and quick story? I just doesn't satisfy and it is such waste for the characters that is created for way more.
I retreated back out to read the stories and listen to the music that I admire. Post of commenters singing their praises of the attention to detail, the amazing grand scheme of things that is at play, leaving them speculating and craving for more. The complexity of the art but yet it's presentation is just so simple. I wonder if they were once in the same spot as me but manage to find their light. Or are we just different from each other and they just create things on the fly and tie them up nicely.
I fail as a writer to give my characters a clear and interesting environment to thrive on. A plot to keep my readers engage. And a story that I can be happy with.
Post by ScienceGirl on Apr 16, 2021 8:17:08 GMT -6
Keep all those wanderings! Just keep them in a different file/folder than your story. They help you know and understand your character better and you never know when one of those snippets will come in useful for a story.
If you're talking in terms of a short story, you probably just need to narrow your focus and hone in on more details. Enrich your environment with character interaction with the setting. You anchor them to the setting by placing interesting objects in the scene to keep them there.
If it's a longer story, wander away. Just know that's not the official story.
I like to write with two files. One is scarily organized into chapter 1 act 1 paragraph 1... LOL ok maybe not that bad but it follows my "strict" timeline. My other file is permissible freewriting and it's a complete mess. If I want to find something useful, a lot of times I have to search for keywords to find it.
Also, take comfort in the fact that drawing your simple plot out into a longer story is sometimes easier if there are a few "plot asides." Think of the hero's journey, for example. They have to get lost along the way. It would be a terribly boring story if they just went straight from point A to point B.
And yes, all writers hit that spot. Even the good ones do. My favorite author is David Baldacci. I've heard that when he gets stumped and needs to add 10000 words he will just add in a car chase or something. People are always interested in a good car chase LOL.
Good luck to you! Why don't you try the 200-word forum and get feedback on some small pieces and maybe we can help with keeping your characters anchored.
Oh. My first draft was wander-tastic. They kind of adhered to the main plot but there were also a lot of side quests and conversations that added NOTHING to the overall story. They did highlight what I needed to hone within each character. I realized I was character building on the fly because I really hadn't made my characters solidly real. Some were just there to provide influence on my MC, some were there for a little spice, but they weren't fully realized individuals. So I went back and honed them. Now they stay on course most of the time. If I find myself wandering it's usually because I don't really know my characters and they don't know themselves and they must wander in order to discover who they are.
Post by ScintillaMyntan on Apr 16, 2021 17:36:34 GMT -6
I actually ran into the opposite question the one time I tried to write a longer form. How much side stuff do we need?
In my case, everything I was writing about was directly related to the plot. It felt like the plot was advancing too quickly or the story was too single-mindedly focused on the plot. But the story is about the plot, after all. And I thought my characters were revealed well enough through their relation to the plot and didn't need separate character-building scenes.
It was partly because of the nature of the plot, partly my usual discomfort with detailing characters' lives — like, who am I as a sheltered and inexperienced person to detail the life histories of more 'normal' characters who are not sheltered and inexperienced like me? — and partly not liking that protagonist, which I've since fixed.
You are making a good enough story, at least the draft of one. Issac Asimov said, “No story is ever written, but all good stories are rewritten.” It might go the direction you intended and that’s okay. This happens to all writers. Keep on writing and saving.
Alatariel: My first time really looking at them all, and I agree! So good!
Oct 17, 2021 10:56:20 GMT -6
FoxxGlove: Ack....hate it when I've checked and double checked and even triple checked to make sure all is good, only to find out I submitted an entry that has errors. ACK......
Oct 17, 2021 11:10:56 GMT -6
Alatariel: Always! No matter how many time I read through mine, there will always be something someone picks up on that I missed
Oct 17, 2021 11:32:43 GMT -6
pelwrath: I have learned to accept that I’ll have errors, it’s a given. Only do my best to minimize the number of errors.
Oct 17, 2021 12:01:16 GMT -6
Mazulla: Same here! Why is it we only notice these things once they're submitted?!
Oct 17, 2021 12:19:07 GMT -6
Alatariel: Honestly if it's something small I won't take off points because we're all human.
Oct 17, 2021 13:48:59 GMT -6
FoxxGlove: Going to adopt the same policy, Alatariel. Such wise words.
Oct 17, 2021 14:47:20 GMT -6
pelwrath: It's been a few weeks but I had an idea for a 100-word story, and posted.
Oct 18, 2021 0:48:18 GMT -6
Mazulla: Your 100 word entry is great, Pelwrath. I don't have any ideas nailed down yet. I seem to always think on it a few days and sometimes don't post til the last day.
Oct 18, 2021 11:30:37 GMT -6
pelwrath: Mazulla, thank you for your kind words. In truth, I didn’t think I’d have a story for ‘crisp’, that I’d like. While cleaning the windows and screens for winter, the idea came to me. The day was a very cloudy one but for a few minutes the sun did shine.
Oct 18, 2021 12:05:20 GMT -6
Mazulla: When you're trying to put together some critiques, but your 80-90lb dog keeps throwing himself in your lap... And keeps looking at me and smiling. You can see this goof here: i.imgur.com/8UvQpbD.jpg?1
Oct 18, 2021 13:00:28 GMT -6
Alatariel: OMG that picture Mazulla! I'm dying
Oct 18, 2021 13:09:04 GMT -6
Mazulla: Distracting, isn't it? Haha! He makes it so hard to ignore him.
Oct 18, 2021 16:44:14 GMT -6
pelwrath: Don’t know if he’s laughing or barring his teeth to protect the computer.
Oct 18, 2021 20:04:57 GMT -6
Mazulla: Oh, he's definitely being a goof! It's a funny attention-seeking maneuver. Quite dramatic about it, too, always throwing his head back to show those pearly whites.
Oct 18, 2021 21:11:03 GMT -6