Saturday, January 17, 2009

MBoy's Dilemma.

If you've only recently started reading my blog, or you've forgotten what i said, you should know that a major part and passion of my life is writing, and i want to be an author.

For a very long time now, i've been writing my story called 'Universes', and i made a post about it some time ago if you're interested. It's a little over 178,000 words now, so try to wrap your head around how much i've worked on it. :)

The problem is, since my break from school started (before Christmas) i haven't actually worked on it at all. I've taken a break from it for all that time.

Now, i'm trying to get back to it, and that's where the problem starts. I'm in a completely different headspace than i was a month ago. I've forgotten my little sparks of ideas. I've forgotten the city names and the locations. I've forgotten my characters' little quirks.

I can't get back in my writing 'zone'. And to top it off, my writing style is forever changing.

Before i took my break, i was already at a block - wading about in a thick pool of STUCK, and since then, i've just relaxed and sunk deeper in, and now it's going to be even harder to get out.

That's my current dilemma, and it's going to require a hell of a lot of commitment and time to work through it. :/



victor said...

ok dude, first off, don't stress. that can kill writing faster than anything, at least for me. i don't know how your memory works, but if i'm working on something and stop for a while, if i go back and re-read some of it, the whole thing comes back. also don't be afraid to change your story if you need to. mine are in constant change. writing styles change too, depending on a lot of things. don't try to get it perfect the first time through. i know you're ocd, i am too, but i have to go back and edit my stories several times to make them go.

and who the hell comes up with the verification words. jeez,

Mr. HCI said...

I'm not a writer, other than my blog and holiday letters, but I think a lot of writers who deal with large casts of characters, locations, etc., make an outline of everything.

Since you're at a blockage, I'd suggest re-reading what you've written so far and build up your outline as you go along. You can also tweak things you would write differently now. If nothing else, it'd help you ease back into the mental space where your book lives.

cvn70 said...

To be successful in anything it always takes a lot of time and commitment. So budget some time into your daily life and get it done:)

take care and be safe


xthecouragex said...

Alright so I had a couple ideas for you. The first thing that came to mind was what Mr. HCI reread and make an outline of some kind.

The second has come from a few years of writing, although there is a small difference between songs/music and a 178,000+ word novel... Whenever i've been in a band and get stuck somewhere we always take a break from that one song and go and work on another one. Now i know this is just a temporary break but sometimes working on something else free's up ur mind and later on you'll be like "I know...i can write this."

But ur most likely going to have to go back and re-read ur story either way.

best of luck...

Peter said...

I agree with what Mr. HCI said.

Aek said...

I was going to suggest re-reading what you've already written, but that seems to have been said over and over again. :P But I do think re-reading is useful to help remind you of where the story's going.

Also, don't stress too much about it. A block may hit you for a while, but it has an odd tendency to lift itself at random times. When it lifts, seize that moment and try to jot down as much as you can.

jay.osa said...

you can get through it!

naturgesetz said...

If rereading doesn't get you started again, you could try writing something smaller. Maybe a back story for one of your characters in the book, maybe something totally unrelated. Just to get the creative juices flowing again.

I really don't know, since I've never tried to write fiction apart from a few pages as a school assignment. But I'm guessing that something other than staring at the last sentence you wrote will be a good idea.

Doug said...

I know that you're 125% committed to your story and I know you'll do whatever it takes to get yourself back into the "zone." I also suggest re-reading your entire story. Maybe even take a few notes along the way. Then keep a journal of important dates/character quirks/locations as well. Maybe that will help? ;)

You can do it!

*wow, another real verification word: "wines"

enzo65 said...

MBoy, I sympathise with you, it must be cvery frustrating, but dont stress and all will come good I am sure :) You have plenty of friends here giving sound advice and encouragement so hey, enjoy the rest of your hols from school,

You sound so much happier these days, I am sure you will get back into the swing as soon as you apply yourself,


ЯБЛОКО! said...

i know how you feel. i had 3 weeks off not writing and somehow my style had changed. had to rewrite lot of things >_<

Doomed But Cheerful! said...

You are OCD, i am dyslexic - so we all have our different issues to overcome - I dont know about you,, but I am a very visual thinker, so I like to make drawings of what i am doing - and they turned out to be 'mind maps' before I had even heard of them. i used to manage all my projects off a map - later using software to replace paper, and make the different elements re-usable. It is an approach that might work for you, as you re-read universes, and make the notes and outline that others before me have suggested. If the idea appeals, there are lots of free applications you can play with. I have put the links here for you to read and dl any you fancy.
I have been using xmind for a collaborative project for a few weeks - it seems ok, though you need to pay for the premium version to make it 'private' - hosted in China.
I have used Axon for years - it is a bugger to learn (for me, anyway) but very rewarding in its flexibility. I used it most when I was a systems analyst.
Get me on IM if you want to talk further.
Best of luck getting back into universes - maybe tolkien had a similar episode ... seems to have coped!
G =]

AJCon89 said...

have you ever stopped and went back to read what you wrote? Maybe that will help trigger some memories of what you were thinking...

When I am composing a larger piece that sometimes takes weeks... for instance in my compisition class last semester we have to write a movement to a symphony or a concerto and that was a whole semester project... I would have to go back every so often and listen to what I wrote (we do it on computers so we can just click play) to remind myself of what exactly I was trying to do...

Plus... this is your first book... you are still trying to find your voice... your style should be changing and adjusting itself... its how you know you are advancing as a writer.

Good luck buddy... we are so proud that you got this far.


James said...

Wow, that makes even my master's thesis look small. o.O

My recommendation: start writing something else, something small. Poetry, short stories, things to get your mind and writing flowing again, though not necessarily in relation to your book.

This is what I finds works well for me. When I don't want to write something up for school, I write some poetry, or do a long blog post. Get's me "in the groove", so then I can transition to writing something more serious.

Well, they are just my thoughts.

Doomed But Cheerful! said...

I spent a couple of hours getting and running stuff, and the one above might be the easiest to get and install - it also exports to other formats nicely - I like vue too, but you need to get your head round XML to make the export function useful.

Or you could just do what AJ and others suggest - read, write a backstory, let your style develop, and start again ({screams}). Whatever you do - just enjoy it while you can - at least you aren't being paid by the word!!
G =]

Kevin Wilson said...

Re-reading (which seems to be the common suggestion) is one way to get the interest level back to what you need to get motivated, but maybe at the same time as you go back and review, some re-editing and fleshing out some of what you have already written will help as well.

That sometimes works for me if I get stuck in any sort of writing project I am doing (whether a story or a report for work).

Good luck.