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  #1    
Old August 12th, 2011 (06:15 PM).
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idk what else to title this so...

I've been stuck for the past several days when it comes to writing. I knew exactly what to write, how I was going to write it, just how long it would take me... I just didn't have the energy to do it. Instead, what I did was read through random things on the Internet and slept.

But I figured out that what was stopping me was the fact that I was going to be typing a story for the next few days. The thought of being at my computer typing fics didn't appeal to me. (Especially because I'm on vacation from work so I've done nothing but sit at my computer all day typing anyhow.) Once I decided to switch back to writing the same story only in long-hand with an old-fashioned notebook and pen, I was excited to get back into writing. (Now I just have to clean off my desk.)

So for the sake of discussion, I'll switch this onto everyone else.

What's your least favorite part of the writing process? Could be anything from getting the ideas to editing to finally posting your story and hoping for reviews.

Mine, obviously, is actually typing a draft. That's why I haven't posted any of my completed fics in years. They just sit in ratty old notebooks.
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  #2    
Old August 12th, 2011 (06:32 PM).
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Honestly for me, it’s the getting started part that bothers me. I’m a bit of an active thinker and I normally envision the middle and end before the beginning of a story. I absolutely loathe getting things started. It is mainly because I have to worry about making things interesting in the first place. This actually leads to my second problem with my writing process.

Secondly, editing is a true problem with me. It’s not because I cannot do it or I loathe doing it; it is because I have the worst perfectionist mentality in the world. I’m NEVER truly satisfied with anything that I do. I have meager amounts of self-pride from one point or another, but I always find something wrong. This makes my writing a lot slower. Where people can edit then post the same day, it takes me about a week to even like it is worth sharing. I didn’t my obsession with perfectionism was that severe until I realize I can’t read anything that I write after a few moments to myself to accept it may never be perfect.


Lastly, it has to be thinking of names for chapters and the story. Character names usually comes to me sort quickly, but I will stare at the blank page for hours just thinking of a name of the story. After a while (and to my dismay), I just sort of go on without it until it comes to me.
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Old August 12th, 2011 (06:41 PM).
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I understand you with editing. I get stuck on that sometimes as well. It was especially bad when I was just starting out in Pokemon fanfiction, and every new word of advice I got from the community pointed out something wrong in the fic I was working on at the time. So I edited and edited everything I wrote. It's gotten better in recent years for me. I hope it does the same for you.

Titles... Those are the worst. I think only one of my fics kept the same title from the start. Every other one went through two, three, or sometimes four titles. I still have one that I've been working on for a few weeks now that still has no title. I hate coming up with titles for the entire story. Chapter titles I ignore whenever I can.
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Old August 12th, 2011 (07:02 PM).
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Quote:
I've been stuck for the past several days when it comes to writing. I knew exactly what to write, how I was going to write it, just how long it would take me... I just didn't have the energy to do it. Instead, what I did was read through random things on the Internet and slept.
I don't know what it is about me, but I have plenty of ideas and motivation when I'm walking around doing other things. But when I get to the computer, I suddenly lose all will to start writing. I'm starting to suspect the internet is the main reason I'm being so procrastinatory here because the one day which I lost my internet connection was the one day in which I was most productive. It's kind of sad, really. That pretty much covers why I don't enjoy starting to write because of the sheer willpower needed to conjure up enough effort to keep myself hammering away at the keyboard on a word-processor without getting distracted by Memebase or checking up on forums.

Besides that, it's the actual pre-writing processes which bug me. For instance, I sometimes realise that my characters are starting to become too flat for my liking or maybe the plot's gone haywire. Problem is, I can't bring myself to plan these things in advance because I hate planning. I would love to spontaneously write with a vague idea of where the story's heading and how its supposed to be written, but I can't seem to do that without throwing the story's aesthetics out the window. As in, the plot goes according to plan, but everything's haywire, so it pretty much sucks.

Quote:
Chapter titles I ignore whenever I can.
Recently, my chapter titles have had nothing to do with my story, or the chapter, whatsoever. ;P
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  #5    
Old August 12th, 2011 (07:06 PM).
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My least favorite part of the writing process is definitely not knowing how to get to the end of the story, even though I know exactly how I want the thing to end, how I want it to begin, and what happens in the middle. There's always this gap that I can't think of how to fill, even if the rest of the story seems to piece together perfectly. It's for this reason that I absolutely flounder with chaptered stories. I'm way better with one-shots just because the plots are short enough for me to picture all at once.

Titles...I have a strange relationship with titles. Most of the time they're an afterthought and I don't stress over them at all, but sometimes I actually think of the title before I even think of a story to go with it. "Hmmm...'Gary Stu's Unpredictable Adventure'...I think I'm on to something." The rest of the time I just slap one on there, and if a better one occurs to me later I shrug it off. Sometimes having a lousy title doesn't hurt you much in the long run, as Charles M. Schulz discovered with his disastrously named masterpiece Peanuts.

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizan
Recently, my chapter titles have had nothing to do with my story, or the chapter, whatsoever. ;P
I love it when writers do that. xD My favorite misleading titles have to be the ones from the old Sam & Max comics. They includes such winners as "Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple (Based on the novella Sam & Max Meet Some Bad Guys)."
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  #6    
Old August 12th, 2011 (08:37 PM).
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A mixture of things already said. Probably the biggest for me is starting though - even if I want to write and/or know what to write I get badly distracted and all, or just don't know how to actually begin with the wording of the start of a scene or so forth. Once I get going though I'm usually all right.

Also kinda have a similar issue with thinking of holes/gaps in a fic but I usually hav less of an issue with that - I get there sooneer or later I suppose. Chapter titles I usually feel iffy about though (less so with fic titles).
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  #7    
Old August 12th, 2011 (09:20 PM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizan de la Plume Kuro View Post
I don't know what it is about me, but I have plenty of ideas and motivation when I'm walking around doing other things. But when I get to the computer, I suddenly lose all will to start writing. I'm starting to suspect the internet is the main reason I'm being so procrastinatory here because the one day which I lost my internet connection was the one day in which I was most productive. It's kind of sad, really. That pretty much covers why I don't enjoy starting to write because of the sheer willpower needed to conjure up enough effort to keep myself hammering away at the keyboard on a word-processor without getting distracted by Memebase or checking up on forums.
Oi, that's me. Whenever I'm away from the computer or notebook I tend to have all these ideas and felt motivated to do them. However, when I get around to the writing that motivation suddenly disappeared and I hate that. D< And oh yeah, the distraction part too. >.>

What I hate most when writing is actually dialogue. I'm always flaky when having characters speak because I'm worried if I made them sound all stiff and un-human. Also, I tend to wonder if the conversation between the characters flowed naturally and if it was dragging too much/ended up too short. I can write pretty fast when doing actions and pouring out a character's FEELINGS~, but when it comes to a conversation that's when I get stuck.
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  #8    
Old August 12th, 2011 (09:38 PM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizan de la Plume Kuro View Post
I'm starting to suspect the internet is the main reason I'm being so procrastinatory here because the one day which I lost my internet connection was the one day in which I was most productive.
Oh yes. I blame the Internet as well. I lost the Internet once for two days, and caught up on reading and writing. I felt so productive and adult-like.

If I'm at work or out driving or outside with nothing to do, the ideas just come to me and I get the motivation to come home and write, write, write! But since I only have one desk that also holds my computer, I sit down to write and instead f5 my friends page on LiveJournal.

Bay's post reminded me of a part of writing that I hate: description. I can get the narration down. I can handle setting. I just can't do physical description of the character, especially human ones. It always seems so forced to me, and unless the part of the physical description is important to the character, I skip that too.
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Old August 13th, 2011 (01:36 AM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icomeanon6 View Post
There's always this gap that I can't think of how to fill, even if the rest of the story seems to piece together perfectly.
This is the thing that always gets to me. I generally have a plan of what major events are going to happen and where but when it comes down to just getting the story to advance to those points, I can find myself without much motivation to do it. More often than not, I find myself excited to write events that should generally be a while away chronologically rather than continuing in the correct order.

Although saying that, sometimes I suddenly come up with other story ideas during the 'in-between chapters' that I really want to incorporate into the rest of the story but they can throw everything else off a bit. So a lot of the time it's trying to find the balance between not cramming too much into one story but still putting enough in for it to be interesting.
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Old August 13th, 2011 (03:43 AM).
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Yeah, you guys pretty much hit on it. I open the document, and can't make myself sit the hell down and write. The other hard part for me, as has been said, is the filling in of those gaps. Champion Game is the first one where this has really been relevant, as it's the first time I've sat down and worked out where it's going before/during writing the early chapters. I know how it's going to end, and I know vaguely what's going to happen before that, but there is a vast expanse of blank space before I even come close to that. Urgh.
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Old August 13th, 2011 (04:25 AM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astinus View Post
I just can't do physical description of the character, especially human ones. It always seems so forced to me, and unless the part of the physical description is important to the character, I skip that too.
I'm exactly the same way. In fact, I don't think I've ever so much as specified a character's eye color.

Actually, I'm not even sure that largely omitting physical character description is a problem. I'm reading Red Prophet now (OSC & AM ftw, but EW still > AM, heh), and I don't think Card's described many physical characteristics except for ones that actually add to the story. And these descriptions are rarely when the character's introduced, they're when the focus is on that part of the story. You definitely don't get extensive, fanfic-esque description of what Alvin's wearing and what his hair looks like.

So don't worry! Orson Scott Card still loves you!
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Giovanni Destroys the World and Everything in It (2012), By What Right? (SWC 2013 1st place), Back in the Day (SWC 2014 1st place) (New!)


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  #12    
Old August 13th, 2011 (07:25 AM). Edited August 13th, 2011 by Sgt Shock.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icomeanon6 View Post
I'm exactly the same way. In fact, I don't think I've ever so much as specified a character's eye color.

Actually, I'm not even sure that largely omitting physical character description is a problem. I'm reading Red Prophet now (OSC & AM ftw, but EW still > AM, heh), and I don't think Card's described many physical characteristics except for ones that actually add to the story. And these descriptions are rarely when the character's introduced, they're when the focus is on that part of the story. You definitely don't get extensive, fanfic-esque description of what Alvin's wearing and what his hair looks like.

So don't worry! Orson Scott Card still loves you!
Oh Orson Scott Card. Come to think about it, I don't know what Ender looks like in Ender's Game. It has never really occurred to me.

I think a lot of authors get away with omitting the physical description completely. For me, it just sort of comes off naturally. Here are my general points for describing any character.

  • Hair (Color and texture)
  • Eyes
  • Skin Color
  • Build

That's it. You are lucky to get clothes for me unless it is vital to the character. If my character's a hobo, of course you are going to have to know what he is wearing to deduce that.

I usually don't get to in depth unless it is a species that you don't know. But, I'll admit, I'm not a physical description paragraph person at all. You get a little here and a little there. I'll trick you into reading it by saying things like: he swept the threads of his blonde hair from his face. I'm sneaky like that.
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Old August 13th, 2011 (07:38 AM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Shock View Post
I usually don't get to in depth unless it is a species that you don't know. But, I'll admit, I'm physical description paragraph person at all. You get a little here and a little there. I'll trick you into reading it by saying things like: he swept the threads of his blonde hair from his face. I'm sneaky like that.
Heh, I do like that too when it comes to physical description of someone. I may say a thing or two about someone to distinguish that he's old like wrinkles and white hair, but that's about it since I don't think it's necessary to describe over everything how someone looks or wears (the latter I might describe if the situation calls for it). I write for a couple fandoms besides Pokemon in which I'm lucky I can get away with not describing a canon character. XD
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Old August 13th, 2011 (08:01 AM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Shock View Post
I usually don't get to in depth unless it is a species that you don't know. But, I'll admit, I'm physical description paragraph person at all. You get a little here and a little there. I'll trick you into reading it by saying things like: he swept the threads of his blonde hair from his face. I'm sneaky like that.
I've been trying to do this more lately. I have a nice mental image of what my characters look like, but I can't fit it in a paragraph on its own without detracting from the story itself. So far, not counting the artwork I did a while back which is now outdated, I've revealed my character's blonde-ish and has a grey cardigan. All this without deviating from the actual plot, so I'm rather proud of myself.
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Old August 13th, 2011 (09:41 AM).
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I'm starting to suspect the internet is the main reason I'm being so procrastinatory here because the one day which I lost my internet connection was the one day in which I was most productive.
I'm sad to say that this is true.. T_T
I remember I began making plans for this summer. I said I was going to exercise more, lose this weight, read more books, practice my drum strokes, resume my independent japanese studies, etc. And here I am, four days away until school starts and I'm still watching anime and visiting forums... The internet is great, but sadly addictive.

As for the writing; the hardest part for me would have to be the story in general. I can't just sit down and tell myself, "alright, I'm going to write the best story of all stories!" No, it's like my brain and I are two separate beings in one body; when I want to make up a story; no ideas come to mind, but when the sun dies and the moon rises, when I'm trying to sleep, my head starts automatically generating ideas; juicy, funny, ideas, and I'm like, "GO TO SLEEP!!!" but to no avail. I end up laughing all night until I get off the bed or my eyes rebel against the brain.

The worst part is, the ideas I get a just small little parts of a big story. I never really think of an actual plot; and so, my fanfics are never finished. Then there are times when I just can't link together all of the little fragments. It's a whole process for me..
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Old August 13th, 2011 (11:53 AM).
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Well, y'all have done it. You mentioned the dreaded topic that I'll go on about forever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icomeanon6 View Post
Actually, I'm not even sure that largely omitting physical character description is a problem. I'm reading Red Prophet now (OSC & AM ftw, but EW still > AM, heh), and I don't think Card's described many physical characteristics except for ones that actually add to the story. And these descriptions are rarely when the character's introduced, they're when the focus is on that part of the story. You definitely don't get extensive, fanfic-esque description of what Alvin's wearing and what his hair looks like.

So don't worry! Orson Scott Card still loves you!
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Actually, it was Card's writing that made me switch over to as little physical description as possible. In fact, in his book Characters and Viewpoint, he says:

Quote:
"The reason I listed the body last is not because it's unimportant, but rather because far too many writers--especially beginners--think that a physical description of a character is characterization. If they have a woman stand in front of a mirror and comb her long brown hair with the comb delicately balanced in her slender fingers as she looks into her own flashing brown eyes, such writers think they've done the job."
For me, personally, it's fine to do what Bay and Sgt. Shock mentioned, where the physical description comes in bits and pieces and it's small doses of more important information. I tend to do that myself (in my OSC fanfiction, hilariously enough).

Y'know, everyone, how y'all handle description in your stories was going to be another thread discussion, but I'm perfectly fine with it also running through this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Shock View Post
Oh Orson Scott Card. Come to think about it, I don't know what Ender looks like in Ender's Game. It has never really occurred to me.
Out of the seven illustrations that I have of him, he's portrayed the majority of times with red-brown hair and blue eyes. There's one time where he has blond hair and blue eyes, and another time where he has dark brown hair and brown eyes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nam View Post
No, it's like my brain and I are two separate beings in one body; when I want to make up a story; no ideas come to mind, but when the sun dies and the moon rises, when I'm trying to sleep, my head starts automatically generating ideas; juicy, funny, ideas, and I'm like, "GO TO SLEEP!!!" but to no avail. I end up laughing all night until I get off the bed or my eyes rebel against the brain.
I'm the same. During the day when I can actually do something about the ideas, I don't get any. During the night, my mind is active. I've written so many scenes in my mind while trying to fall asleep. And then, as I wake up, I forget them.

So that I also hate about the writing process. My muse not knowing when it's time to sleep.
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Old August 13th, 2011 (12:11 PM).
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When my keyboard breaks.

No, seriously, it's happened like three times, and each one has has a layout that's different enough that it takes about a month to retrain my fingers from the new and interesting typos that appear. I don't bother writing during those periods because, well, would YOU want to have to edit armthing aprllrd likr thos? (Something spelled like this?)
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Old August 13th, 2011 (07:35 PM).
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I can kinda relate - not my keyboard entirely but just the e key tends to keep falling out or not registering my pressing half the time. It's rally annoying whn you want to writ somthing, and spcially whn your story involvs th Pokmon spon.
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