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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Inspiration

   
Author Topic: Inspiration
Lyrhawn
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I'm suffering from some crippling writer's block at the moment.

I just finished a huge plot transition in my story for the hatrack novel challenge thread, and I know exactly what's supposed to happen in the next couple chapters, but I can't decide how to do it. I have plot summaries with lists of things that need to happen, but I'm not sure how to play it out.

Hit me with some inspiration! Get my muse going! Send me a song with some particularly thought provoking lyrics, or a painting, or a picture, or a story, or a poem. Anything. Just something to get the juices flowing. I'm feeling the vibe, I want to write, I just can't get it out.

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rivka
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So skip ahead a chapter or so, and come back and figure out the bridge later.
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Lyrhawn
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I could try that. Sometimes I write snippets of scenes that I try to find a way to splice in later.

Let's see how that works...

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RivalOfTheRose
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for each item in the list of summaries that needs to happen, figure out the most interesting way for that to occur. whether its most interesting to you, the audience, or the characters themselves is up to you.

another method: think of this part in the book like the bridge in a song..... different then the rest, but adds another layer of meaning, kind of like taking a detour on the journey.

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Dr Strangelove
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I got your back Lyr... go pick up the nearest copy of That Noble Dream by Peter Novick. That should inspire you to do... something anyways. [Razz]
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Scott R
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Free write until something shakes loose and you can put down serious text.

OSC says that writer's block means that your subconscious is telling you that something previously established in your story is wrong, or incomplete. When I'm hit with it, it mostly means I need to firm up the rules of my world.

Or that I need to have someone kick down the door and start shooting at the protagonists.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dr Strangelove:
I got your back Lyr... go pick up the nearest copy of That Noble Dream by Peter Novick. That should inspire you to do... something anyways. [Razz]

I left my copy back in Nebraska to save myself from the temptation to read it over and over. [Smile]
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Free write until something shakes loose and you can put down serious text.

OSC says that writer's block means that your subconscious is telling you that something previously established in your story is wrong, or incomplete. When I'm hit with it, it mostly means I need to firm up the rules of my world.

Or that I need to have someone kick down the door and start shooting at the protagonists.

I think it's because I just finished the first big arc of the story and I'm sort of emotionally spent. The plot is just about totally revealed now, most of the pieces are set, they just confronted the villain for the first time and escaped, but with losses, so now I have to go back to building up the tension again toward the finale.

I can't really have someone open fire on them because they just escaped, and I feel like my rules are pretty firmly in place at this point.

I think rivka might be right about skipping ahead. I might just need to dive into a meatier portion and come back for this later.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think rivka might be right about skipping ahead.

I don't recall exactly, but I think it was a suggestion I read on a writing blog at some point.
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Lyrhawn
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Skipping ahead has helped some. I've started writing a lot of smaller scenes that I've pictured in my head for awhile but was waiting to get to.

I just finished writing what I think will be a pretty good scene after some editing, and ended up solving another plot bridge I was dreading down the way.

Non-linear writing certainly has its strengths.

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rivka
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[Smile]
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I just finished writing and ended up solving another plot bridge of smaller scenes that has its strengths. I've pictured in Skipping ahead has helped some. Non-linear writing certainly I've started writing a lot my head for a pretty good scene what I think will be after some editing, awhile but was waiting to get to. I was dreading down the way.

TOO MUCH NONLINEAR WRITING. ABORT. ABORT
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El JT de Spang
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In songwriting, when the muse abandons you you just continue on without it. People who wait for inspiration to write don't write many songs. And they're less likely to edit, which all great writers do, because they'll attach extra weight to the 'inspired' lyrics.
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Lyrhawn
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That's true. In the past I've been reluctant to alter or delete precious scenes that came from bouts of inspiration because they were special to me.

In the past I've trucked on ahead and when I'm not feeling it, the scenes often feel wooden, but normally I get past it, and end up going back to edit it into something better later.

This time I just felt especially spent. I'm starting to wonder if maybe Scott was right and I wrote myself into a little hole, but I think it'll be another 25 pages until I have enough perspective to see that or not.

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Dan_Frank
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Brandon Sanderson has some words of wisdom on that phenomenon.

I'll be paraphrasing, but essentially he says that you should write when you're inspired and write when you're not. And when you edit, you'll punch up the parts where you were hating it, and you'll trim the pretentiousness out of the parts you were inspired, and in the end nobody will be able to tell the difference.

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