Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Writing Fatigue, and the stories that must be told.

   
Author Topic: Writing Fatigue, and the stories that must be told.
Gan
Member
Member # 8405

 - posted      Profile for Gan   Email Gan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I woke up annoyed last night, my sleep broken by various thoughts and ideas on stories. I tried my hardest, but my efforts were in vain (Or is it vein? I'm not sure, and far too tired to look it up). I woke up, and promptly wrote 2000 words of a story just begging to get out.

What are your own experiences with such phenomena?

This leads me to my next story/question. (Boy do I say that a lot).
After writing these 2000 words, I was sooo sick of writing. The story was flowing great, I was having fun, nearly in a trance like state... and then poof, I just had to stop.

Is this normal? Do even the published writers throw their hands up in the air yelling "No more!"?

I feel like such a bogus writer!


Posts: 260 | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Writing, like genius, is ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration. Finessing an inspiration is a beginning of efforts. I doubt that many writers can sustain more than one inspiration without having to knuckle down and get their hands dirty. For me, knowing what's what and how to get there has been my focus in studying writing. I'm close, so close that I know all that's lacking in my latest stories, what's superfluous, what I need to do to them to make them good, fully-realized stories. Lots of hard work to do before I sleep.
Posts: 5160 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tiergan
Member
Member # 7852

 - posted      Profile for Tiergan   Email Tiergan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Happens with me just as I am going to sleep. That 5 minute window of awake to sleep. Man, the ideas come, the scenes unfold, the actual lines, and wording come. My problem is, if I get up, I could be writing for hours, which then effects my next days work. As far as wheter or not it happens to "pro" writers or not, I don't know. I read that Deane Kootz writes one page at a time, finishes it and never looks back. If i did this, besides my page being terribly written, I think it would lack the emotion that my writing takes on when i write at the spur of the moment, or when the urge calls.
Posts: 1165 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Crystal Stevens
Member
Member # 8006

 - posted      Profile for Crystal Stevens   Email Crystal Stevens         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I find my better story ideas usually occur first thing in the morning. Normally before I get out of bed and sometimes before I even open my eyes. My mind is rested and ready for the day. Its more alert and can receive new ideas much better than any other time of day.

That said; I sometimes will think up an answer to a writing problem right before I zonk off, but it can be gone by the time I wake the next day. The problem is that I'm too tired to drag my sorry (you fill in the word ) out of bed to jot it down .

[This message has been edited by Crystal Stevens (edited January 25, 2009).]


Posts: 1320 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's basically what happened with the story that I just finished. Woo Hoo! It just came to me. I'd wake up, or get out of the shower, or come home from walking the dogs with bits of dialog in my head and I just had to write it down. Okay, so I did that. The story--or a very, very first draft of it--is finished. Now, it's going into a drawer to age and mature. Because, while I like the story, I don't think everything is there, yet. It needs more--more work on the milieu, more depth to the supporting characters. And it could use a few side tracks in the plot. Right now it's way too linear.

However, I do find two things are true for me. That kind of writing, where it just wants to pour out of you, is not only the most fun, it is some of my best. I rarely do a lot of revision to those passages. I can read them months later and they still make me smile.

The other thing is that I will write those ideas down when they come. I keep a special file on my computer, just for writing down things that come to me like that but are for different stories or things that I haven't come to yet in a story. Because there is very little in my experience that is more frustrating than to get to that part of the story and sit there, staring at a blank page. You know that you knew exactly what you wanted to write here. And now it's gone. So I always write it down. I might never use it. But I have it. At the worst, it will probably tell me something about the story or the characters.


Posts: 4405 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rstegman
Member
Member # 3233

 - posted      Profile for rstegman   Email rstegman         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My method is not to write the concept on a piece of paper, usually no more than a paragraph, to remind me of the concept.
I then don't actually write the story, but tell what the story is about, from beginning to end. those are usually in my story idea methods.
Finally, I then actually write it if I am still excited about it. I have the concept mapped out and know where I want it to go.
my methods are not the best for everybody, but when I have a concept that is sucking my brain out, I can calm it down so I can concentrate on what I need to do.
The paper holds the concept to where I can retrieve it,
the quick write about the story plots it out to see if there is anything there,
and sometimes one can finish it in one writing session, depending on what the story is.
Of course, I believe in editing, and depend on it heavily...

Posts: 1005 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sudden ideas seem very original at the moment of their creation, but look very lame afterwards. Still, I try to catch as many as possible so I can work on them later and maybe integrate them with other similar ideas into a half-decent storyline.
Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dee_boncci
Member
Member # 2733

 - posted      Profile for dee_boncci   Email dee_boncci         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have no experience with such phenomena. For me it's all much more methodical and gradual. There are times while I'm writing that I get into a groove and become somewhat compulsive about continuing, but I don't have sudden inspiration strike me out of the blue. I actually have a difficult time coming up with story ideas, but not a lot of trouble getting something down on paper once something strikes my fancy.
Posts: 612 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In my case, at least, I'm not so much talking about sudden story ideas. The idea has probably already been there, rolling around. What's seems sudden is waking up with a couple of pages of dialog already in my head. Instead of sitting at my desk trying to think of what to write, which is sometimes hard and sometimes not, the challenge is to get it down before it gets away.
Posts: 4405 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gan
Member
Member # 8405

 - posted      Profile for Gan   Email Gan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
In my case, at least, I'm not so much talking about sudden story ideas. The idea has probably already been there, rolling around. What's seems sudden is waking up with a couple of pages of dialog already in my head. Instead of sitting at my desk trying to think of what to write, which is sometimes hard and sometimes not, the challenge is to get it down before it gets away.


This is somewhat what happened to me. I didn't really have so much a story idea, as some literal lines running through my head. After I wrote them down, I just took off with the story.


Posts: 260 | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Antinomy
Member
Member # 5136

 - posted      Profile for Antinomy   Email Antinomy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I’ve had that problem too. It was my muse; she kept disrupting my sleep with good ideas and enticing story lines. Unwanted night visits went on for a while until I got to know her and convinced her that I needed my sleep. Now she and I work on stories first thing every morning.
Posts: 147 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Crank
Member
Member # 7354

 - posted      Profile for Crank   Email Crank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

The story was flowing great, I was having fun, nearly in a trance like state... and then poof, I just had to stop.

I just attribute this reoccurring 'event' as a result of ADHD.

Or, maybe I can blame this on the interruptive nature of my kids?!

As for the condition of story ideas popping into my mind when I least expect them (up to and including in the middle of the night)...to me, it's a joyous reminder that, yes, I am an artist, and even my subconscious is making sure I continue creating. That's why I carry a digital recorder almost everywhere I go. The point in time where ideas and concepts no longer show up in my mind unannounced, is the point in time where I get concerned for my artistic future. So what if I endure interrupted sleep patterns? That happens already, anyway. Again, I blame my kids.

S!
S!...C!


Posts: 620 | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zero
Member
Member # 3619

 - posted      Profile for Zero           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You make it sound like giving birth. You develop your ideas for, shall we say, 9 months. And then it just has to get out, no matter what, rain or shine. And once it's out then the "relief"-phase begins.
Posts: 2195 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zero
Member
Member # 3619

 - posted      Profile for Zero           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh and if you're still interested, it's "vain".
Posts: 2195 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My last finished-enough-to-send-out-to-market story was constructed in a day in bed---I work nights and have trouble getting to sleep during the sunlit hours. One day, I was so tired I turned in about a half-hour after getting home from work---about thirteen hours till I had to get up to get ready for work.

Long about the sixth or seventh hour, I woke up. Not wanting to get up, I rolled over and spent some time thinking. I'd seen another story about this one thing, thought of taking it one step further, then taking it several steps further. In about, oh, three or four hours, I had the plot I wanted to use, which I wrote up the next day...the story itself took about four or five months, and, ultimately, some twenty thousand words, to write.

(Anybody wanna see it? It's up on my website, titled "The Laminants." Make of it what you will.)

I should use this method again...problem is, I'm rarely so tired when I get home (I'm sleepy at night) and have so much to do before I do go to bed. Someday...


Posts: 8728 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
alittleofeverything
Member
Member # 8024

 - posted      Profile for alittleofeverything   Email alittleofeverything         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can relate to exhaustion after writing, thought it doesn't happen to me very often. It happens after I've been at my most focused, when there nothing exists but a pen and paper, or a keyboard and a screen. I pour out so much of myself that after a while I feel like a car that's run out of gas and is stranded along the highway. I'm mentally exhausted, and it's time to stop writing and do something mindless for a while to recharge, i.e. video games!

[This message has been edited by alittleofeverything (edited January 26, 2009).]


Posts: 37 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gan
Member
Member # 8405

 - posted      Profile for Gan   Email Gan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lol Zero, what a great analogy ;D. I figured it was vain, but I wasn't absolutely positive. Thanks.

It wasn't a bad experience, waking up to write the story. Like Crank said, it reminded me that I'm shaping my mind to find ideas in everything.

That said, inspiration sure chooses the lamest times to show its face.

Robert, I'd love to read the story at some point. I'll bug you about it in the future, when I'm not in the middle of three different projects. The last thing I need right now is a great story to read, to procrastinate my own writing >.<.


Posts: 260 | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Like I said, it's up on my website, available to any and all who choose to look.
Posts: 8728 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspirit
Member
Member # 7974

 - posted      Profile for aspirit   Email aspirit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I didn't want to go to sleep last night, because I felt guilty for not reaching my writing goals for the week. But I zonked out beside my notebook. I woke at 3am, remembering I hadn't posted C L's grades and a scene in Odal's Story was unfinished from yesterday.

I go through phases. Earlier this week, I had to write for my stories. This weekend, I'm less inspired. So, I'm going to have to push meet my goals.

I know a full-time author who says she writes when she feels like it, and her output changes every day. She'll have bursts where she writes 7,000 words (which, if I remember, she prefers to keep as her limit), and the next day she might write 1,000 words.

Robert: I've read "The Laminants". I like the concept.


Posts: 1139 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gan
Member
Member # 8405

 - posted      Profile for Gan   Email Gan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Aspirit.

I think I'm slowly getting into the rhythm.

Some days I write a good deal, but like you said, others are dry.

I've just decided to roll with the punches for now. Write a lot whe n I'm inspired, and push myself to write at least a certain amount regardless.


Posts: 260 | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2