Author Topic: i've lost all interest in my story  (Read 2628 times)

Offline mfarraday

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i've lost all interest in my story
« on: January 30, 2012, 04:50:23 PM »
i don't know why, but i feel completely lifeless about it.

i re-read it and i like it; i have ideas about where i want it to go. but i have no desire to write right now. it's not even writer's block. i've just lost all enthusiasm.

i hope it comes back. maybe i just need a break.

has this ever happened to you?

my biggest fear is getting another idea and dropping the story i was working on, and never ever coming back to it. i do want to finish it.

i vent here a lot lately.....!

- Madeleine



Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 05:09:01 PM »
has this ever happened to you?

Shoot yeah. and sometimes it lasts a long while. I call it 'Stewing' your story is working out details and twists and drawing story layers into a conclusion. Look at it this way, you're spending your time pondering so everything is fine and moving forward.  ;D
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thatollie

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 05:17:10 PM »
Relax, you're probably just tired.

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 05:18:45 PM »
Yeah, maybe your subconscious foresees a hitch, glitch or has a better idea brewing.
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thatollie

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 05:20:16 PM »
Heck, it even used to happen to me.

Offline wanderer

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 07:40:11 PM »
Get away for a while, then you will start missing it  ;)
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Offline C.M.

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 07:52:47 PM »
Save this story so you can pick it up later. Start a new project as soon as you can. The important thing is to keep writing. You don't have to stay on the same project. I wrote for years before I actually finished something.

Offline mfarraday

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 08:53:34 PM »
i think part of the problem is that i have very little backstory. my characters are one-dimensional. i really need to think about what motivates them and why, and what their histories are like. so they can grow on me, and so they can grow on the reader.

but it seems too late to add all that. maybe i will just put that in my notes and work it in here or there, wherever it might fit, later on.

that might be part of why i am stuck. i want my characters to have some background and they do not.

thank you for the encouragement and replies. i love this forum...



Offline threenorns

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 10:06:37 PM »
happens to me ALL the time.

it's why i'm far better at short stories than novels - not enough time to get bored with it.

one thing i like doing is daydreaming.  i put myself in my character - what were his parents like?  what did the bedroom look like when she was a child?  what were his favourite hobbies?  what was a peculiar thing that happened on the way home from school one day?  how did she react the first time she ate green olives?  why did rayon socks make his feet itch between the toes?  why did tapioca make her gag?

and so on - all the silly little minutiae that make up a 3-dimensional life.

Offline Chandara5

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 10:34:27 PM »
I have one that's almost done. I already know how it's going to end, which is the only part left to write to finish the first draft. It's been simmering for...oh, four months. I really like it, the characters have called to me, but I just can't go there right now. What did I do? I betrayed them and wrote another story and then another. I just can't force myself to write that one just yet. I'm sure it'll come. It's not dead, yet.  ;)
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Offline Mark H

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 03:16:43 AM »
I never get beyond 25k words before losing interest in my stuff. I suspect real novel writers are those with writing stamina.
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Sam Cooper

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 06:38:16 AM »
Perhaps you should try writing an outline for your novel first. This way, there is always a known direction to go.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 06:59:36 AM »
i think part of the problem is that i have very little backstory. my characters are one-dimensional. i really need to think about what motivates them and why, and what their histories are like. so they can grow on me, and so they can grow on the reader.

This could be part of the problem, but have you given them enough real problems to deal with in the present?  That's where most of the action happens in a novel.

My main character in Running Scared has no background at all.  I didn't plan it that way, but he just sprung to life one night, fully grown, finding a dead gamekeeper and then being set up to take the blame.  From then on he - and I - were too damned busy solving his ongoing problems.  He was halfway through the book before I even gave him a surname, and that was only because the police needed one.

I've written one and two thirds other books about him since, but he still has no background, and no family until a surprise daughter turns up in the two-thirds done novel.  This may sound daft, but he's never asked for a background, and I feel no urge to write him one

So it is possible to write a story, which sells, in which the writer doesn't know everything about his character.

Sometimes it's possible to get too tied up in backstory.  So tied up you forget to write the main story.

Write a few pages of what could be called fore-story.  Shove some real obstacles in his/her way and make them dig deep into their reserves to defeat them.  Give them impossible choices to solve.  Watch them develop backbone as they face the consequences.  After that you may find you have an unstoppable force on your hands.

...but it seems too late to add all that. maybe i will just put that in my notes and work it in here or there, wherever it might fit, later on.

It's never too late, but it can be hard work.  Are you sure you're not just feeling a little lazy now the immediate inspiration has slackened off? This happens to all of us at times, so it's nothing personal.

I believe it was Mark Twain who said 'Many people fail to recognise opportunity because it arrives wearing overalls and looks like hard work'.  The old beggar knew a thing or two about writers ;-)

Gyppo

 
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Offline johnnyh2

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 03:51:30 PM »
Goodness me. :o

Youíll never get published carrying on like that. :D

Never mind tea and sympathy, dear.  You need to stop thinking about it.  Trust me.  Get your arse back on that chairÖand write!  And no, the problem you mention doesnít affect me. Never has. Not in 25 years of working as a professional choreographer, and not with my writing.  It never will.  Hereís why.
 
Once, 30 years ago, in my first year at the Laban Centre, London, I was upset and freaking out, unable to finish a one minute solo.  The legendry ballet master, Laverne Mayer, gave me the best advice Iíve ever heard, regarding the creative process.  Any creative process. 

ďWhen you donít know what to do,Ē he said, ďdo something.  Anything. Doesnít matter if itís crap.  In fact the more crap the better.  At least when you next work on your solo, youíll have a fabulous piece of crap as a starting point.  Any fool can make a piece of crap look better.Ē

He was right. 

Madeleine, add something to your novel.  Anything.

Now imagine this.  Youíre at your desk trying to write a tricky section of your story.  In the room with you, watching, are your agent, two novelists whose work you adore, and the head of a famous New York publishing house. They stand, arms crossed, tapping their feet, waiting for you to write something saleable. 

If that were the case, Iíd understand your trouble.  But it appears your impotence has no valid reason, except you not being in the mood.  Is that essentially correct?  If so, Iím afraid that doesnít count as a reason not to write.

Regarding the scene above, Iíve been there, only slightly different.  Pet Shop Boys world tour rehearsals.  Ten drop-dead-gorgeous, mega talented dancers, all waiting for me to come up with some stylish, flashy choreography.  (That in itself is enough for a guy to loose the ability to create).  Worse, in the corner of the room, watching, the director, the PSBs, the guys from the record company, and some scary-looking suits whoíd flown in from LA.  And Iím supposed work in front of this lot?  I wanted to cry because I couldnít string together enough steps to make a decent phrase.

So I practiced what I preach.  Choreographed something.  Anything.  Gave the dancers a phrase of rubbishy, crowd pleasing steps.  It was excruciatingly embarrassing.  However, I worked and reworked that dodgy old phrase, and by the time the suits flew back to LA, it still looked crap, but they loved it!

Iím guessing itís not laziness, lack of inspiration or a sore toe that troubles you.  Itís your mind. 

Never forget.  You chose your thoughts.  Change the thought and you change the feeling.

If you give that incessant chatter-box five second on the subject, it will give you five brilliant reasons not to resume writing.  Give it more time, it might even try and convince you you canít write anyway, so whatís the point?       

Sometimes our thoughts are like little children, demanding to be heard.  On important issues, like your writing, you must take charge and put them to bed.  Theyíll struggle and get even louder at first, but after while they get bored. 

Creativeness is rarely borne of thought.  When it is, itís often ugly. Fabulous work always comes from a deeper place.  I never think while choreographing.  I feel.  Professional dancers do not think while learning material or dancing on stage.  Singers do not start thinking halfway through an aria.  As a writer, Iíll bet all your best stuff comes when youíre not thinking. It comes from that deep, holy pace inside.

Ignore your mind and return to your computer. Ten minutes a day is better than nothing.  . 

Thinking is no friend to real creativity.   
Whatever you focus on, whatever you give attention to, grows.  Ignore it and it fades away.  If you try and think yourself into starting to write again, well ... 

The creative process is sometimes boring.  Professionals quieten the head and get on with the task in hand.  You must too ;) :o :D]
 
Hmmm, better get off my high horse before I fall.

Hope that didnít sound too harsh. 
Only my opinion. 
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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: i've lost all interest in my story
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 06:02:34 PM »
Johnny, I seriously like what you posted above.  ;)

That said, it was an editor urging me to turn off my Internal Editor. He went farther, suggesting I envision what this nasty creature looked, draw a picture of him and give him a name.

I did as he said and came up with one ugly little man, warts and all. I don't know what I gave him a gnarled walking stick, but the stick gave me his name. Old Head Knocker.

This might not work for everyone, but it has helped me any number of times when I realize he is whispering in my ear, I call him by name and shoo him away.  :D 
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