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Gone Completely Dry!!

General, open discussion regarding writing, getting published, markets, pointers, and other related topics. All are welcome! No advertising, please!

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Arpy
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Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby Arpy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:45 am

It's been ages since this happened, (and also since I've been on this forum -- hi, everybody :tongue) but I'm dry. Bone dry. I can't really remember the last time that I couldn't write anything, but that's how I feel now. That's why I'm on here, looking for some help.
I just finished a novel draft that I'm now re-reading and I have this terrible feeling that it's trash. I don't like my writing style, and I don't even know why. I have several other books I have planned and I want to work on, but I just don't know where to start.
I'm beginning to seriously wonder if I'm going about this the right way. I've always been a fairly prodigious writer and I have plenty of ideas but right now I can't make myself start.

So I have this really good idea that I think could be very publishable, and I have the main points of the story made up. Where would you start? What is your method to beginning a fictional novel? I think I just need to try something new. This is a story I very much want to do right.

Articles, advice, encouragement would be appreciated. I just need some impetus and some help getting out of the doldrums. (And just free-writing isn't helping any. I still feel lost.)

How is the best way to plot my story? I have my own way but I don't feel that it's good enough.

:thankssign

-Arpy
Arpy

I write adventures, historical fiction, war stories, fantasies, psychological and spy thrillers.

IN PROGRESS:
Snaga - fan fiction fantasy
Emira - action adventure
Confessions of an Evil Genius - psychological thriller
The Play-Actor - sci-fi, historical, psychological spy thriller
Dreamreader - YA psychological thriller
A fantasy without a title
RECENT DRAFTS:
Royal Opposition - action adventure

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gracelikerain
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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby gracelikerain » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:45 pm

I wish I had some great advice for you. I'm sorry that I don't. I just wanted to post and let you know that you are definitely not alone! Dry spells are the perfect garden spot for God to work whatever it is He's trying to do with you and your writing.

Maybe not helpful or practical, but I hope that's encouraging :)
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tomoral
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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby tomoral » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:28 pm

I agree with Glynis. No one can help you with a dry spell, but I have found that when I have them, I come back later even stronger than before.

Maybe you used up your creativity for now with your just finished novel draft, and God is giving you time to refuel, so to speak. Writing has a way of draining us. It happens all the time, and my prayers are with you.

It is what it is, and what will be, will be great!

Blessings, Lynn
God Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storms.
Children are our tomorrow
Keep them daily from the sorrow
Of the beasts in life

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Shann
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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby Shann » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:33 pm

I know there are programs that help you take an idea and plot it out. I've heard several people who really like it, but I've never done it and can't remember the name.

I have a little book that I love. (Of course I can't remember that name either) Okay I got up and found it. It's called Room to Write. It has different exercises to get you thinking. One of my favorites is to write a whole page about snot. Then when you're done look to see any of it would work in any pieces that you're writing.

You also may want to try the challenge too. I often will come up with the start of a chapter from the challenge.

The most important thing is keep writing even if you write the same thing over and over.
Shann

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Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child

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palomablue
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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby palomablue » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:34 pm

I know the feeling and that is the reason I am here today. Trying to find inspiration and a spark for something, anything. I've been dry for a very long time but I blame it on life and it's drama. So much has happened in this last year, I'm just spent. But I'm hoping if I "hang out" with other writers that the desire will return. I haven't made it over to the challenge yet but I will. I "challenge" you to do the same :D Hope to see you there and best of luck to you!!
We walk by faith and not by sight.

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Shann
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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby Shann » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:00 pm

There will be a mini break until April, but I'd challenge you to use this time to take an old story and do a total rewrite.

Another great idea would be to pop into Jan's Writing Basics and peruse her threads. Pick a topic or two and do her suggested homework. She has a couple of great advice on how to write a good beginning and ending. Among other topics, I guarantee you that you will learn a few things, no matter what level writer you are

Just don't get discouraged! :grouphug
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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby Hoomi » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:08 pm

Another good book to check out is Terry Brooks', "Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons From a Writing Life." Excellent insights into the ups and downs of writing, from a man who has been through it all over the years.

When your characters aren't talking to you, it's okay to take a little time away. If you're anything like me, it won't be long before they're calling you back into their worlds. On the flip side, if you try to force the writing, and aren't really enjoying it, the odds are, the reader isn't going to enjoy it, either.

As to feeling like the latest draft you produced is trash? That's okay as well. That's why it's called a "draft." It's just like playing through a piece of music for the first time. Just as musicians practice and rehearse to work the bugs out of the performance, we writers revise and edit to work out the bugs in a manuscript. When we attend a concert, we are not seeing the musician perform the piece for the very first time ever. It might be the first public performance of a piece, but you can bet they've worked on it many times to get it ready for the concert. When we read a book, we should also not be reading the author's first draft (sadly, too often these days, we are). We should be reading the result of writing, setting aside, reading, revising, setting aside, reading, revising, and so on, until the manuscript is polished.

Finally, remember too, that our writing is a gift that God has given us. While using our gifts is intended to be a service to God, it's also supposed to be a joy to use them. However, there are also times when God wants us to step back from the service, and spend a bit more time with Him getting refreshed, so that our gift is also refreshed. That could be where you are right now - God may be using this "dry spell" to get you to take some of that time away from the writing to focus on Him a bit more.

After all, when we're dry, we happen to know the source of Living Water to quench that dryness. :)
“It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God's heaven.” ~ Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Marta's Pod, the sequel to Cardan's Pod, on Kickstarter now.

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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby palomablue » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:57 am

Great advice and much appreciated. I accept the challenge and I will continue to seek God in this dry time and always. :thankssign
We walk by faith and not by sight.

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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby deejay » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:16 pm

:hugs3 :grouphug3 :handshake Hoomi! Long time no see, bro! Where ya been? :hugs2 :party

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Shann
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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby Shann » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:28 pm

I wanted to share a fun link I started. It's just a way a book of my shows ways to get unblocked. There are suggestions for each day. The object is to just write. Don't worry about stopping to check for typos or to see if you repeated something, but write a page worth (at least say 300 words) I shared my story. (I did correct a couple of obvious typos and am delighted I did so because I think it might be in a book someday, who knows. Here's the link viewtopic.php?f=1&t=37999&p=527850#p527850
Be brave and take a stab at it!
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Re: Gone Completely Dry!!

Postby Hoomi » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:52 pm

deejay wrote::hugs3 :grouphug3 :handshake Hoomi! Long time no see, bro! Where ya been? :hugs2 :party


I've been mostly over on Failbook (oops. I mean Facebook), but figured I needed to pop back in over here a bit more often. :)
“It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God's heaven.” ~ Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Marta's Pod, the sequel to Cardan's Pod, on Kickstarter now.


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