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Hi everyone,

I am wondering how other people cope with what I shall call "marvellously annoying dead-ends" when they suddenly happen in the story. Not so much a writers block as just that the plot seems to be waiting for the character/s to get on with it.

I know where I want the plot to go, indeed where it has to go dramatically. The start, middle and end are clear but the writing suddenly becomes mediocre and irrelevant. Like patter for the sake of it, which I want to avoid.

Has invention just taken a rest? Do I wait too? Forcing a scene seems to be a direct path to boring the pants off me let alone my potential readers.

Sometimes I skip to another scene/chapter and bingo that one is working.

Then I when I return to the troublesome text I find I have to alter it, and the flow returns.

The process is slow. I am sure glad I didn't start posting it after chapter one. :icon1:

Rhetorical question: How the hell do people write serials without being able to go back and correct them?

I had a friend read some of it and he helpfully told me that there could be more in a scene I had written.

He was right, I found a wealth of detail and thrills just from his comment. Now I keep alert for these hidden treasures, but only in review unless the flow is particularly creative.

Is this process normal? How does anyone tell when there is nothing more to discover in what is being written? Am I worrying? Needlessly?

Oh I should mention it is a novel, probably won't be popular and I am doing it because it demands me to write it and I love writing it. At present count there are some 25,000 words across several chapters all arranged for easy access. I am using MS Word Master-doc as it seems to give me better control over the numerous chapters. I looked at some other text based programs for story/book writing but they did not appeal to me, so I don't have a problem with keeping track of it all.

I am probably just thinking aloud here, so don't worry if this seems crazy. If anyone sees anything familiar in these thoughts and has comments or thoughts I would be interested to read them.

Thanks, :icon1:

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I'm hardly the one to comment, having exactly ONE short story posted, but then, I'm always enthusiastic about sharing dubious experiences. :icon1:

Since I've had one story posted, I've written two more, and am working on my fourth. I have come to a complete halt with this one. It's a short story, for goodness sake. I shouldn't be stopped dead in my tracks, but I am. Like you, I know where it's going, but much like on a hike, just seeing the destination and the path doesn't mean you can see all the pitfalls, difficulties, nor energy required to get there.

I think that it is mostly an energy thing. For whatever reason, the mental and psychic energy just isn't there. I don't know about others, but I write my stuff from the heart: my emotional side. If I'm not in an introspective emotional state, I cannot write. If I try, I might as well be writing a dictiionary or operational manual. It may be factual, but hardly entertaining.

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Has invention just taken a rest? Do I wait too? Forcing a scene seems to be a direct path to boring the pants off me let alone my potential readers.

Yes and it's certainly a type of writer's block even if you don't think it is.

Rhetorical question: How the hell do people write serials without being able to go back and correct them?

I go back and change them, hence the date at the top of each chapter. I try not to, but sometimes I just fuck up.

Is this process normal? How does anyone tell when there is nothing more to discover in what is being written? Am I worrying? Needlessly?

Everyone is different. You are worrying needlessly. I go back to my stuff time and again. That's why my chapters arrive so slowly. My editors will vouch for how much I change from "draft A" to posted copy.

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Hi everyone,

I am wondering how other people cope with what I shall call "marvellously annoying dead-ends" when they suddenly happen in the story. Not so much a writers block as just that the plot seems to be waiting for the character/s to get on with it.

WISH I COULD WRITE IN COLOR, OR A DIFFERENT FONT, OR FIND SOME WAY TO DISTINGUISH THIS OTHER THAN CAPS, BUT WBMS WON'T HELP ME. ANYWAY, THAT'S ANOTHER MATTER. I CAN DO IT THIS WAY. I DON'T KNOW THAT I CAN SAY ANYTHING THAT WILL HELP, BUT I CAN SAY THINGS THAT ADDRESS YOUR PROBLEMS.

I know where I want the plot to go, indeed where it has to go dramatically. The start, middle and end are clear but the writing suddenly becomes mediocre and irrelevant. Like patter for the sake of it, which I want to avoid.

PERSONALLY, AND I'M SURE EVERYONE DOES IT DIFFERENTLY, BUT PERSONALLY, WHENEVER I FIGURE OUT A STORY IN DETAIL IN ADVANCE, AND ESPECIALLY IF I OUTLINE IT IN WRITING, I FEEL NO SPONTANEITY AT ALL WHEN I START TO WRITE IT. IT LOSES ALL LIFE, AND BECOMES AS YOU DESCRIBE IT HERE. WHAT I DO ABOUT THIS IS, I DON'T GET IT ALL WORKED OUT IN ADVANCE. I HAVE A GENERAL IDEA WHAT THE STORY IS ABOUT, A FEEL FOR WHERE IT'S GOING TO GO AND HOW IT'LL GET THERE, BUT TO ME, I'VE FOUND THE LIFE OF THE STORY FINDS ITSELF WHILE I WRITE. I KNOW OTHER PEOPLE CAN'T DO IT THIS WAY. I THINK YOU HAVE TO FIND THE WAY THAT BEST SUITS YOUR OWN STYLE OF WRITING. BUT I WAS TAKEN BY YOUR DESCRIPION OF THE BLAHS YOU FEEL, AND THAT'S PRETTY MUCH DEAD ON WHAT I FEEL WHEN I'VE COMPLETEY WORKED A STORY OUT IN ADVANCE. IT'S SORT OF LIKE, WHY BOTHER TO WRITE THIS NOW? I GET A HUGE KICK OUT OF WRITING, OUT OF CREATING SOMETHING OUT OF WHILE CLOTH, OUT OF LETTING MY IMAGINATION TAKE FLIGHT. TOO MUCH THINKING BEFORE I GET STARTED KILLS A LOT OF THAT.

Has invention just taken a rest? Do I wait too? Forcing a scene seems to be a direct path to boring the pants off me let alone my potential readers.

TO ME, YOU MAY HAVE OVERTHOUGHT IT. I LIKE TO LET THE CHARACTERS THINK THEIR OWN THOUGHTS, DEVELOP THEIR OWN PERSONALITIES, THEN BRING THOSE PERSONALITIES TO BEAR ON THE SITUATION, WITH BUT A LITTLE SUBTLE GUIDANCE FROM ME. I KNOW THIS ISN'T FOR EVERYONE, BUT IT WORKS FOR ME. AND OF COURSE, I'M THE FINAL ARBITER. IF WHAT THE CHARACTER'S SAY IS PAP, IF THE STORY DOESN'T GO IN A MEANINGUL DIRECTION, I ABORT IT, GO BACK AND ADD DIRECTION. BUT HAVING IT TOO WELL DECIDED DOESN'T WORK FOR ME. ONE MAN'S POISON, AND ALL THAT.

Sometimes I skip to another scene/chapter and bingo that one is working.

Then I when I return to the troublesome text I find I have to alter it, and the flow returns.

The process is slow. I am sure glad I didn't start posting it after chapter one. :icon1:

Rhetorical question: How the hell do people write serials without being able to go back and correct them?

FOR ME, THAT'S EASY. I DON'T. I NEVER BEGIN POSTING, OR EVEN SUBMITTING, ANY STORY BEFORE IT'S FINISHED. I MARVEL AT THE SKILL OF ALL THE WRITERS OUT THERE THAT CAN SUCCESSFULLY PULL THAT OFF. IT AMAZES ME. EVERY STORY I'VE WRITTEN, BECAUSE OF CHANGES OF DIRECTION NOT ANTICIPATED WHEN I BEGAN, I'VE HAD TO GO BACK AND MAKE ALTERATIONS IN EARLY CHAPTERS TO ACCOMODATE WHAT'S TRANSPIRING IN THE LATER ONES. SUBMITTING CHAPTERS AS I WROTE THEM WOULD COMPLETELY TIE MY HANDS, SO I DON'T DO IT. AND I DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHY ANYONE DOES. MAYBE SOMEONE COULD EXPLAIN THAT. IS IT SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU NEED THE MOTIVATION OF AN UPCOMING CHAPTER DEADLINE TO KEEP WRITING?

I had a friend read some of it and he helpfully told me that there could be more in a scene I had written.

He was right, I found a wealth of detail and thrills just from his comment. Now I keep alert for these hidden treasures, but only in review unless the flow is particularly creative.

WHEN YOU'RE HOT, I THINK IT'S BEST TO KEEP GOING. NO ONE HAS EVER SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED THE CREATIVE PROCESS TO ME, BUT I KNOW, SOME DAYS I CAN WRITE SEVERAL CHAPTERS AND THE WORDS JUST FLOW. SOME DAYS, EVERY WORD HAS TO BE PULLED OUT, AND THE WRITING NEVER SEEMS TO HAVE ANY LIFE WHEN I GO BACK AND READ IT. WHY THAT IS, I HAVE NO IDEA, BUT DO KNOW SOME DAYS IT'S REALLY EASY, AND THE WRITING SPARKLES. YOU CAN FIGHT IT, IF YOU NEED TO, OR YOU CAN JUST WAIT TILL THE WORDS AND IDEAS ARE THERE.

Is this process normal? How does anyone tell when there is nothing more to discover in what is being written? Am I worrying? Needlessly?

ISN'T THAT WHAT WE, AS WRITERS, DO? I WORRY ALL THE TIME. ABOUT MOST EVERYTHING. BUT KNOWING WHEN YOU'RE DONE WITH SOMETHING, THAT'S HARD. I WRITE TILL I'VE SAID WHAT I WANTED TO SAY, THEN STOP. THEN, OF COURSE GO BACK AND READ IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, WITH CONCOMITANT REWRITING. AND WHILE DOING THAT, NEW IDEAS COME, AND YOU NEED DISCIPLINE TO INCLUDE WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED AND OMIT THAT WHICH SHOULDN'T BE. THAT'S ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS OF ALL.

Oh I should mention it is a novel, probably won't be popular and I am doing it because it demands me to write it and I love writing it. At present count there are some 25,000 words across several chapters all arranged for easy access. I am using MS Word Master-doc as it seems to give me better control over the numerous chapters. I looked at some other text based programs for story/book writing but they did not appeal to me, so I don't have a problem with keeping track of it all.

I am probably just thinking aloud here, so don't worry if this seems crazy. If anyone sees anything familiar in these thoughts and has comments or thoughts I would be interested to read them.

I SEE A LOT THAT'S FAMILIAR THERE, WHICH IS WHY I WROTE. WRITING HAS TO BE A PROCESS DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER I'VE TRIED. I'VE ONLY DONE IT FOR TWO OR THREE YEARS NOW, BUT IT'S AN INTENSE LEARNING PROCESS. I DON'T THINK I'LL EVER BE REALLY GOOD AT IT, BUT THAT ISN'T REALLY MY OBJECTIVE. MY OBJECTIVE IS TO ENJOY WHAT I'M DOING. I AM CERTAINLY ACCOMPLISHING THAT. I HOPE YOU ARE TOO. YOU SOUND LIKE YOU'VE FOUND SOME FRUSTRATION. I HAVE THAT ALL THE TIME. I'M ALWAYS, ALWAYS FINDING PLACES WHERE I TELL MYESLF, "DAMN, I WISH I WERE A BETTER WRITER SO I COULD DO SUCH AND SUCH." FRUSTRATING. BUT OCCASIONALLY, YOU SOLVE ONE OF THOSE PROBLEMS, YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT'S BEEN BUGGING YOU, AND YOU FEEL GREAT.

KEEP WRITING. EVENTUALLY, IT'LL ALL WORK OUT

COLE

Thanks, :icon1:

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Hi Trab, WBMS, Cole,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments.

Trab, I like your hike analogy. It is like I fell down one of those pitfalls in the path and started digging down instead of climbing out. "Writing a dictionary...training manual" I definitely can relate to that feeling. :icon1:

WBMS, Yes you are right. I think I became aware that it was a kind of block even as I wrote that it wasn't.

I needed to hear the "fuck up" comment to settle me down. :icon1::icon1:

Cole, gee, I feel honoured as I have long since admired your writing and stories.

When I first started the story I wrote the first half of the first chapter and the last half of the last chapter in one night/morning. (I'm a night person). The middle was a very clear idea and I knew would take a lot of work. So I thought I should do the right (write) thing and do an outline. So far so good. When I went back to writing the story I felt clearer in my mind as to where it was going, what it wanted to do whilst I was gently steering it.

I realised then that I had abandoned a lot of the silly things that had been in the outline. They had changed grown or matured differently to my initial thoughts. I was enjoying this process. The story was as you say finding itself. I once went back to "update" the outline. Definitely over thinking in that one.

I then had some doubts about some similar events and situations I was reading in other stories which made me feel like I was not being as original as I thought. That didn't help the flow. The changes in direction that this seemed to demand was discouraging.

I am realising many of the problems have crept in from the over thought outline and are incompatible with the spontenaiety. So you have definitely helped with that comment.

The fact that you have all responded to my post with such empathy really helps overcome my self doubts.

You have given the impetus and the breathing space, I needed. Just knowing that others understand where I find myself is really encouraging. Not that I am going to give up on it, but I did feel like it was giving up on me before you all replied.

Now where is that coffee?

Thank you so much. :icon1:

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Cole, gee, I feel honoured as I have long since admired your writing and stories. HOW VERY KIND OF YOU. THANKS. IT CAN'T HAVE BEEN THAT LONG, HOWEVER. I'M KINDA NEW TO THIS WHOLE THING MYSELF.

When I first started the story I wrote the first half of the first chapter and the last half of the last chapter in one night/morning. (I'm a night person). The middle was a very clear idea and I knew would take a lot of work. So I thought I should do the right (write) thing and do an outline. So far so good. When I went back to writing the story I felt clearer in my mind as to where it was going, what it wanted to do whilst I was gently steering it. I realised then that I had abandoned a lot of the silly things that had been in the outline. They had changed grown or matured differently to my initial thoughts. I was enjoying this process. The story was as you say finding itself. I once went back to "update" the outline. Definitely over thinking in that one.

I then had some doubts about some similar events and situations I was reading in other stories which made me feel like I was not being as original as I thought.

THAT THINKING WILL GET YOU EVERY TIME. I OFTEN FIND MYSELF MY WORST ENEMY. IT'S SO EASY TO CONVINCE MYSELF WHAT I'M WRITING IS WORSE THAN A LOAD OF CRAP. IF YOU FEEL YOURSELF THINKING THAT WAY, STOP IT! IT'S MORE THAN DESTRUCTIVE, IT'LL JUST TEAR YOU UP AND SPIT YOU OUT AND STOMP ON YOU. I DON'T WANT TO TELL YOU THE NUMBER OF HALF FINISHED STORIES I'VE ABANDONED JUST BECAUSE I'VE STARTED FEELING THAT WAY. THERE ARE FORTY ELEVEN REASONS TO DESPAIR OVER YOUR WRITING. THINKING IT ISN'T ORIGINAL ENOUGH IS NUMBER 16 AND A HALF, I THINK. EVEN IF IT ISN'T ENTIRLY ORIGINAL, AND IT'S DIFFICULT FOR ANYTHING TO BE ENTIRELY ORIGINAL, WE ALL BEING THE PRODUCTS OF OUR ENVIRONMENTS AND READING, YOU'RE PUTTING YOUR OWN SLANT ON IT, YOU'RE FACING OFF YOUR CHARACTERS' PERSONALITIES AND PROCLIVITIES AGAINST WHATEVER PLOT BACKDROP YOU'VE CHOSEN, AND TO THAT EXTENT, IT'S ORIGINAL.

That didn't help the flow. The changes in direction that this seemed to demand was discouraging.

I am realising many of the problems have crept in from the over thought outline and are incompatible with the spontenaiety. So you have definitely helped with that comment.

I HAVE LEARNED ONE THING VERY WELL FROM THE WRITING I'VE DONE. A WRITER HAS TO WEAR MANY HATS. THAT MIGHT BE A PROBLEM; I PREFER TO THINK OF IT AS A REALLY FUN CHALLENGE. ONE OF THOSE HATS, A VERY LARGE AND COLORFUL ONE, HAS TO BE CALLED YOU 'PROBLEM SOLVING' HAT. EVERY STORY YOU WRITE, YOU'LL FACE PROBLEMS. SOLVING THEM UNIQUELY, INTERESTINGLY, CLEVERLY, CREATIVELY, IS ONE OF OUR CHALLENGES, AND WE ALL FACE IT. YOU'LL BE LUCKY IF YOU'RE EVER ABLE TO WRITE ANYTHING THAT DOESN'T PRESENT ONE OR MORE PROBLEMS BEFORE YOU'VE TACKED 'THE END' ON THE HIND SIDE OF IT. ONE THING I LIKE TO TRY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS IS HUMOR. HUMOR CARRIES US A LONG, LONG WAY.

The fact that you have all responded to my post with such empathy really helps overcome my self doubts.

BELIEVE ME, NO ONE HAS MORE SELF DOUBT THAN I DO. YOU HAVE TO IGNORE IT. YOU SIMPLY HAVE TO.

You have given the impetus and the breathing space, I needed. Just knowing that others understand where I find myself is really encouraging. Not that I am going to give up on it, but I did feel like it was giving up on me before you all replied.

IF YOU DO, WE'LL NEVER KNOW HOW GOOD YOU COULD HAVE BECOME. EVEN WORSE, YOU WON'T KNOW, AND WILL ALWAYS WONDER. YOU DON'T WANT TO WISH THAT ON YOURSELF, DO YOU? KEEP GOING. ALL YOU'RE LOSING IS A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP, AND YOU SOUND LIKE THE RESTLESS TYPE TO ME ANYWAY.

GOOD LUCK. WE ALL NEED IT.

COLE

Now where is that coffee?

Thank you so much. :icon1:

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Thanks Cole,

It was "Josh Evolving" and "Tim" that I found really first class.

Had me in their grip with every chapter.

Humour? Yes I agree absolutely. I find myself in a situation of replying with bad puns and innuendos in everyday life and it pretty much upsets people who have no sense of humour. But that's not my fault.

In writing for a broad audience on the Internet there does seem to be a problem for people who are not tuned to the same frequency of humour that we Aussies have. Then again maybe we can help just by being ourselves.

Yes I am a little hyper, restless and easily agitated, but I am getting better, really I am. The doctor says I don't need the pills anymore. (Just joking).

Don't worry I am not giving up. (Maybe you will regret your advice for me to keep writing when you read my drivel, ... No No, I will not think that way Cole said it was destructive.) :icon1:

Thanks again.

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I am wondering how other people cope with what I shall call "marvellously annoying dead-ends" when they suddenly happen in the story.

I think there's a hundred things you can do. Some include:

* try writing in a completely different environment, like in a public library, or at a coffee shop, or outside under an umbrella.

* re-read the previous chapter so you have a better sense of where the new one comes in, and what you're going to have to cover

* try beginning the new chapter in a completely different way than you've tried before. Jumping into the middle of a scene is a good technique used all the time in TV and film.

* and you hit on a good one: when all else fails, jump ahead to another unwritten part of the story and do that.

I got about four chapters into Groovy Kind of Love a few years ago, and suddenly got inspired to write the climax of the novel (which I won't spoil, in case some of you haven't read it). I wrote that, which turned out to be chapter 20, then went back to about chapter 5 and figured out how to pace everything out for another 14 chapters. Worked just fine.

I just overcame about a year's worth of writers block and finally started working on my new novel, Pieces of Forever, which is a complete departure from my other two novels. It's tough because of the amount of research I've had to do, plus I've been overwhelmed with my regular job and a bunch of other issues, but I think I'm finally on the right path.

The bottom line is that you can't really write a story until you're really ready, and there's a good chance you'll write nothing but crap if you try to force it. On the other hand, don't ever be afraid to write crap, because you can always just scissor it out later on. Many writing textbooks advise to try to write a little bit every day, no matter what, just to keep your mind busy working on the plot.

Cole Parker commented: WISH I COULD WRITE IN COLOR, OR A DIFFERENT FONT, OR FIND SOME WAY TO DISTINGUISH THIS OTHER THAN CAPS, BUT WBMS WON'T HELP ME...

Ah, you need to learn some basic bulletin board HTML. To quote from somebody, you type "[*QUOTE]" (without the quotation marks or asterisks, just the brackets), cut and paste the actual quotation, then end it with "[*/QUOTE]". Then you answer the response.

Also, if you look at the top of the text message compose window, you'll see commands for boldface, italics, ad all kinds of other stuff.

I think stories on the Net always look better in HTML, provided the author doesn't go too crazy with fancy fonts and effects. I plead guilty to using italics for characters' thoughts (which I think works well), and once in a blue moon, I'll inset some text and put it in a different font if I'm showing a message on a computer screen or a handwritten note. I used that for some blackmail notes in Jagged Angel, which I think worked very well.

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Pecman, thanks for sharing those ideas and experiences. It all helps.

I just overcame about a year's worth of writers block and finally started working on my new novel, Pieces of Forever, which is a complete departure from my other two novels. It's tough because of the amount of research I've had to do, plus I've been overwhelmed with my regular job and a bunch of other issues, but I think I'm finally on the right path.

I know what you mean. I wrote fast and furious in my youth producing a play and poetry, and then got a job.

Meanwhile thirty odd years later I find that the jobs have only been a distraction to what I should have been doing all my life. I don't regret it, it was a great job until "Attila the hen" took over, but I am having to get back into the swing of things and this is something new for me, a novel.

So now I have taken back my free time, turned it into poverty :icon1: and thanks to all at AwesomeDude I am regaining my interest in writing. Your insights and suggestions are most encouraging.

I am a pesky computer writer, so dragging the full tower desktop and 21" CRT monitor down to the coffee shop or even to the backyard would probably see me only able to write my obituary before I dropped dead from exhaustion. :icon1:

In fact I would have to say that the computer in the safety of my own little world has been a big contributor towards my being able to write again. My handwriting stinks (probably because it looks like deranged mouse droppings), and I phase out if I try to dictate to a recorder. I'm not a real good authoritarian.

However you have given me an idea of getting out and about, sitting/walking and watching the world as it happens may well be good for the inspiration. I might even take notes. :icon1:

It seems unkind after your enthusiastic and helpful reply to point out the following Freudian slip but I can't resist:

I got about four chapters into Groovy Kind of Love a few years ago, and suddenly got inspired to write the climax of the novel (which I won't spoil, in case some of you haven't written it).

:icon1: Seriously many thanks for your comments, I appreciate them very much. :icon1:

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Des. I think you had your own slip too.

" I'm not a real good authoritarian." I guess it's a good thing you're not in charge of people huh?

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II got about four chapters into Groovy Kind of Love a few years ago, and suddenly got inspired to write the climax of the novel (which I won't spoil, in case some of you haven't written it).

It's hardly Freudian, slip or other undergarment, but if anyone else does write A Groovy Kind of Love, it'd definitely be a violation of AD's (newly updated) story submission guidelines. All AD Authors and aspirants are encouraged to read said Guidelines carefully.

Kisses...

TR :icon1:

PS. Pretty sure the 'authoritarian' was a yoke, Cowpoke.

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Yes, you are correct TR, it was a joke.

The "Freudian" slip is probably neo-Freudian or is that going too far? :icon1:

(I actually thought Freudian slips were male undergarments.) :icon1:

OK I'll stop now and sit on the naughty seat.

(Damn Aussies and there weird sense of humour.)

:icon1:

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Hi everyone,

I am wondering how other people cope with what I shall call "marvellously annoying dead-ends" when they suddenly happen in the story. Not so much a writers block as just that the plot seems to be waiting for the character/s to get on with it.

I know where I want the plot to go, indeed where it has to go dramatically. The start, middle and end are clear but the writing suddenly becomes mediocre and irrelevant. Like patter for the sake of it, which I want to avoid.

Has invention just taken a rest? Do I wait too? Forcing a scene seems to be a direct path to boring the pants off me let alone my potential readers.

Actually and seriously, I put it in my Unfinished folder and write something else. I then come back to it at another time, possibly many months later. The story may end up very different from my initial idea when it spends time in the Unfinished/Ideas folder, and that's often a good thing. It's definitely not a bad thing. If you're really stuck, I'd set it aside and write something else, anything else. Or, if it's a long work, and as others suggest, skip to another part and write unrelated scenes...if that works for you. The main thing, again as others have said here, is to write something, anything, every day. Ideas, notes, poetry, short story asides, essays, anything. Keep your hand in.

Kisses...

TR :icon1:

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Actually and seriously, I put it in my Unfinished folder and write something else. I then come back to it at another time, possibly many months later. The story may end up very different from my initial idea when it spends time in the Unfinished/Ideas folder, and that's often a good thing. It's definitely not a bad thing. If you're really stuck, I'd set it aside and write something else, anything else. Or, if it's a long work, and as others suggest, skip to another part and write unrelated scenes...if that works for you. The main thing, again as others have said here, is to write something, anything, every day. Ideas, notes, poetry, short story asides, essays, anything. Keep your hand in.

Excellent TR Thank you.

I have done most of what you suggest and they do help.

I guess what I needed to know was that others do these things too.

Now that I am not working I will even be able to set up a regime of doing some creative writing everyday as you advise.

TR you know a little of my work problems and it dawns on me that it is only fair that I reveal a little more.

Up till yesterday I was deeply and almost terrifyingly depressed in finding a way to write-up my end of year report for my work. The only alternative was in fact to pour all my efforts into that so I would avoid an irrational yelling match with the psychotic control freak masquerading as a benevolent boss-lady. :icon1:

I began the report by resigning. I had known this would be necessary some weeks ago, but needed to stay until now to give me enough funds to survive the holiday break. She approached me tonight to ask me to return under any conditions I liked, but I declined as I saw through the manipulation she was really attempting. She had stupidly told another worker she would get me back until she could replace me.

I did however accept some casual work on my terms at a much higher rate until she found someone new.

She does not know what happened. :icon1: I smiled so sweetly too. :icon1:

(I think there is story in this for me to write in the future or at least material to use.)

So I am feeling very liberated.

I think also that the replies here from all the boys... err, dudes, was certainly helpful in getting me back to my writing as quickly as possible because I needed to switch from legal and technical writing to creative as soon as I could or I would fall into a state of self-pity. I know, I am over analysing all this but it is part of the process... and it is working, thanks to you all. :icon1:

My boyfriend has confirmed that I really had no choice, but the little sweet-heart that he is remained ready to abide by whatever I decided. I am so lucky.

TR you need not worry I will certainly keep my hand in...somewhere. :icon1:

:icon1: to you all.

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Up till yesterday I was deeply and almost terrifyingly depressed in finding a way to write-up my end of year report for my work.

I began the report by resigning.

I would think, by beginning the report with that rather dramatic statement, there would be no need for any additional reportage.

I've been there. It IS terrifying. You seem to be suriving, which is the important thing.

I've often wondered how so many of these toxic people get elevated into positions of power. It's never made much sense to me. I think I'm pretty normal, and I know I do much better work when I'm happy because I'm toiling under someone I respect and like, instead of being depressed and intimidated when I'm cringing under an ogre. I'd guess the vast majority of people are the same. Better quality work from his subordinates means more success for the boss. It is counterproductive for them to be as they so frequently are, yet so many of them are vile, odious creatures. Being as factual as possible, I'd guess 85% of all the bosses I had over the years would qualify between the dial settings of Monster and Terrorist Mind-sucking Sadistic Disemboweler.

One thing I found, however, that always gave me hope: I outlasted almost every one of these Destroyers. The worse they are, the quicker they're replaced, as a general rule. Not always, of course, but I often found upper management wasn't as blind as we alwasy thought they were.

Cole

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One thing I found, however, that always gave me hope: I outlasted almost every one of these Destroyers. The worse they are, the quicker they're replaced, as a general rule. Not always, of course, but I often found upper management wasn't as blind as we always thought they were.

Hi Cole,

The barbarians are definitely on the increase. In the last five weeks I have heard of, or met five other people, in industries not related to my own who have resigned because of terrorist activities at upper management levels and executive level aimed at the worker. MY own doctor has told me he has seen so many work-place anxiety cases that it is difficult to fit them in for referral for counselling. The medical profession itself is under attack from these same type of management policies.

This is the third time I have gone through this kind of thing within the last sixteen years. These "people" are on the increase. They generally come from a legal background, have a graduate degree in management and little experience in dealing with the work-place conditions at the humane level required to encourage productivity. They are all about efficiency for the sake of rationalist policy. (Why it is called economic rationalism I do not know as there is nothing rational about it.)

The point of no return is reached when

1. Personality clashes break out between staff, management or staff and staff that management does nothing about and probably has been active in manipulating them to occur.

2. Policy decisions shift to enforce unsatisfactory work-place practices to the detriment of the business.

3. Management style seeks to control the work place through fear and intimidation alone.

Any one of these except 3. might be possible to live with but in smaller staffed environments all three together become intolerable. Productivity grinds to a halt, someone is fired and replaced with a qualified graduate who has no experience about how the work is to be done. Productivity goes up then down. So he eventually gets replaced by another one who starts out OK then leaves or is replaced yet again.

I have seen adult men and women arrive at work in tears because they have been harassed at home via email, text message and telephone.

The barbarians are indeed at the gate, but they are not trying to get in, they are already on our side of the fence. They are trying to stop us from getting out.

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Well, this thread seems to have wandered off course just a little bit. I'll just briefly mention that I worked in a place with a very strong union: militant and in management's face. During a strike the media asked our union President why there were so many aggressive union members working there. He replied, "We don't hire them. Management hires perfectly nice people, then turns them into union activists." So true.

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OK, back on topic!

A year ago when I was a junior in HS, about a week before Christmas break, we were given an assignment to write a story of at least 5,000 words to go with the title "A Christmas Story". I mean, that's pretty boring, kinda like "What I Did on My Vacation". So I came up with the idea to write about a kid whose name was Will Christmas and how he was hassled about his name and how that impacted his life. It didn't have anything to do with the Christmas holiday, so I was a little worried that my teacher would have a problem with it.

I started writing but part way through I couldn't figure out how it should end. I didn't like what I'd outlined for the ending but I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I complained to my mom (she's a writer), and she said that I had writer's block, and that's something that goes with the territory. She had some tips about how she overcomes it, but they didn't work for me. The rest of the kids in my creative writing class were having trouble finishing by the Friday before the break, so the teacher relented and said we could turn it in on January 3 when we returned to school.

During Christmas break I saw a special on HBO about kids who have Tourette Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes kids to have "tics" where they blink continuously or jerk their bodies or make faces, or verbalizations where they say words, sometimes swear words, at any time, like in class. They can't control these tics or verbalizations, it's like not being able to keep from sneezing or yawning. It was so sad for these kids, they had such a tough life and were hassled in school by other kids and often by their teachers, and they all seemed like really nice kids. I got kind of emotional while I watched the show, so afterward I searched for Tourette Syndrome on the Internet and found the TS Association web site and learned more about it and read the expanded stories about some of the kids in the HBO special.

As a result, I changed my story to have Will begin showing TS symptoms when he was in the 3rd grade. I wrote almost 10,000 words and was OK with how I ended the story. I turned it in, and when the teacher handed it back she'd given me an A+.

Will was a character who I really liked, but like DesDownunder asked in the first post here, I'd come to a dead-end, both with the character and the story. What I needed was inspiration, and by accident watching a program on TV is what gave me that inspiration. That's one of the things my mom suggested, just put the story on the shelf and keep it in mind as you go through the next few days or weeks. Of course, in this case I had a time constraint (2 weeks) because I had to turn in the story assignment for my class. Even without time constraints, I've found the same technique has helped me with other stories.

Colin :icon1:

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Since I started this thread I have been inspired by the high quality of the helpful advice.

I don't mind that we wandered off the main topic a bit, as I found the discussion on work-place relations quite therapeutic if not inspiring of ideas for future stories. I also believe it is an important issue to discuss.

Trab's contribution about management creating union activists from perfectly nice people is very succinct.

The suffering in the work-place is indeed unnecessary and unproductive, Cole.

One thing is very common amongst those who leave those hot-beds of horror is that the first thing they feel is a tremendous sense of a weight having been lifted off their mind. A freedom to be who they are returns.

However just make sure that it is absolutely necessary before taken this step.

Now back to our normally scheduled thread.

Colinian, that is a great story. You have pointed out I think that sometimes participating in someone else's activity whether it be watching TV, reading or just joining in to life itself is capable of inspiring our creativity.

I have always found the more I freely give, the greater the access I seem to have to create. When I hold back for some reason the creative impulses falter. Your story has just reminded me of this. Thank you.

:icon1::icon1:

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I've read two of Trab's upcoming short stories and Colin's upcoming "A Christmas Story" and I can say they are worth the read.

I've now been through three or four partial drafts of a short story. The dang thing won't behave. I kinda liked the first draft, but it didn't do what was needed and it got stuck. The others...meh...they wouldn't meet my own story editing standards.

I may need to simply sit and *write* whatever pops into my brain. Ray Bradbury recommended that for when you get stuck, by the way. He was exceptional, though.

I may stay up tonight to write. :tired: Caffeine, here I come.

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