Feeling a bit "forced"?

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H0LD0Nthere
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Re: Feeling a bit "forced"?

Post by H0LD0Nthere » 07 Apr 2014, 09:19

Wow, that's encouraging. :-) Maybe I can publish some decade-old work as well ... :-)

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moderntimes
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Post by moderntimes » 07 Apr 2014, 17:23

Excellent topic!

When I first started writing fiction, I often tried to force my characters into performing at my "will" by trying to make them behave like marionettes. And this led to problems, because my characters wanted out! Of course, this all happened in my fevered brain but it did seem that the characters had a will of their own.

Eventually I learned to sit back and essentially "take dictation" and just write down what the characters said and did after I launched them into a story line. This seemed to work the best and I was able to write much better as a result.

Of course, it was all bubbling around in my subconscious and there were no separate entities at all. The dictation taking was simply a technique to allow me to release the bonds. Nowadays, I know how to write more controlled fiction. I just concentrate more on developing the character first, and this helps. So yes, I write character bios for my principal characters. I'd recommend this technique for long fiction, novels and such.

Another point is that your principal characters also evolve as the story proceeds. I'm the author of a mystery series, with 2 novels published and the 3rd in progress. My protagonist is a modern-day private detective. He started out a very impulsive guy, immature. And amazingly, throughout the first novel he matured and at the end, he was a far more sensible man. In the second novel he of course has exciting adventures but he is also more controlled. He's matured as a human being and if I look back to my early first drafts, I'm surprised that the principal character is so different.

My advice is to "allow" your main characters to grow as they will, understand that this is actually your own brain trying to help, and perhaps modify the character as he/she wants to.

Hope this helps.
"Ineluctable modality of the visible..."

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Post by Arkmansmith » 08 Apr 2014, 09:21

I find that I can get the first twenty pages or so done before I start having problems with where I was trying to guide the story. I had everything planned, and it just doesn't work out to fit that story, so as I go, I get further and further off the half strangled path I tried to stay near. It's always about the third chapter or so before I start having problems. I usually try to listen to music and read other books that are similar to the plot, theme, or style of the book I'm attempting to write, and it doesn't always work, but often enough, the reading helps the most, as it rekindles how I think about what I'm reading, and helps me for ideas for writing.

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Post by WriterBLAlley » 11 Apr 2014, 11:12

Feeling forced was part of a larger problem for me. Once I had the idea, I set out to write the 'novel' and found myself overwhelmed by the prospect of writing something of that length. (So much so, I included that fact in my official bio)
I was stuck at 7500 words for years, and when I did write it was terrible. (Forced, cliche', or just plain bad.)
The key for me was forgetting about writing a novel and simply telling the story I wanted to tell. I decided I had to be happy with the work, no matter the length, and began fresh.
The funny thing is, with that intimidation removed I quickly surpassed 40k words, and the final first draft tipped the literary scales at 130k. (yikes!)
Thankfully, my editor's input helped me trim that, and my novel was ready to send out into the world. Now all I can do is hope people like it.

Maybe this approach can help other writers.

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Post by Brandi Noelle » 27 Oct 2017, 01:08

Leave the project. Set it aside for awhile, or at the very least, work on a different scene that you are more inspired to write. Sometimes the perfect way to write the original scene will come to you if you just let it sit and relax for awhile.

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Andriy
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Post by Andriy » 27 Oct 2017, 01:19

Interesting. I always thought that to write it's all-pleasure. How much I was wrong!

-- 27 Oct 2017, 01:27 --

But I have question. In my every day work I recognized that sometimes it's very useful if someone forces me to work better. Isn't in this case the same?

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