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Writers Discuss - Finishing (#28)

  • Member
    January 14, 2016

    Writers Discuss

    Topic #28 – FINISHING

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    Here's something we don't bring up much! Lots of people want to write stories, but few actually see them through to completion. It takes dedication to finish anything - whether it's a short story, a novella, or a novel.

    But how do we finish what we start? Most of us here haven't! Heck, I'm still writing DOTE (though I've completed individual arcs), so I'm one to talk!

    Let's have an honest discussion about this. I think it could be worthwhile.

    Here are some questions to consider:

    What are your fears or concerns regarding finishing a story?

    How can we push ourselves to finish the things we start?

    What can we do to stay motivated for the long haul?

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    If you have any suggestions for future topics include them in the comments section!

  • January 14, 2016

    My Shinbira story finishes when his character finishes Skyrim so I'm in for the long haul! Motivation has been a problem for me recently, obviously, mostly because I haven't been playing Skyrim since my trip down under. Long story: I may tell it here sometime. 

    My short story is easier as I'd more or less planned it out from the start - which is unusual for me.

  • Member
    January 14, 2016

    What are your fears or concerns regarding finishing a story?

    When doing a short story, I always try to make the ending a bit memorable either through an unexpected death or just plain old humor. My only concern is that it might be too dull or the readers won't find it funny.

    What can we do to stay motivated for the long haul?

    I always try to imagine the adventures of my story from gameplay or just by using my brain. If I run out of ideas, I could just read a bit of ASOIF novels for inspiration. Just started out a long story so I don't how it would end but it's gonna be pretty long before that part comes.

  • Member
    January 14, 2016

    Fears: The failure of achieving that final feeling of ecstasy and exhaustion after reading the full thing, as if you had just gone on the adventure with the characters themselves. I believe it is a universal goal for writers to possess this in their stories, and to not reach that by the end of the story... hurts. All that time you spent on it, all the hours you spent premeditating on it, all for it to simply come crashing down to a failure. It's one thing that keeps me from finishing.

    At the same time, simply the process of finishing the story is terrifying. I don't want the story to end. I want it to keep going. I get far too attached to my characters, and I don't want to let them go.

    Pushing ourselves: Quite frankly, I don't know yet. I have, oh, I don't know, around thirty-plus stories just hanging in my document folder, collecting virtual dust particles and their pathways and preconceived plot points dying in my memories. Sometimes I blame school for taking up all my time, but if I really reconsidered my schedule, I'd say I have six hours of free time a day; I simply waste it on staring into space or bleeding over pointless Facebook posts. I noticed that what really motivates me is if there is something at stake behind it: say, a grade. Something that has definite meaning to me. How I could incorporate that into a hobby without utterly stressing myself out to exhaustion, I haven't a clue.

    Staying Motivated in the Long Haul: This is going to seem counterproductive, but my suggestion would be to get that butt off your chair and go out into the world. Sitting in front of the computer, feeling dull and empty, and throwing the pail into the empty well, so to speak, to grovel for water (inspiration) is just going to wear you out. You need to go outside and enjoy life. You'll refresh your mind and imagination and in turn get better results.

  • Member
    January 14, 2016
    My greatest fear is "something is wrong with this". Yes, I'm high in pessimism. It took me 4 hours to press the post button in my story.

    When any writer sees his/her first work full of likes, you cannot even imagine the happiness if you are not one. In my opinion, we need to finish what we started not for our popularity, not for our gain, but for the people that read it and wait eagerly for every chapter of the story.

    I just imagine my characters left alone in an abyss of nothingness. Like, if I don't write, they stay that way. I know this sounds a lot weird but this is how I motivate myself.
  • Member
    January 14, 2016

    What are your fears or concerns regarding finishing a story?

    Not finishing the story. Losing interest, glaring oversights, and not living up to the tension are all things that I've worried about in my short time writing. I'm afraid that my story will just go on indefinitely which makes me want to rush the ending. Both are bad outcomes so I've been trying to find that balance and tell myself, "It's okay to skip some parts. Not every step needs to be filled with gripping detail."

    How can we push ourselves to finish the things we start?

    By reminding ourselves why we started in the first place? If we lose motivation halfway through, it might be a good idea to look back and remember what it was that kept us engaged in the first place and try to reestablish whatever that was. Maybe we got off track from what he had originally planned or our motivations changed. Not entirely sure.

    What can we do to stay motivated for the long haul?

    It could be helpful to have a detailed list of motivations. Understanding what it is that keeps us motivated and why could be helpful to seeing a project through, so that we always have something ground ourselves if we start to waver.