Tuesday, December 1

Do you ever start a story that just fizzles out after a few paragraphs, pages or even chapters? I recently talked about how a story idea comes to me in a flash, a scene that nags me until I have to write it. I might need to mention again that I'm a pantser all the way. I HATE plotting or outlining. I usually don't have the famous GMC worked out, not until the book actaully starts to take form, then it all takes shape.
Usually.
But sometimes it doesn't.
I have a lot of partials under my bed for this reason. I have a great "flash", write it. Heck, on some of them I've even finished the ms! A lot, actually. I always lose count, but I think I have 13 completed manuscripts collecting dust under my bed.
I also have at least that many partials, maybe more.
Right now I'm struggling with three current WIPS...the Cowboy's Baby, Larkspur, Rescued...
I want to finish them. I really do, but I've lost interest. It's not that the story isn't there, it's there. In fact, on two it's down pat.
The trouble is, I just don't want to write the damn story. And they're good stories, worth finishing. One of them is brand new, one I was in love with until I started writing it, and the CPs all like. But I'm no longer enjoying it. I open the document and I sit and stare at it. Get up, eat a snack, go to the bathroom, check what's on Oprah, read email, look at Facebook.
Just don't write.
I know what you're thinking, it's the mid-book saggies. Nope. I haven't gotten far enough for the droops. It's just that for different reasons, none of the books no longer hold any appeal. I think it goes back to my confidence issue I talked about a few weeks ago.
Maybe.
I don't know, but it's driving me crazy.
I can't keep starting manuscripts and not finishing them. That's the mark of an amatuer, and I'm no amatuer in this biz. Been at it too long.
Anybody have any sage advice for getting my mojo back? Or a good kick in the ass to get me to finish three good, possibly salable manuscripts?

23 comments:

  1. It's possibly not good advice (!) but it's all I've got. I just sit and write, even though I know it's drivel until I get into my flow. I need to hack a good 1000 words out of my current chapter before I send it to CPs because I know it's rubbish.

    Sometimes I stall because I'm in the wrong POV or I've taken a wrong turn a few scenes back, sometimes it's because I have to stop and do research and then I can't get back into the story because I feel as though I know too much ... or not enough. If that makes any sense.

    That's just me, I know I've been no use but it's my twopennorth.

    On a purely selfish POV, can you write more Cowboy's Baby because that's my fave ;-)

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  2. Try reading them, not for editing purposes but just for enjoyment. Start at the beginning and just start reading - if you have to print those puppies out so you're not reading on the computer, do it (I have to do that or I start editing - and that's not what you want to do). Just read, enjoy and see if that sparks anything with the 3 wips...sometimes that helps me a bit.

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  3. Try reading them, not for editing purposes but just for enjoyment. Start at the beginning and just start reading - if you have to print those puppies out so you're not reading on the computer, do it (I have to do that or I start editing - and that's not what you want to do). Just read, enjoy and see if that sparks anything with the 3 wips...sometimes that helps me a bit.

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  4. whoopsie! Sorry for the double post ... now how'd I do that?!?!?!

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  5. Maybe you're stuck because you haven't fully developed your characters enough to see them through their story goals -- not to be confused with their romantic goals. What is it they're striving for, other than true love? What's in their background that isn't letting them write their own story? I'm impressed you have so many stories wainting to be finished and see the light of day. Wow!

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  6. Sounds like you really just need a break from writing, hon. Ever hear a sex therapist tell a couple with waning interest to absolutely stay away from one another for a certain period of time? By the end of their "break", they're crazy to get at each other.

    So maybe tell yourself you're not allowed to write AT ALL until after Christmas. Or whenever you set. You'll probably be dying to get at the keyboard by the time the tree comes down.

    Seems to me whenever I've gone on a trip (especially camping, LOL) or am too busy to write, Ms. Musehead comes a-callin'.

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  7. I discovered a really cool site called EVIL EDITOR. It lets you pick the word count and set your minutes, then you simply type away. Like goaling 500 words in fifteen minutes, or whatever. If you pause too long, it will start turning colors. It's gotten me a couple of chapters.
    I think reading your wip for pleasure is great advice because then you discover as a reader what you'd like to happen.

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  8. I have the same problem and right now, I'm trying to focus completely on one. One trick I've found is not to talk about it, especially in those early stages. I find if I talk about it too much, I lose interest because I'm telling the story instead of writing the story.
    Maybe you could try throwing an unexpected wrench into things to spice it up. For instance in Cowboy's Baby, maybe the hero's (sorry, can't remember his name...Tanner, maybe) daughter could hate Cat and Eve...really become a hinderance to the budding "new" family and romance.

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  9. I have to agree with Tereasa on this one. Lord knows I'm the queen of writer's block and the empress of procrastination. I belong to FF&P (fantasy,fiction and paranormal)chapter of RWA and we have sprints. Someone keeps time, and for the alloted period we write like crazy. Even when I don't feel like writing I do these sprints and I get lost in the story. The first few lines are usually crap, but then I get into it. It works!

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  10. Thanks for the compliment on CB, Jo. I appreciate it, I do. I have struggled with that ms for years! No kidding. The version you've seen is the fourth or fifth one. But I'll do my best to get my interest in it back.

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  11. Kristi,
    I think that's a good idea. I think I'll try that one.
    Thanks!

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  12. Thanks, Carol.
    I don't think that's it, but I will absolutely give it some thought!
    Glad you dropped by and weighed in.

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  13. Hi, Piper.
    Yes, maybe you're right. I may do that. I hate to lose time, but on the other hand, I'm not gaining any ground this way.

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  14. Tereasa,
    I think that's a neat sounding place. Can you send me the addy, please? I would like to try that!

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  15. Hi, Margie.
    I've been thinking about it a lot, and I mean a lot, but one of the things that is bugging me on Larkspur and CB is the tones on each is dark-ish, sort of dreary, and although they are RS, this is sort of bringing me down. Hmmmmm.....

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  16. Ok, Queen and Empress Shawn! LOL! I will do my best to take your advice!

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  17. Sometimes we just have to much goin on in the noggin to concentrate. See I'm opposite of you. I can start a story and keep going, keep plotting as I go with no foreeable ending. I abso hate ending the story cuz then I miss the babies. So I began to outline but only to trick myself into ending the story. It's worked so far and when I'm feining for the unending story I got back to my fic on line and just write for shits n giggles. I don't think I've ever put a story down. I do have a folder of plots done for four series each with four or five stories but that's just how my mind rolls the never quiet muse *G*

    ~Hales

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  18. Best lesson I've ever had so far; took a 'scene' never intended to be anything, and it's now a novel. Had to rewrite three times, didn't know the characters, didn't know the story, screwed it all up twice. BUT...man, what I learned! I HAD to make this story work, HAD to know these characters, HAD to get it done, didn't have a choice. Now, I had motivation to do that, so that might make the difference, but I sure learned how to stick with something. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes nothing comes, but if you step away for a bit, and then look at it for what potential it really has, you just never know!

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  19. Hi, Hales and CC.
    Thanks for the good advice!

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  20. Been there, done that, could write a book. Well, sometimes I can't. I have a handful of books I've started and never finished and a lot of them collected dust on my computer. About four that I just finished.

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  21. I'm embarrassed to say how long it took me to write WYOMING DREAMER. I too lost interest and put it away for a looooooooong time (about 2years) then dug it out and read it and got going again. Then, another relapse. I don't think it has anything to do with your confidence. Our interests change. Dig out your stories and if one pops your cork to work on, go for that one. One day, you'll be reading CB and pop! you'll find it intensely interesting again and you'll finish it.

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