Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Insecure Writer Wednesday


Hi, I'm MJ and I am an insecure whiner, whoops, I mean writer!  This is not a reflection on anyone that feels insecure in their writing, it is simply how I view my own insecurity.

I have a problem and I'm sure there are 12 steps out there somewhere that would help me. I have a starting problem.  I have ideas in my brain, they sound good when I say them out loud but when I go to place them on the page I have no clue where to start, other than a brief description of the idea in my head.  After I get that out, that is where I really become clueless. Perhaps that is why I am drawn to poetry, the lack of complete sentence usage. However not all my ideas are poem worthy, they would make excellent stories and that my dear reader is where my problem lies. I have no idea where to start?  I am sure the old muse is becoming weary of visiting me since I never put her visits to use.  I would love to write a story to completion.

I have a hard time with writers that say the story writes itself, or the characters tell them what to do and they just follow along.  I do not have that form of writers aptitude or delusion? If you are one of those type, please explain in detail how this is possible without sounding like a schizophrenic. ;)

26 comments:

  1. You should try and write flash fiction. That way the task isn't quite as daunting and you slowly build up confidence towards larger word counts. I don't know what the exact word count is, but I'm sure Google could tell you. Then you get a sense of accomplishment and prepare yourself for bigger and better things.
    Write on!

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  2. Just start putting thing down. It might sound dumb to you at the time but build it up. You can do it!

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  3. I think you and I should get together: you have trouble starting, I have real trouble finishing things!

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  4. No advice here, I've never been a story writer!

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  5. I can't say I've ever found the story writes itself, but I have found it dictates where it's going to go, regardless of how I had it planned out. If only it could write itself, that first paragraph might not be so daunting.

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  6. Hi, my name's Lily and I'm also an insecure writer. (chorus of, 'hi lily')

    I think my problem stems from the fact that I just don't think my writing is good enough. The ideas and words are there but It never gets written in the same way it forms in my head.

    I think poetry is much harder and you did a damned good job of it during the challenge.

    Sometimes I just write down the odd bits that are in my head and then by going through it over and over again, the rest naturally follows

    Sorry, I'm waffling. Lack of sleep.

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  7. When I get an idea for a story or what have, I usually just start with a line or two of dialogue. And then I build around it. Many times, where I start is not the beginning. The beginning comes later.

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  8. Just write stuff down! It's what I do, even when I know the words are absolute crap. Later when you go back over it, more ideas will suggest themselves and things will slowly take off.

    I feel your pain. I always have these ideas that sound great when I'm running them over and over through my brain for hours, but as soon as I get in front of a computer and try to type it out, all I get are lame sentences that capture little of the excitement of those ideas. I just do the best I can and then come back to it later and slowly work out all the rough spots. I'm a slow writer unfortunately. Still working on my first WIP after three years and I'm sure I have another year to go.

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  9. Starting can be tough. It sounds like you're a pantser like me. Starting is hard, but keeping the story going can be even more challenging. And yes, sometime the characters surprise me and do something I never ever planned. Maybe I should get my head checked am schizophenic;)

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  10. They touched on this in the course I've just done; they said a good place to start is in the middle. Yeah, doesn't make sense to me either! :)

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  11. I find that reading helps me. The more I read, the more I am able to write - especially stories I love. My characters do talk to me. I dream scenes and wake up and write them. I dunno how it happens, but it does.

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  12. How can I say this without sounding schizophrenic? The characters don't really stand there talking to me but they are quite real to me. I imagine what they would say if they were in the situation I put them in. Really know your story. It's okay to talk your story out, pretend to talk to your characters. Hmm, yeah, I do sound a bit schizophrenic.

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  13. I'm popping in from the IWSG.
    I agree with the first commenter, you should first try flash fiction, which is what I've been doing, and it has helped me a lot.
    Another good execise is free-writing, which involves a set time (normally 10 minutes)of NON-STOP writing, which helps to build writing muscles.
    Check out the daily word prompt from www.oneword.com
    Good luck!

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  14. thank you all so much for the thoughts and support.

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  15. Hi fellow IWSG member!
    My advice...*strokes chin* first don't worry about where to start, just start! What ever is yelling at you the loudest in your mind get it down, it wants to come out. And it could be anything/anywhere in the story line like M.J.Fifield said. Flash fiction is also good advice, it will help stretch the imagination. (:

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  16. I think the trick is writing without judgment of yourself. It's like when you brainstorm for a project. No words are wrong, no setting is wrong, no action is wrong. That's the beauty of it. Just put down crap.

    Fix it later. :)

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  17. Hi MJ, thanks for the follow. I'm happy to do the same. I also have a hard time with the writers who make it sound easy. The creative zone comes and goes. I find I often need to push myself to write (as others have suggested), even when I'm not fully in that zone. I sometimes get to my first sentence after I've written the gist of my piece.

    Anyway, it's great to connect.
    xoRobyn

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  18. One thing that I've been meaning to try, but haven't yet, is to get Nuance's "Dragon" voice recognition software. I've often wondered if speaking my stories aloud would help me get jump-started on new projects. And then with Dragon it could transcribe what I've said for me and I could edit later. Anyway, this has always sounnded like a nice idea in theory to me. Maybe one day I'll try it!

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  19. You're not alone. I hear this a lot. I'm a pantser and the only way I get over the starting hump is to just start writing. I'm not a note scribbler or anything, so I just go with what's in my head and decide on where to start it later by adding or deleting something.

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  20. YOu know? these people say the stories write themselves - my brother swears by it - but not in my life.....

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  21. Hi Michelle...add me to the flash fiction folks. It has helped me immensely. Just start with little vignettes for your characters. Play with them, move them around, stump and frustrate them, make them mad, make them happy...you get the idea!

    Stopping in from #ISWG - a first time poster!

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  22. I HATE when people say that too. My book did NOT write itself. For me its more like going into battle every day, at war with pen and paper. Sigh.

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  23. I've mostly embraced the fact that I sound crazy when I talk about my characters talking to me :) I know it's old school advice, but webbing and outlining are things that really help me.

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  24. I get that problem all the time! The idea sounds so great in my head, but when i go about writing it down i just can't do it all the way through. I'm sure you'll find some way of beating that though!

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  25. Hi Michelle, sorry I'm a day late for insecure writer's group, but you've gotten some wonderful advice here. I am a nonfiction writer working on her first fiction piece, so there's no way I can offer advice. And the only reason I'm writing fiction is because a voice whispered to me on a visit to Scotland and Ireland to "tell my story." It took 2 years to figure out who and what it was and to convince myself I wasn't crazy. Now I just have to open myself up to the wisdom inside me that has this story to tell, for I think that's what these voices are.
    Karen

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