Writing Frustrations!



  • I debated putting this in the Process section instead of here, so, if it's preferable maybe it can be moved there, but... I was wondering... What are your biggest frustrations with your writing process right now?

    I'm having a very frustrating time of trying to rewrite Chapter 02 of Shadows Rise. It's the chapter that kickstarts the plot, it sets up the conflict and takes a bit of a darker tone compared to the first one. And I can't... For the life of me... Make it work. And I can't figure out what exactly is wrong with it. Both my co-writer and I agree that it doesn't feel right and neither of us has been able to pinpoint just where the problem is. And it's quite honestly killing my sanity right now. o.O

    Anyway... In the middle of these frustrating times, I thought that I'd make this thread and leave it here if someone else is ever going through something similar... Hey, vent at me. I feel your pain. >.>



  • All of this and then some. I'm trying to make characters to get involved in the plot of the story I'm trying to work on, but I keep coming up blank. Don't get me started on the plot itself. The character motivations keep changing and my head keeps saying. "Wouldn't it be better if...?" and that kicks off a cycle of having no idea what I'm doing, how I'm doing it, or if I should be doing it. I need focus and have no idea where to look for it.



  • When I have a plot I can't bring myself to write it and when I don't I can't find a way to get a solid outline so I can write something. Also my brain keeps causing relationships I love to go dive off a cliff into a dark pit and it's a problem because now I don't know how those relationships are going to end up D:

    In terms of editing Remnants specifically, I have no idea where to start. It has a lot of issues and I may have invalidated the existence of one of my plot arcs. Which is sad, because I loved that plot arc the most.

    Oops.



  • @Rose said in Writing Frustrations!:

    All of this and then some. I'm trying to make characters to get involved in the plot of the story I'm trying to work on, but I keep coming up blank. Don't get me started on the plot itself. The character motivations keep changing and my head keeps saying. "Wouldn't it be better if...?" and that kicks off a cycle of having no idea what I'm doing, how I'm doing it, or if I should be doing it. I need focus and have no idea where to look for it.

    Yeah, that was the problem I had with my novel. And I still haven't figured out how to work it out. Now and then I'll look at what little I have and just go "Nope, I have NOTHING." :/

    But that's the thing, this has a clear path for me to follow and for me that had always been the hard part. The writing part has NEVER been the issue. And now suddenly it is. I mean, I've outlined this. Actually outlined it. I'm a pantser, I don't outline, but I could do that and now I can't write it how I want. It's like my brain will only ever let me get HALF of anything right so I just can't finish ANYTHING.

    screams into a pillow

    I'm okay. >.>

    @typical_demigod said in Writing Frustrations!:

    Also my brain keeps causing relationships I love to go dive off a cliff into a dark pit and it's a problem because now I don't know how those relationships are going to end up D:

    :(

    I'm entirely too soft. If I have a character in a relationship and/or if I ship them hard enough I'll want to twist the plot in their favor. And I caaaan't. That's why RAA fluff between Jo and Gerald kills me. Because live or die, everyone's gonna have a terrible time in this story.

    Literally everyone. :/



  • Ugh, I feel all of your frustrations!

    I've been having issues boiling down my big plot ideas to specific events. I think it's just a mental block but it's driving me a little mad. I've fallen back into a bit of a funk in general so that isn't helping.



  • @Blackbird said in Writing Frustrations!:

    I'm a pantser, I don't outline, but I could do that and now I can't write it how I want.

    I've heard that's a problem for pantsers, where they'll outline a story but then they can't write it anymore. :/ If that's the case, maybe you need to stop thinking about the outline for a while and just see what happens?

    Because live or die, everyone's gonna have a terrible time in this story.

    Yea, it concerns me from time to time. At times I question why I let myself continue to interact with the characters because it'll just break my heart in the end.

    The issue is that for the relationship in question, they fully break up at the start of the story (well they go on a 'break' but one of them changed their status to single and unfriended the romantic partner on social media, so they broke up), and one of them starts dating someone else, and I have no idea who this someone else is, just that they're a person, and it really frustrates me because I don't know how I'll feel if I like the second relationship better than the original or if the character feels happier in the second relationship than the original. And if the second person (the one that unfriended them, ironically) in the original relationship finds out about this, they will literally be crushed. It'll be doubly worse if they find out that the person was much happier in the second relationship than they were by the end of the original.

    D: D: D: D: This is what my brain does to me. And until I start writing, I don't know what will happen, but I want them to be happyyyyy sigh

    (I just needed to vent that because the outlook for their relationship has progressively gotten worse as I explore the idea of one character entering another relationship and it's just kinda sad really.)



  • Yeah, that was the problem I had with my novel. And I still haven't figured out how to work it out. Now and then I'll look at what little I have and just go "Nope, I have NOTHING." :/

    This is me and my notebook every day. Or computer screen. Or me staring blankly at work while people are trying to get my attention on something unrelated. Yes, I have a problem. I've never done a real outline for anything but short stories. I'd really love to develop all the pieces of what I have now into something cohesive and usable, but there's a lot and I have a feeling a lot will be left on the chopping block, especially where the smaller details of how the characters do certain things are concerned. Other characters might be left out altogether unless I can come up with a good plot reason for their being there. I hate doing that but if it's for the good of the story, then it has to be done.

    Funny thing, when it comes to commissions, where all I usually get are character basics and some scant personality traits, I can come up with something no problem. It's my own stuff where I'm like 'brain, wtf y u no rite?'

    Yea, it concerns me from time to time. At times I question why I let myself continue to interact with the characters because it'll just break my heart in the end.

    I feel like a sadistic monster now. I'm one of those where if it breaks the character in some way, I do it to see what will happen next. Granted, some characters come back stronger than ever. Some decide being the villain is a better idea.

    Some days I really want to crawl into a corner and wear my Author Hat of 'You Can't Write' Shame. >>



  • @typical_demigod said in Writing Frustrations!:

    I've heard that's a problem for pantsers, where they'll outline a story but then they can't write it anymore. :/ If that's the case, maybe you need to stop thinking about the outline for a while and just see what happens?

    Issue with that is... The reason I did outline this story is that there are set events in it that I can't alter. As in, 'huge clusterfuck of a butterfly effect' can't alter. However, you have a point. Maybe I need to turn off my targeting system and use the force a bit more in the sections that don't touch on these issues. >.>

    I mean I can write just fine half-asleep at five in the morning... Sorta. :P

    Yea, it concerns me from time to time. At times I question why I let myself continue to interact with the characters because it'll just break my heart in the end.

    With my guys at least I know that even though they will never get over what happens here, in between this and the main series they do have good times. Well, most of them anyway.

    The importance of Shadows Rise to the main series is that it's a horrific series of events that will inevitably set everything in motion. It'll make people who they are in the main series, including the main villain of the first arc. So I guess torturing these characters now is something that needs to happen or everything else just collapses. :P

    Still makes me feel horrible though. >.>

    D: D: D: D: This is what my brain does to me. And until I start writing, I don't know what will happen, but I want them to be happyyyyy

    All of this is the kind of thing that makes me yell at my characters at the top of my lungs because they're idiots who don't listen to me and wtf are they thinking. =.=

    @Rose Sometimes I feel like those people who compulsively buy clothes and then bitch they have nothing to wear. Like, I have all these ideas in front of me and it's like "I HAVE NOTHING!" because I can't see a way to make them work. -.-

    And don't get me wrong, I'll torture my characters left and right. I just always feel horrible doing it. Which in turn makes me happy when other people feel horrible reading it because at least I'm not suffering alone. I have issues, but hey, who doesn't? >.>



  • @Rose Sometimes I feel like those people who compulsively buy clothes and then bitch they have nothing to wear. Like, I have all these ideas in front of me and it's like "I HAVE NOTHING!" because I can't see a way to make them work. -.-

    And don't get me wrong, I'll torture my characters left and right. I just always feel horrible doing it. Which in turn makes me happy when other people feel horrible reading it because at least I'm not suffering alone. I have issues, but hey, who doesn't? >.>

    Hoo boy, yup. I have ideas too, but if I can't get them to stop failing magnificently, I may as well have nothing. I may have to subject everyone's eyes to the fruits of my repeated failures before I feel like something I'm doing is working. I don't really have arcs like it seems other people here do; it's just 'villain does x. Some people try to stop it. Things don't go as planned and eff things up more. More characters come along and have to make a Big Decision.'

    I think I'm probably the only person who doesn't have too much sympathy for the characters they torture. At least, not a sympathetic response the way others do. I do have characters who ask why I do it, though. And they're not confined to just mine.



  • @Rose said in Writing Frustrations!:

    I don't really have arcs like it seems other people here do

    Well, the main series Shadows Rise is based on is actually a series of three RPs that we're gonna rewrite into one big episodic thing. So I've been calling the plot of each RP an 'arc'.

    'villain does x. Some people try to stop it. Things don't go as planned and eff things up more. More characters come along and have to make a Big Decision.'

    And this is literally my first two arcs in a nutshell, although I know the actual events are entirely different from what you've shared with me.

    That said, that to me sounds pretty fun. I love it when people try to fix things and end up making it worse. I mean, if someone lives happily ever after I'm just not satisfied.. :P

    I become extremely attached to my characters. It makes for good character development but it's emotionally draining. That's why I was worried I might not be able to create characters for other people, but it turned out I'm less sentimental than I though.



  • @Rose

    I feel like a sadistic monster now. I'm one of those where if it breaks the character in some way, I do it to see what will happen next.

    @Blackbird

    And don't get me wrong, I'll torture my characters left and right. I just always feel horrible doing it. Which in turn makes me happy when other people feel horrible reading it because at least I'm not suffering alone. I have issues, but hey, who doesn't? >.>

    This literally summarizes why I haven't written a complete draft of Rus's episode yet. His is the only arc where I know everything that happens, in order, and most of the characters required + their fates, but just the idea of writing it is just.... draining. Especially because, of all the Earthlings characters, in terms of creation, he's the oldest, so I know him the best, and I can find ancient pieces of writing involving his character, so it's just kind of like... let me break you into tiny little pieces my precious </3

    Sometimes I do horrible things to my characters just because I know it'll make the reader uncomfortable, though. I'm not sure what that says about me as a person. :/

    @Rose

    I'd really love to develop all the pieces of what I have now into something cohesive and usable, but there's a lot and I have a feeling a lot will be left on the chopping block, especially where the smaller details of how the characters do certain things are concerned. Other characters might be left out altogether unless I can come up with a good plot reason for their being there. I hate doing that but if it's for the good of the story, then it has to be done.

    Pretty much. There's a lot of give and take. Outlining can help you weed out what you can't fit, but once you start writing, imo, it'll get worse. I have two solutions for this.

    1. Write it anyway, because writing is supposed to make me happy & because editing exists for a reason;
    2. Set it aside and know that I can make something else with it. In my main fantasy world, I have at least four separate novel ideas going because they just wouldn't fit in one book, even split into parts. Some characters pop up as extras in different stories that they aren't protags in, but their story is completely different than whatever that plot is, so it just doesn't make sense to include their story, too. (I mean, that's not even touching that I get short story & scene ideas that won't fit in anything novel-length.)

    TL;DR: Don't worry at the beginning about whether or not it will all fit or form something cohesive because that comes with drafts, as annoying as that is.

    I don't really have arcs like it seems other people here do; it's just 'villain does x. Some people try to stop it. Things don't go as planned and eff things up more. More characters come along and have to make a Big Decision.'

    That's an arc? I refer to specific arcs in relation to characters because the characters have totally different plots than their co-stars, usually because of time and/or space. Otherwise, that's pretty much an arc, unless I understand them completely wrong. (And I agree; you gotta have things go wrong in the middle or else it'll be a little boring.)

    @Blackbird

    With my guys at least I know that even though they will never get over what happens here, in between this and the main series they do have good times. Well, most of them anyway.

    That's the important thing.

    Also, that's what a prequel should be. Like, yes, have some characters running around having an adventure, but if it's not going to add anything to the main series that drew you in in the first place, then don't advertise it as a prequel. Just say it's a companion or something along those lines. And given the bit I know about the main series, I don't think I'm surprised the prequel is as horrific as it is.

    I mean, if someone lives happily ever after I'm just not satisfied.. :P

    It needs a cost or it's worthless, imo.



  • I'm on mobile so can't address everything, I'm sorry if I missed something addressed to me. At the moment, another thing annoying me is the fact that I tend to get really attached to other peoples' characters ahead of my own, simply because I can see the way everything fits (even when I don't have much to go on), whereas with mine, I can't do it the same way. I've found that prompts help me get my thoughts together; I wanted to post a thread on prompts for people stuck like me but wasn't sure where to put it or if other people would be interested? I'll address other things when I'm back on a working computer.



  • @Rose I think, @Josey was doing prompt threads a while ago and if I'm not mistaken she was just posting them in the General Chit Chat section.

    As for interest, I personally like prompts a lot, but sometimes they work for me, sometimes they don't.



  • I usually like prompts where it's something like, 'Character A has Y personality, Character B has X. Z is their problem. Now what?' It gives me a little something to go off of, and I can visualize things more. I just can't go solo when it comes to this stuff. I need feedback, people to bounce ideas from, RP, something.

    I'll have a look. Thanks!



  • @Rose I love RPing and I kinda miss it, but at the same time... RP is what got me into this mess I'm in. lol

    That said, we brushed on the topic of putting our characters together to actually interact a few times before, maybe we should make a thread for that sometime. What could possibly go wrong? ^.-

    The RAA thread is close, but it's not actual RP.



  • @Rose I love RPing and I kinda miss it, but at the same time... RP is what got me into this mess I'm in. lol

    I kind of use it as a base to figure out characters and personalities and how they might act/react to a given situation. Once I'm done there, I'm usually okay figuring the rest out. I'm just having issues with this thing and have no clue if I'm even going in the correct direction with it, so it's hard for me to get excited or even to care much if it all feels like a waste of time I need to scrap. >>



  • @Rose I started RPing because I wanted to write in English and I didn't think I had a good enough grasp of it at the time, and tbh I didn't, but I ended up getting really attached to my characters and building on them for six freaking years after that. -.-

    That said, I started answering the RAA thread with my Shadows Rise characters to develop them more. Unlike the main cast, I hadn't written them before this AT ALL. And it actually helped a lot with figuring out how they think and especially with how they interact with each other.



  • That said, I started answering the RAA thread with my Shadows Rise characters to develop them more. Unlike the main cast, I hadn't written them before this AT ALL. And it actually helped a lot with figuring out how they think and especially with how they interact with each other.

    Some of my main cast (if all goes well) will be revamped versions of old RP characters made to fit this new setting. I guess I can give one of the RAA threads a go, though that isn't usually my thing and some of my characters have a long way to go because I don't even have a basic grasp for some of them. It's daunting, really.



  • @Rose Well, it's just a game for funsies, so I'll more often than not just... Make up answers off the top of my head for stuff I'm not sure and if something interesting comes up, then I make it 'canon' for the character, so to speak. It's how I see it anyway.



  • I think this month's is almost concluded, but if I get some more confidence up, I'll have to have a shot at June's edition. I just don't want to jump in at the wrong time.


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