Finally finishing

  • Hey everyone! I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how to power through when it gets frustrating or when a scene putters out in your head. I've been stuck in a constant and achingly slow battle of starting amazingly then burning out quickly. Any Ideas?

  • Hey! Nice to meet you :)

    For me, it helps when I have an outline. It doesn't need to be complete or anywhere near detailed (it's not uncommon for me to have a single line for one thing that needs to happen in a scene or chapter to keep the story progressing), and I rarely follow it exactly, but having a road map has proven to be useful to me because it helps me see where I've gone, where I'm at, and where I still have to go.

    Sometimes taking a break is good, if you know you can do that but still come back. And if you're a person where taking a break means never returning to the story, then if it's something you feel passionately about and you really want to finish, then you have to make yourself keep working. It sucks, but sometimes you have to do that thing you don't want to in order to get what you want.

    Something else that might help you is pacing yourself when you write. Instead writing all the words to your story immediately, thus burning yourself out more quickly, you could try setting a limit on how much you want to write in a day on whatever you're currently working on. It might help you from burning out super fast.

  • @typical_demigod Thanks for the advice

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    For me, if I grab a friend and either act it out (depending on the scene) or talk through it with them. I do a lot of collaborative writing, so it's easy to do that. I also have been known to put "FINISH THIS LATER RAWR" and move on so I know to come back to it after I am in a better mental space! :D

    Also, WELCOME! :D

  • If writing in 1st person, know the character well enough to feel comfortable in their skin and then load up a cannon of incidents to fire at them when they get too comfortable. My 1st person works rely on the MC driving the story forward toward their own goal, ambition, or agenda, and the journey to that finish line getting challenged and at times even thwarted. With these sorts of works, I keep a running note list of stuff I think should happen and other stuff that has been foreshadowed, more than a strict outline.

    If writing in 3rd person with a larger cast, outlining and plotting out essential elements and scenes helps. I end up writing out the broad strokes of 3rd person stories and then just plug and chug when writing each individual chapter/scene because I know my checklist to accomplish 3 points per chapter, 1k words per point, 20-30 chapters, the book falls together at that point (although there are still brainstorm days trying to figure out the 'how' and some times the 'why' for all the various motivations).

    This is just some of my process, if it helps I'm happy, if not - no harm in seeing different methods exist. Trust yourself and your characters, you'll find your path so long as you stick with it.

  • @sunny Skip it. I write a short note for myself in parenthesis about what I'm trying to say or where they need to end up and then move to the next one. I do that as well with names I haven't decided on yet and facts I need to double check. I leave a _______ in place.
    Your brain will work on it in the background and it will just pop up at the weirdest of times. Then you go back and plug it in.

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @toasha said in Finally finishing:

    Your brain will work on it in the background and it will just pop up at the weirdest of times. Then you go back and plug it in.

    This is so true. I can't tell you the number of times I'll be in the middle of something else and then boom my brain has the answer to a scene. Granted this happens most notably when I am trying to fall asleep, but I have had it happen when shopping, dancing with my dogs, and even while playing a game.

  • @toasha thats a really good idea, probably rather through as well. Ideas change over time and sometimes its best to see if what you wanted then is what you want now. Great advice!

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