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I think I've ran out of ideas. :/

kelliegator

Member
I'm not sure if my problem can be called writer's block or what, but for a long time I haven't written anything at all but right now I'm trying to sort of get back into the swing of things.

My problem is that I'm working on a short story or novel type thing, but I keep getting stuck and not knowing what's going to happen next. I dunno if I'm maybe doing the wrong approach because I am admittedly kind of making up this story as I go along because it's somewhat inspired by various comic books I've been reading.

This has me pretty worried because I remember that writing used to be so easy for me, but that was before I had my nervous breakdown in 2017 and stopped everything so I'm not sure if that's why or if it's something else? Oh well.

I wish it was easier to come up with new ideas for stuff to write about. Do you guys have any advice on this, perhaps?
 

JuniperW

Birb Fanatic
I think it's always best to have a general outline of what's going to happen in the story. This doesn't necessarily have to be a detailed one, though. Sometimes, what I do is note what's going to happen next in brackets — usually underneath the point where I'm stuck, on another document, or even in a notebook. Or, you could put yourself in your point-of--view character's shoes, so to speak. Think about what X character would do in this situation, maybe use it as a point to further develop the plot or their story arc. Writer's block is completely natural, and you're not doing anything wrong. The tips I suggested also don't apply to everyone, but I'm sure there's something that'll work for you. Do you have any specific plot point(s) that you want advice on?
 

kelliegator

Member
I think it's always best to have a general outline of what's going to happen in the story. This doesn't necessarily have to be a detailed one, though. Sometimes, what I do is note what's going to happen next in brackets — usually underneath the point where I'm stuck, on another document, or even in a notebook. Or, you could put yourself in your point-of--view character's shoes, so to speak. Think about what X character would do in this situation, maybe use it as a point to further develop the plot or their story arc. Writer's block is completely natural, and you're not doing anything wrong. The tips I suggested also don't apply to everyone, but I'm sure there's something that'll work for you. Do you have any specific plot point(s) that you want advice on?
Well, in the idea I'm currently working on the main character and her sidekick of sorts are trying to assemble a team of mutants (who are anthro animals) in a quest for revenge, so I guess the problem I'm having here is thinking of new characters that are interesting with backstories and motivations. I seem to have made this pretty difficult for myself. .w.
 

JuniperW

Birb Fanatic
Well, in the idea I'm currently working on the main character and her sidekick of sorts are trying to assemble a team of mutants (who are anthro animals) in a quest for revenge, so I guess the problem I'm having here is thinking of new characters that are interesting with backstories and motivations. I seem to have made this pretty difficult for myself. .w.
That sounds like a really cool idea! So it's kinda like a furry version of X-Men?
A lot of the time, when I'm thinking of a backstory, I'll base it around a certain band and their music. This goes mostly for my human characters though.
I might also take inspiration from a TV show, book or video game and lift elements from it, then incorporate them into a story arc.
Or the inspiration may even come from religion and/or mythology.
It's good to look everywhere you can for ideas, because they can come from the most unlikely of places.
 

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
Over this last year or so, I've been dealing with writer's block as well as simple distraction. I find that focusing on other pleasant tasks helps. This time of year, gardening for me. Motorcycling or bicycling works for me as well.

I will also spend time writing something else; even if only random thoughts or broad ideas for a story. Again, that shift of focus seems to be important for me. Sometimes it even results in a whole, new story; one that flows well, now.
 

kelliegator

Member
That sounds like a really cool idea! So it's kinda like a furry version of X-Men?
A lot of the time, when I'm thinking of a backstory, I'll base it around a certain band and their music. This goes mostly for my human characters though.
I might also take inspiration from a TV show, book or video game and lift elements from it, then incorporate them into a story arc.
Or the inspiration may even come from religion and/or mythology.
It's good to look everywhere you can for ideas, because they can come from the most unlikely of places.
That's really helpful, thanks. I'll try to keep that in mind when working on my story. :eek:
Over this last year or so, I've been dealing with writer's block as well as simple distraction. I find that focusing on other pleasant tasks helps. This time of year, gardening for me. Motorcycling or bicycling works for me as well.

I will also spend time writing something else; even if only random thoughts or broad ideas for a story. Again, that shift of focus seems to be important for me. Sometimes it even results in a whole, new story; one that flows well, now.
I guess my problem is I haven't thought of a lot of other tasks to do, except maybe listening to music but that doesn't always work. But I'll try to maybe work on other things when my normal story isn't getting anywhere, thanks.
 

Connor J. Coyote

The ¥oteƵer Extraordinaire
I'm not sure if my problem can be called writer's block or what, but for a long time I haven't written anything at all but right now I'm trying to sort of get back into the swing of things.

My problem is that I'm working on a short story or novel type thing, but I keep getting stuck and not knowing what's going to happen next. I dunno if I'm maybe doing the wrong approach because I am admittedly kind of making up this story as I go along because it's somewhat inspired by various comic books I've been reading.

This has me pretty worried because I remember that writing used to be so easy for me, but that was before I had my nervous breakdown in 2017 and stopped everything so I'm not sure if that's why or if it's something else? Oh well.

I wish it was easier to come up with new ideas for stuff to write about. Do you guys have any advice on this, perhaps?
Eh.... I don't know you, but.... if I was running into road blocks like you say you are - then, perhaps you're pushing yourself too hard to try and finish it.... (assuming you're doing this for pleasure, and not pay).

If that's the case, then...... what's the rush? Creative pursuits should come naturally over time; it's not really something that should be forced.
 

kelliegator

Member
Eh.... I don't know you, but.... if I was running into road blocks like you say you are - then, perhaps you're pushing yourself too hard to try and finish it.... (assuming you're doing this for pleasure, and not pay).

If that's the case, then...... what's the rush? Creative pursuits should come naturally over time; it's not really something that should be forced.
Hmm. I probably am rushing it. I heard recently some good advice from a Yahtzee video that doing one page a day is a good way to get flow going and avoiding burnout, so I may try that, although one page feels like nothing, so I don't know. .w.

I think the rush is just some existential fear that I'll never get it published or something? I'm 31 years old and I feel like I don't have much time left to make a mark on the world, but that's probably irrational thinking on my part. :S
 

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
I published my first novel at age 51. My second novel is agonizingly close to completion. It doesn't feel ready yet, so I set it aside and revisit it a couple of times a week. I must admit that I didn't start writing for the purpose of making my mark in the world; though it would be nice if such a thing were to happen because of my stories.

Unless you are certain to live a short life, you have time. As a bonus, the older one gets, the broader the base of personal experiences one may draw from.
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
Try seeing if you can't draw from real life experiences on some way.

Think of dialogue these characters could have. People watch now and again. Listen in on some random conversations just to hear how other people talk. Maybe they'll have an experience to draw from.

Or perhaps just take a break and enjoy being the viewer instead of the Creator for a while. Maybe you'll find inspiration that way?
 

kelliegator

Member
I published my first novel at age 51. My second novel is agonizingly close to completion. It doesn't feel ready yet, so I set it aside and revisit it a couple of times a week. I must admit that I didn't start writing for the purpose of making my mark in the world; though it would be nice if such a thing were to happen because of my stories.

Unless you are certain to live a short life, you have time. As a bonus, the older one gets, the broader the base of personal experiences one may draw from.
I think my problem is I'm having a mid-life crisis very early. You're right, of course. I should be thinking differently about this.
Try seeing if you can't draw from real life experiences on some way.

Think of dialogue these characters could have. People watch now and again. Listen in on some random conversations just to hear how other people talk. Maybe they'll have an experience to draw from.

Or perhaps just take a break and enjoy being the viewer instead of the Creator for a while. Maybe you'll find inspiration that way?
Maybe I deserve a break, I just worry that I'll end up in long periods of time of not doing anything and then I'll be back at square one when I feel I have a good thing going on now. Also, writing does sort of help me have something to do because I'm pretty bored on most of my free time. I should probably find a hobby or something? :S
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
I think my problem is I'm having a mid-life crisis very early. You're right, of course. I should be thinking differently about this.

Maybe I deserve a break, I just worry that I'll end up in long periods of time of not doing anything and then I'll be back at square one when I feel I have a good thing going on now. Also, writing does sort of help me have something to do because I'm pretty bored on most of my free time. I should probably find a hobby or something? :S
I mean my only hobbies are writing, drawing and gaming. X)

But trying something new, or just taking a break now and again helps my mind stay fresh and prevents major burnouts.

And then of course, if you can find a writer group to share/help build eachother up, that would probably help too.
 

Connor J. Coyote

The ¥oteƵer Extraordinaire
Hmm. I'm 31 years old and I feel like I don't have much time left to make a mark on the world, but that's probably irrational thinking on my part. :S
Are you serious? Nah...... 31 is very young in the World.

(Assuming you have all of your health - you've got a lot more time than some others of us do, believe me).
------------------------------
You know..... I'm of the belief - that any kind of creative pursuits (I think) should be done with as much time as needed; and - typically for myself - I find that if I take my time on it and not rush, I actually do a better job, then I would've done if I tried to breeze through it all quickly.

And so.... depending on how long you're planning the story to be - a page a day doesn't sound all that bad, I don't think..... you can always try to implement more outlines on each section too, (like I often try to do) - and then, it may break it up some more and make the writing less daunting.
 

kelliegator

Member
Are you serious? Nah...... 31 is very young in the World.
I hope I'm not repeating myself here but you're probably right. I just see so many other people get successful while being very young that it's hard not to compare myself with them and feeling like a dinosaur. I should probably ditch that kind of thinking.

I am a bit stuck now because I can't think of anything interesting to happen in the next chapter. All I know is that I kind of want there to be a bit more action now than before.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
The best advice I've ever gotten is to write, even when you don't like what you're writing, because if you reread it later you might actually like it a lot and see it as an improvement. The issue with writing (and most other art forms) is that the person creating can't often look at it with a fresh perspective. We're used to our creative styles so it will often read out as bland and boring to us, we'll only see the flaws in it, but if we come back at it with fresh perspective...we can learn to appreciate it. This of course requires that we don't give it up.

The second piece of advice I received from a fellow writer was to just word vomit. Good or bad, just get it all out there. Write a specific scene meant to be two chapters ahead, and work up to that scene afterward for motivation. Word vomit entire character dialogue and find a way to fit it in later. Prompt yourself, in essence. I personally use word building as my word vomit. The more I know about my setting, the more inspiration I receive to include it in my writing, and the more ideas flow easier when a backdrop is set up.

I hope I'm not repeating myself here but you're probably right. I just see so many other people get successful while being very young that it's hard not to compare myself with them and feeling like a dinosaur. I should probably ditch that kind of thinking.

I am a bit stuck now because I can't think of anything interesting to happen in the next chapter. All I know is that I kind of want there to be a bit more action now than before.

I think that success in writing is overrated. Unless you're aiming for fame from the start...which almost no well-known writer has ever done. Usually, they just...write a lot. That's pretty much it. Some of them might have gone to college, but that wasn't to get famous. It was to get better. It was for passion. Every writer has a slump, I had one that lasted years because depression took it's toll and I'm still working through it now. It's okay to not know where to go from a certain point, and there's no use beating yourself up over it. Just...go somewhere...and see where that takes you. If you don't like it, start over. See what you can find out just by writing without regard.
 

kelliegator

Member
The best advice I've ever gotten is to write, even when you don't like what you're writing, because if you reread it later you might actually like it a lot and see it as an improvement. The issue with writing (and most other art forms) is that the person creating can't often look at it with a fresh perspective. We're used to our creative styles so it will often read out as bland and boring to us, we'll only see the flaws in it, but if we come back at it with fresh perspective...we can learn to appreciate it. This of course requires that we don't give it up.

The second piece of advice I received from a fellow writer was to just word vomit. Good or bad, just get it all out there. Write a specific scene meant to be two chapters ahead, and work up to that scene afterward for motivation. Word vomit entire character dialogue and find a way to fit it in later. Prompt yourself, in essence. I personally use word building as my word vomit. The more I know about my setting, the more inspiration I receive to include it in my writing, and the more ideas flow easier when a backdrop is set up.



I think that success in writing is overrated. Unless you're aiming for fame from the start...which almost no well-known writer has ever done. Usually, they just...write a lot. That's pretty much it. Some of them might have gone to college, but that wasn't to get famous. It was to get better. It was for passion. Every writer has a slump, I had one that lasted years because depression took it's toll and I'm still working through it now. It's okay to not know where to go from a certain point, and there's no use beating yourself up over it. Just...go somewhere...and see where that takes you. If you don't like it, start over. See what you can find out just by writing without regard.
This is really helpful, and also makes me realize that my priorities may be all wrong here. Maybe I worried more about success than anything else? Maybe I'm being too hard on myself?

Now when I've attempted to start writing again I'm just kind of terrifies of what happens if I stop? But I gotta be real here, I'm really out of ideas and I don't really know what should happen next here. I'm kind of banging my head against the wall here.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
This is really helpful, and also makes me realize that my priorities may be all wrong here. Maybe I worried more about success than anything else? Maybe I'm being too hard on myself?

You're definitely being too hard on yourself. Wanting to have success with writing on a financial level is good, but it shouldn't ever be the main goal (imo) because then you'll just lose your focus on what you're passionate about, and it can be a real creative buzzkill, throwing a wrench in your overall goal to begin with. This isn't to say don't aim to do what you love and make a living with it, but keep the financial stuff on a backburner and just...write, you know? If you make money you make money and if not, you're still doing and improving on something you love.

Now when I've attempted to start writing again I'm just kind of terrifies of what happens if I stop? But I gotta be real here, I'm really out of ideas and I don't really know what should happen next here. I'm kind of banging my head against the wall here.

I think that taking breaks is good. This might be a little TMI, but I wrote my first Erotica at the end of last year. I had to take several breaks because it was extremely out of my comfort zone, I had to keep researching terms so it didn't sound like a cringe-worthy mess and eventually, after four months of reading, writing, rewriting, and editing I finally deemed it "good enough" to post...and then I removed it in one day. Why? Well, I thought it wasn't good enough. I didn't like it. Four months of writing and taking breaks and rereading and more writing and it still didn't live up to my personal porn standards, lol.

But after erasing it and it's backup file I realized...well, shit, that might have actually been one of the best pieces I'd ever done. It was 9,000+ words and it displayed emotions and actions both sexual and non-sexual better than most of my other pieces of writing did, and I realized that this was because of the sheer amount of time I spent working on it, and looking at it from new perspectives, and re-wording certain scenes. Writing is hard work, and it's often looked at as easy compared to drawing, but it really isn't. It's another beast entirely that takes skill to do well.

I regret deleting that piece, but I don't regret what going passed my comfort zones taught me. Now it's normal for me to start something, drop it for a week or even a month, and then go back to it with vigor. This was my second piece after the porn fiasco, and there are still some minor details I dislike, but it came out much better than it's initial draft...because that's what writing is. A series of drafts that you eventually perfect into something much more refined (similar to turning a sketch into a finished and colored piece). Work and improve on what you have, practice being out of your element, and do what you can to put yourself out there. Eventually, something will stick.

I think it's also worth noting that quality of work will always fluctuate slightly, especially with writing. Sometimes, you have to force yourself through a chapter that's boring or just uninspiring and you might feel your writing isn't as good in that chapter than in, say, chapter 33 when your MC is fighting a gorgon or something...but that's okay. Not every chapter is going to play to someone's strengths. Some people are amazing at crafting fight scenes, but only okay at dialogue. Others are amazing at giving rich or humorous or deep dialogue but are barely passing for crafting a choreographed scene. Do what you like doing, and find a way to fit in the rest that is at least "acceptable" to you. Your skills will shine through and make it amazing for the readers.
 
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pilgrimfromoblivion

DEEP IN THE JEANS SHE'S WEARING
Well, in the idea I'm currently working on the main character and her sidekick of sorts are trying to assemble a team of mutants (who are anthro animals) in a quest for revenge, so I guess the problem I'm having here is thinking of new characters that are interesting with backstories and motivations. I seem to have made this pretty difficult for myself. .w.
Try seeing if you can't draw from real life experiences on some way.

Think of dialogue these characters could have. People watch now and again. Listen in on some random conversations just to hear how other people talk. Maybe they'll have an experience to draw from.

Or perhaps just take a break and enjoy being the viewer instead of the Creator for a while. Maybe you'll find inspiration that way?
Yeah, like this. If you're gonna have some type of Furry Superheroes/Mutants, use your real-life experiences. Pull a Stan Lee and give them struggles. Make em struggle to pay bills. Maybe the fact that their anthros can add to their lives somehow, like if humans and anthros lived in a SUSciety and anthros were considered mutants or something. You might able to use that in your revenge story. Whatever you end up doing, best of luck to you.
 

kelliegator

Member
I don't mean to be a total whiner but I think I'm stuck and I'm feeling really demoralized right now. I'm almost considering scrapping the whole thing but I'm happy with the first three chapters so maybe not, but everything after that feels uninspired and awful. I'm also struggling with coming up with new characters so maybe I was dumb for wanting to make this about a team of mutants. But I don't have any other, better ideas.

And I'm kicking myself a lot for being stuck. I'm not entirely sure how to progress. Buh. :/
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
I don't mean to be a total whiner but I think I'm stuck and I'm feeling really demoralized right now. I'm almost considering scrapping the whole thing but I'm happy with the first three chapters so maybe not, but everything after that feels uninspired and awful. I'm also struggling with coming up with new characters so maybe I was dumb for wanting to make this about a team of mutants. But I don't have any other, better ideas.

And I'm kicking myself a lot for being stuck. I'm not entirely sure how to progress. Buh. :/

Writing is allowed to evolve. It doesn't have to stick with one idea. That's why drafts exist. The setting and backstory I have For my character now isn't the same as it was two years ago. It might not be the same two years from now.

There's no shame in redesigning something you're not passionate about, and there's no use sticking with the inspirational. Take what you like out of what you created and improve it. Leave behind what doesn't work. That's what editing is all about.
 

kelliegator

Member
Writing is allowed to evolve. It doesn't have to stick with one idea. That's why drafts exist. The setting and backstory I have For my character now isn't the same as it was two years ago. It might not be the same two years from now.

There's no shame in redesigning something you're not passionate about, and there's no use sticking with the inspirational. Take what you like out of what you created and improve it. Leave behind what doesn't work. That's what editing is all about.
I think my problem is that rather than edit I just throw the baby out with the bathwater and restart the whole project from scratch. I've kind of done another reboot now and I feel good about this one, but I felt good about my last one so I don't know if I'm just being stupid again. :X
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
Sometimes talking it out with someone can help! Going at it solo can sometimes be overwhelming and make it harder to organize your thoughts/direction and getting some second opinions never hurts. I've recently found someone willing to let me blab about everything and the feedback he's given me has really helped to set a good chunk of my story into place!

I have to rewrite most of it...
Which does suck...
But it's so worth it in the end and makes way more sense than my last draft.
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
Ah...... a kindred spirit. Or many, actually. It's a little comforting to see so many writers complaining about the same issues I have, as well.

I have had this story idea stuck in my head for a couple of years and have been slowly getting it out. But I've also had a lot of blocks along the way and I'm but a small fraction of the way there. In researching a lot of "how to" on writing / world building / character development, what I've learned is.. you gotta find what works for you.

But one of the most consistent things I did see was what Raever said, the word vomiting. You sit there, even if you don't feel like writing, and start typing. Start typing about the weather. Don't hit the back space or worry about sentence structure; just keep typing. Maybe you'll type something that's a good idea for a different project down the road, or a different chapter.

Outlines are also good. In fact, the more information you can put down, the less dots you have to connect in the middle. For me, I have major plot points mapped out but I'm having a real hard time filling in the blanks and coming up with ways to accelerate the story from one point to another.

But you're not alone. I'm 32 and my motto is: Jack of all trades, master of none. I do a lot of things fairly well, but I exceed at nothing and these creative blocks really reinforce that insecurity of mine (even though everyone suffers through them, too). So if anything, know that you're not alone in your feelings!

Unless you exceed at something else in your life and then it is I who is alone in my feelings... *laughs nervously*
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
But you're not alone. I'm 32 and my motto is: Jack of all trades, master of none. I do a lot of things fairly well, but I exceed at nothing and these creative blocks really reinforce that insecurity of mine (even though everyone suffers through them, too). So if anything, know that you're not alone in your feelings!

I'm 28 and am in the same boat! Not good enough to be a full-time artist, not good enough to pump out best-selling novels or short stories, good enough to be loved by customers at work but never enough to be acknowledged or appreciated by my bosses... so that's why I'm hoping to combine everything (story with image) BUT it's a novel, and hopefully combining a fantasy setting with real-life experiences will make it into one giant ball of awesomeness!

Or... better than it would be separately, at least... OTL
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
I think my problem is that rather than edit I just throw the baby out with the bathwater and restart the whole project from scratch.

"The first draft of anything is shit."
- Ernest Hemingway

Editing is necessary for most writing to become it's best version. That doesn't mean it's mandatory, some writers can word vomit and have the product be a readable and enjoyable experience, but there are always improvements. I can understand the desire to toss everything aside if you no longer like a project you worked on, but it's not exactly the best way forward. You'll eventually just keep going in circles. Working with the good and sculpting the bad to fit the mold of the good. That's apart of writing. If you don't ever do it...you might not ever appreciate your final product.

But that's just, like, my opinion man.

I do like going to youtube for inspiration from other writers.


 
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