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Writer Looking for Advice

SlyRiolu

A-veri Rood Roo
I've been writing for one to two years now (most of it was roleplaying) but whenever I sit down, write, and when i'm almost done with the first chapter of a story with a new plot I crash. I'm trying to master writing without thinking too much but there's another problem, I don't know how to end chapters so they end up rough and it makes me want to cringe.
 

Jarren

You can't just quote yourself! -Me
You've gotta be willing to end a chapter roughly. That lets you keep moving forward and allows you progress the story. You can always come back and edit later (you SHOULD always go back and edit later). Don't sweat the small stuff too much in the rough draft. The important thing is to just keep writing. What I did was set a daily word count when I was writing my novel (still editing the damn thing) 500 word minimum a day. I could easily hit that on even my toughest evenings and that guaranteed I was always making progress. Having a rough outline of the story also helps, as does (in my opinion) some good music and a stuff drink. Ymmv on those last two. But, like I said, the most important part is to keep writing, even if you don't like what you just wrote, keep moving (or come back later and rewrite once your head is clear). But get in the habit of writing. Don't just do it when you want to. Do it every day. There's my two cents.
 

SlyRiolu

A-veri Rood Roo
Hmm... Alright thank you, why didn't I think of that? I only write when I think I can do it all in one sitting. I'll pick up writing soon maybe I should try something other than medieval fantasy.
 
S

Sergei Sóhomo

Guest
You gotta break up your general theme into many ideas and use those as vague goal posts for the length of your chapters. It's alright to cut a chapter a couple pages in if that's fitting for it
 

Jarren

You can't just quote yourself! -Me
I should try something other than medieval fantasy.
You're not the only one who's fallen into the medieval setting trap :p

Changing up your subject matter is a great way to maintain interest. Also, possibly set smaller goals. Don't go for a full novel. Maybe start with a short story (10-20k words) or maybe a novella (20-35k words) and write one or two of those rather than making my mistake and going for the full novel length experience on your first go. (168k words later and I think I can finally start chopping out the flak. But no, now I have to write a prologue and epilogue... it never ends! XD)
 

SlyRiolu

A-veri Rood Roo
I'll try out a short story I have an idea I thought of last night. Would a short story be able to have chapters? Kinda a dumb question though but I just write and don't know these special terms and how to use them.
 

Jarren

You can't just quote yourself! -Me
Yeah. There aren't really that many hard and fast rules to writing, so you can put chapters in. For now, do what feels right/appropriate and see if it still holds water when you're done. If not, you can always go back and change it.
 

TesseractFA

Creative and seeker of new fursona fursuit.
Set deadlines for yourself, like “I’m going to have a 10 page chapter done by the next full moon” and your more likely to finish... at 4am the last night of the full moon (at least that’s my initial plan and known work habits on creative projects... once I’ve finished working on the world setup).
 

ResolutionBlaze

Angry Local
Banned
For chapters I usually keep writing until I have a good point to stop.

What these points have in common is that I'm closing a mini arc within that chapter that pieces together for the bigger picture of the story. It's always ending something or starting something new; The characters exiting to a new location, a character discovering something significant, just entering into another new area, finishing a satisfying set of dialogue, so on.

This always came naturally to me so I can't explain well how I do that.
 

Balans

Member
Hey SlyRiolu!

It's great to see another writer in the community. I've joined the community a few days ago, and I plan on writing my own short stories for the others.

What I'm not new to is writing. Since I was 14 years old, I've been working on my writing and improving. I go into a deeper analysis of it with my FA journal entry if you want to know the details.

It sounds like you have a longer plot, and you need to track it as it progresses. I'd suggest sitting down and making a simple outline of your overall story. Structure the plot so you can see what each chapter is about. A well-constructed outline will keep you on track as you write the details of each chapter.

As for how chapters end, I wouldn't worry about that for the first draft. There's no such thing as a perfect copy, just a copy that you're happy with. I'd write down your ideas to get them on paper, and then in an editing stage, you can play with your chapter endings to find the best ending you're happy with.

I hope the information helps, and I'm excited to see that you're going to be writing more. I can't help much with a forum message, but I hope any insight I can give helps future writers like you to make the next bestseller.

I hope you have a good day! :)
 

SlyRiolu

A-veri Rood Roo
I'm sorry but this will annoy me if I don't mention it. When did I imply that I wanted perfect drafts? I may have implied that I wanted perfect chapter endings but definitely not drafts.

Also how would I make an outline would it be somthing similar to what Sergei said? When I made an outline for a story I made it look like a family tree.
 

Balans

Member
I'm sorry but this will annoy me if I don't mention it. When did I imply that I wanted perfect drafts? I may have implied that I wanted perfect chapter endings but definitely not drafts.

Also how would I make an outline would it be somthing similar to what Sergei said? When I made an outline for a story I made it look like a family tree.
Forgive me, I meant no trouble. You never implied you wanted perfect drafts or a perfect final copy. I assumed from the post, with "ending chapters rough" and "trying not to think too hard" that maybe there was a worry that a story might not be good enough or something related to that. Again forgive me, I assumed wrong.

Hmm, I think what Sergei said is kinda like what I had in mind. When I think of a larger plot, I like to think of it like a large arch or bunny hop for a story. If that hop is too large for any one story (like writing a novel out of a short story haha), then I like to see the chapters act as little bunny hops that move the larger one forward. Each chapter or hop adds more clues, moves the plot further, allows the reader to see something new for the main story, or ultimately progresses the main plot along in the book.

When you write the outline, I think it would help to write like that. First, envision the large bunny hop of your plot. The overall arch of the plot. Then imagine what smaller hops you would need to achieve the larger plot. Each hop could be a chapter that you write, and hop after hop you'd have an outline with chapters planned out.

At least, that's how I see it. I've found in writing that there's no real "right" answer when it comes to this. What matters is what works best for you. The best any of us can do is advise and offer insight on how we work. This insight, hopefully, generates more ideas on how to better writing.
 

Balans

Member
No, I'm sorry, it's fine. Thank you for clearing things up.
Hey, no worries dude. It was my fault for my faulty interpretation of the message. :) Thank you for replying and being kind too. It's always a refreshing thing to see. I wish you the best in writing, and if you need any help let me know. I'd be glad to see what I can do.
 

TesseractFA

Creative and seeker of new fursona fursuit.
For chapter cuts consider the following questions:
Did something happen to the main character, is it over (even temporarily)?
Did the main character learn something?
Did the character go somewhere?
Was there a conflict that has now resolved, or has an action lead to a potential future conflict?

Basically if you are answering "Yes" then its likely a good time for a new chapter.

If you find you've written ten pages of "walking in the woods" then you might need to trim it a bit, something needs to be either happening to the character or you are talking about a character (or place description). If its just a random discussion to fill pages... people won't read through it.
 
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