How do you keep the fun in writing?

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  • #198922
    albatross
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    • Topics - 4
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    In order to finish a novel, one has to continually push oneself to keep going. As Zette noted in the “why don’t you write” thread, it has to be approached as “work”.

    But how do you keep the fun in it, how do you prevent it from becoming just another chore (and the one that’s easy to blow off, because you won’t have to go to work in stinky clothes if you fail to write 1000 words this week)?

    #208133
    zette
    Moderator
    • Topics - 580
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    For me —

    You have to love the story you’re telling. If you don’t love the story, then it becomes ‘work’ in ways that are not fun. Once this happens, you aren’t going to be writing at your best anyway. You can do so for a day or two, pushing through a bad mood, but eventually it will catch up with your prose.

    If you have lost the love for the story, then you need to go back and find out why. If this is a first draft, you may have lost the link to what made you want to write this story to begin with. Start looking at your MC and other prominent characters and what they’re doing. If it’s dull, or annoying, start changing stuff around.

    If you are in a later, editing phase, it can get to be more difficult. I love editing, but I know most people don’t. Set yourself small goals and then go do something fun when you are done. If you get bogged down and hate to even look at the work, put the manuscript aside for a while.

    #208134
    albatross
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    • Topics - 4
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    For me, even if I love the story, getting it from my head to paper is a chore. Composing it in my head (as action, not as narrative) is fun, but turning that into words isn’t particularly rewarding no matter how much I love the story.

    #208137
    Linda Adams
    Participant
    • Topics - 38
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    Are you worrying about how perfect it comes out? One thing that may help is to just let it go and put whatever on paper. Setting a timer for 30 minutes will also help because it takes the pressure off worrying about time or word count.

    #208138
    zette
    Moderator
    • Topics - 580
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    Ah. Maybe there is another part. You have to want to tell the story that you love. And, really, this is all about attitude.

    I talk about attitude and writing a lot, but it really is an important part of what we do. It’s easy to tell the stories in our heads and leave them there. If you never want to share them — or if you don’t care if you forget them — then that’s fine. But if you want to have the stories in a form, you just have to make it fun to write them. Even if you only write a few hundred words a day, you’ll get there eventually. There is no reason to rush. Just do the writing for a bit and stop.

    I used to write 250 words a day. Eventually it got to be so easy that I began upping the number. I went to 500 for quite a long time. Eventually I moved up to 1k and that’s my usual minimum even now. I write because I love getting the words down and playing with them.

    But it’s all attitude.

    #208139
    Weird Jim
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    • Topics - 131
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    albatross wrote:
    Composing it in my head (as action, not as narrative) is fun, but turning that into words isn’t particularly rewarding no matter how much I love the story.

    (as action, not as narrative) Perhaps you’re trying to ‘write’ and not tell a story. Try imagining being in front of an audience and telling them the story. Maybe you’d be terrified of doing this, I would be. But then if you don’t you’re not going to be able to eat; you’ll have nowhere to sleep other than under a bridge and it’s starting to snow. (OK Jim, don’t get carried away.)

    Most people can tell their friends about things — gossip. Try gossiping your action in words onto the page.

    Zette is right about attitude. You need to form your attitude to your charcters. “I love this one, I hate this one, this one is blah, but that’s the way it needs to be.” Your characters need attitude as well. Attitude to life, attitude to others, attitude to the problem. As the author you need an attitude to the problem as well.

    But attitude is just a word. Define it more in your mind by doing a Google search and then make a list of the attitudinal aspects of your story to all involved.

    Luck!

    #208135
    MrGrey
    Participant
    • Topics - 12
    • Replies - 100

    Easy; by making writing even more than just getting info from your brain into somebody elses!

    I love playing with words. Screwing around with sentences, tinkering with flow and word order. It’s why I love Terry Pratchett, and also why I write humour. Only last night I had the inspiration for the line “Peter was very proficient at getting into the minds of his clients, which was a huge benefit for his career in brain surgery”. It’s taking the normal and regular and using words to play with it and create fun imagery.

    I also make my characters an utter blast to write. I’m a little naughty, given that I will often do White Space writing, which is have two characters talk to each other in a void. It’s mainly because I love character writing, and the scenery takes a back seat for my weird and quirky characters to do their part. I love bringing them to life on the page, realising fun things for them to say midway through a scene and grinning as I add them.

    #208136
    J.A. Marlow
    Moderator
    • Topics - 311
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    There are a lot of different techniques you can use to keep it fun. One thing I use is finding the fun and exciting scenes I want to write and trying to get there. Then reveling in the writing when I do. It keeps it fun because there isn’t the focus on word count. The focus is writing that fun and exciting scene.

    J.A. Marlow
    The String Weavers, Salmon Run, Redpoint One series.

    Writer alter-ego of Dreamers Cove

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