How do you get past ideas and write???

United States
February 7, 2007 2:24pm CST
I can't tell you how many "books" I have started. The ideas are there, the plot is there, the characters breathe, and I start writing, and it never fails; I can't get past a couple of chapters. I either lose interest, or change my mind about something and then hate the thought of redoing it all. What do you do? How do you get past the first couple of steps and complete what you start?
2 people like this
12 responses
@amjjam (70)
• Canada
7 Feb 07
i do the something almost, i get throw a few chapters and forget what i was about to write so i start over and then lose interest.
• United States
7 Feb 07
Been there. Done that. Frustrating. Thanks for sharing.
@Dask1221 (160)
• United States
7 Feb 07
I have the same problem a lot when I'm writing my poetry or song lyrics. Most of the time I will get stuck on where I want it to go, or I'll have to go back to writing my lyrics at a different time, and I'll lose the music I had heard in my head before. It's really frustrating. Sometimes you just have to start over. You may have a great idea that just may work a lot better a totally diferent way, and it might be worth it to totally change it or do it over. If you lose interest in what you're writing, it may not be worth what you thought in the first place. Just keep trying. Sometimes, if you have ideas, but can't get past those couple chapters, just save them in a notebook or something and go back to them later. I've had it happen a few times when I had a few verses here or there that I found worked great together later. Sometimes it just takes time. Good luck!
• United States
7 Feb 07
Thanks a lot. Maybe I will stop putting the pressure on myself. I just feel the urgency sometimes to FINISH something. It really can be frustrating.
1 person likes this
@skyblade (482)
• United States
7 Feb 07
First, I think you have to have ideas that are long-term. Think of how the characters start out, but also think of how they will end up. Then it will be easier creating a story of how they get there.
• United States
7 Feb 07
That is what I usually try to do, how I try to think. I think sometimes it is the "getting there" that stops me. Thanks a bunch for your response, I will take each one to heart.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
I wish I could tell you something you haven't heard. However I doubt that will happen - But I'll try. As you've said getting started is the easy part. Keeping the interest or getting to the finish is the hard part. Ok take a look at one of your stories you've started. Does what you have so far jive with your basic idea you were looking for? Good! Now think about where they are going to end up. What is the conclusion to your story? Write your final chapter of their story. Now put it away and leave it alone for a couple of days. After that come back to it again. Re-read the whole story you have done as thou it is a completed work - then ask yourself - How did they get from here (the beginning) to here (the conclusion)? Take your time and fill in the minute details of your story or the body of it as some people might call it. Unless you have a publisher waiting on the finish product don't even think about how long it might be taking you to write it. Think about each character in your story as thou they where your best friends and you want to know their whole life story. At this point in time that is all that matters - the story. What you put into it will make your "best friends" come to life
• United States
26 Feb 07
Thanks so much for your response! I am beginning to see that the majority of my problem is the rush I have put on my story. I kept thinking that I "had" to get it done "now" but am realizing that just isn't true! Thanks again!
@ESKARENA1 (18296)
15 Feb 07
i think the hardest part of writing is the first couple of lines. I copy and paste big chunks of stuff around all over the place. I dont start at the beginning or any thing like that. I just scribble ideas down, only when ive done this exhaustively will i start editing out the bits I dont like. When ive gone through the editing ill start sorting it out in to what I call rough draft order. At this stage my writing has taken a shape and Ill maybe let a friend read through it. It often takes a few weeks then shifting text around till im happy and the text comes in a recognisable order. Only now will i send it to my publisher, lol it still comes back now and again. Generally, my advice would be to not get obsessed by order and instead recognise that you can fit it into order after it has been written, just go with the flow and work it out into order when you are ready. blessed be and good luck with your work
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Feb 07
I guess I have never tried "random writing" before I put it all together. I will have to try it. I am willing to try just about anything at this point. Thanks for the tips!
@kritipen (4082)
• United States
15 Feb 07
I am really happy about this post, beacuse I am also in the same boat. I have atleast 5-6 ideas and I try many times actually to write them into stories. Half the way through I will leave and feel that it is not coming through and keep the idea in freezer. I would love to get some help on this freezing and thawing.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Feb 07
I know, it is so frustrating. Is it not? It is like your brain goes on meltdown, gives you the ideas to write, and then whammo, there are icecicles hanging off of it again! Makes me want to scream sometimes. Really. Hope you get some good advice here as well! Thanks for posting.
• United States
14 Feb 07
What you should do is compile your structure for the story. You know, the intro, body then the conclusion. Write it very quickly and make that into a manuscript even if it's not your best. Find a local literary agency that will help you perfect it and you can have a complete book ready for you.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Feb 07
Thanks for the advice. I have tried doing it this way, but it is still difficult for me to finish. I haven't gotten far enough to send it to anyone!
@gotbot (46)
• United States
14 Feb 07
I also have the problem of starting things very excited, then soon giving them up for something else. I'm addicted to "starting" stuff I guess. As for writing, it's tempting to stop a story when I get to a snag or a part that is less interesting to write. The key is discipline and perseverence, two difficult character qualities to develop. Try to write a little each day. Try writing a couple different parts of your novel, especially if you have it outlined. That way you have some work on different sections and you'll be less likely to give up at a certain point. Keep writing!
• United States
15 Feb 07
thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought about starting different parts! I may just have to try that!
@mjgarcia (725)
• United States
8 Feb 07
I have a lot of beginnings that I have lost interest in. I keep them so that sometime I can incorporate the ideas into something else. I also have a couple of notebooks that I keep character notes and plot notes in, so that if I do lose interest I still have the original thoughts. I've noticed that later I may have another plot idea that I can combine with something that I had worked on before. My biggest problem is once I get going on a project - I have all kinds of ideas for something else. I have to keep notes on them because if I divert my interest into a new project - the first will dry up.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Feb 07
exactly! Well said. I will have to start keeping the notes, maybe it will help keep me focused! Thank you for your response!
• United States
7 Feb 07
Focus. When that happens to me, I go with another idea but promise myself I'll return to the one I've got there. Sometimes it takes me a couple of months, but when you return to it with fresh eyes and renewed stamina you can finish what you've started. I know for a long time I had completion anxiety about stories. I was so afraid if I finished a story it would be the last one I ever wrote. It was like seperation anxiety for writers. You can complete what you start. Maybe if you start thinking in smaller scale, write and finish a few short stories. Once you get that sense of completion in you, you'll want to finish your other ideas.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Feb 07
Thank you for the ideas... I will definitely try it! Maybe that is what it is... completion anxiety!
1 person likes this
@lizeri (533)
• Philippines
21 Apr 07
As much as possible, try to write whatever is in your mind on any piece of paper then keep it for future use. Then later as you thought of a story, you can get you ideas on that piece of paper.
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
20 Feb 07
Well..I believe it takes focus, determination, and motivation. It often helps to review WHY you're writing, 'cause sometimes what motivation one has isn't enough..take me for example, for myself I rarely can follow throgh with anything, but when my best friend came along (she's also my editor)..told me how much she loved my story -- it was only at a few chapters at the time as well -- and DEMANDED I write more chapters, well I found I could write more chapters, because I knew someone wanted to read the finished product. I can finish anything now because I'm writing for people who want to read it, and love to read it...thinking of all the people outweighs my lazy streak lol. It makes me really WANT to write it, and often if one thinks hard enough, if you want to make a change in the storyline, you don';t have to redo the whoe thing, if you work it around enough you might only have to change a few little details..and there you are, able to continue.