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Thread: Write, You Fucker. Write Like a Demon.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Default Write, You Fucker. Write Like a Demon.

    The most frustrating people I've ever met are those who have never started anything.

    It's not those who have strongly believed that they were interested in something, only to peter out as soon as they start. Creative and Professional Writing tend to harbor those sorts of people, and being shaken out is a natural process.

    Nor is it those who have managed to haul themselves through the arduous task of creation, or even of partial completion, to a point where they can see the top of the hill and just can't bring themselves to get here.

    These are like the runners who come up last in the Tour De France peloton. Sure, you're last of the main group, but you've accomplished something. Anything you've done, however bad, remains something that wasn't there before.

    It's the people holding on to that perfect idea, that intense ideal of narrative structure, that drive me crazy. The people who are so enamored of the symmetry and intimate character structures revealed in their plot arcs that they can harp on at you about it for hours, telling you about the day that they'll forward its conclusion to you on Facebook.

    I'm reminded of two separate occasions.

    Three years ago, I'd written half of a book, and met a guy at a party. Full disclosure, mine was set several hundred years in the future, after the resource depletion and subsequent abandonment of Earth. Like many things humans do, the abandonment came late, and mankind shrank in nonatmospheric exile, looking for a new home.

    Blah blah fucking blah, am I right? What's the story there? Well, there is one, and I'd already written half of it. Fifty thousand words, more fantasy than sci-fi - a fact I admitted to straight up - but that didn't matter.

    The guy who'd written nothing mattered. He told me about his concepts. They were ideologically pure, paradigm-shifting earth-bound dramas, rich in personalization yet narratively flexible to permit the filtering through of the complete vision.

    It kind of already annoys me to recount the second anecdote - let's just say it involved W.B Yeats, a "structure reminiscent of the Canterbury tales only more elegant," and a "post Ellis-ian hang of perceptivist description." By that he meant Bret Easton Ellis. I hated it more for the reference to a writer I liked.

    It annoyed me, and it still does.

    I've written two whole books. One blows. One requires heavy, heavy editing, including cutting and switching, but otherwise it's much more solid than the first. It might even be readable in the end. Having said that, I've written a hundred and seventy thousand words in the first, and sixty thousand in the second. And if there's a single thing I've learned in the exercise of producing dross, it's that your ideas don't survive impact with the page.

    I'm a Nanowrimo fan. I believe in the project. Every November, I embark on a personal project to write 50,000 words within the timeframe of 30 days. I do it. This will be the first year I don't.

    I admit it - I don't write well. Or haven't so far, working within the parameters of a contest I choose. At least not at the best level I can possibly reach. But at the very least I'm able to get those ideas out of my head and admit to others that I haven't written the next structurally perfect novel.

    My characters make mistakes and overlook things - in part that's the idea, and in part I'm an idiot and forget minor details. My plot arcs have fizzled out once or twice, and needed to be re-done.

    Write it, you fucker. Write like a demon, see your ideas collapse. Then talk to me. Pen to paper, fingers to keyboard.

    Fight your limits, lose to them, then please complain to me. That's when I'll relate.
    Last edited by T-6005; 09-11-2011 at 12:04 AM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Symmetry, asymmetry.

    No, thank you, I'll stay with funny one-liners, effectiveness all the way. And do I have to say that I hate you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    As an author who has both finished and not finished many books, I can relate to this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Fuckin' Bible belt....


    When I was 16, I decided to write a long fanfiction as a practice run, just to see if I had the dedication to actually write a novel-length story. It was easier than starting from scratch because I had pre-existing characters to work with, so it was kind of like using a walkthrough when playing a video game --- a tutorial level, if you will

    Anyway, I ended up finishing it after about 2 years. It was just over 300,000 words, and it's actually still up somewhere on (although it's nowhere near as good as I wanted it to be, at least not in the beginning). I was really psyched because I actually managed to stick through the whole process....but it was also kind of depressing, because at the end of the day, all I have is this grotesquely lengthy fanfic that I can never really do much with. I mean, I can't publish or sell it. It's just gonna sit up there on that website forever.

    Although I did recently start on an original work, and I got a good ways into it, but then I choked myself into a corner on the plot of the second arc, and I had to scrap it (that arc, not the whole story thank goodness) and start over. That left me feeling a little discouraged (it was a long arc...) and I haven't worked on it in about a year. That's also partly due to other developments, though, such as college and musical endeavors.

    I just hate not having time to write, really, because I have this awesome idea in my head that I know can work, and it keeps picking up steam the longer I hold onto it --- every now and then a new dimension gets added, or a new twist here, or a new character there, or something --- and I basically have an entire volume completely worked out in my head, I'm just afraid I'll lose it if I wait too long. But on the bright side, if it's managed to stick around for two years and not break up in my head, then I guess that's a good sign
    "I'm sorry
    For all the things that I never did
    For all the places I never was
    For all the people I never stopped
    But there was nothing I could do...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Czech Republic


    No opinion about writing, but I totally agree with you in an unrelated way. What's been annoying me lately is the number of people who are buying extremely expensive photography equipment, saying they're gonna learn to take photos, and start a photography company... so they start taking some shitty pictures without doing any practical reading or checking out what makes a good photo. They get criticized or just don't get any business, and they quit without ever learning a thing and make excuses for it. I'm no photographer by any means, but this is driving me nuts lately.

    It seems very common in all arts, though. Buy a musical instrument, never actually learn to play it, let alone learn an entire song. And sure, if you just realize you don't like it, fair enough... but that's not the case most of the time.

    I, however, hate writing. I used to be fairly good at it in school, but I just don't enjoy it. So I'll never take on a writing project by choice.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Riga, Latvia


    I'm too out ofs wsxhaape to find the line, but I know someone said that he/she was a decent at writing essays at school and then the wrinting "career"has ended. My comment to hthat would be :
    What you have to and do writne in school has a very little to do with creativity it is more of what your incomplete being thinks is gooed enough to put on paper nad what teacher would check if it nmeakes rationael teenager logic sense and not too much grammar errotrs. It'scompletelu nothing what writing is about.
    Before you speak think about what you're trying to say.
    Who else is there to blame for miscommunication?

  7. #7


    Maybe you should become a scriptwriter. A script is inherently easier to write than a book. If you have the talent but not the will it's time to look at how you could benefit in other areas while doing what you're good at and being true to yourself. Do it for peace.

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