All of us struggle with things regarding creation of a story, whether it is about putting soul into characters, knowing when to show or tell, actually recognizing the difference of the two, let alone telling them apart, coming up with branches for the plot, not knowing enough fancy English words and more. I'm interested to hear what you people wrestle with in your writing. Personally, the whole show/tell thing and lack of cool looking sentences is tediously hard to me. First one because I cannot tell them apart. Second because fancy words are numerous and hard to find.
Owning a thesaurus does not a writer make. Unless you are working for NaNoWriMo, it is a bad idea to use two words where one would do, a fancier word where a simpler one would work and trying to be memorable rarely is when it comes to word choice (unless you are Shakespeare, in which case you invent vocabulary to survive centuries). So the point is, don't sweat that part about fancy words. Only use them when necessary, and not because you think you should. My biggest problem is describing the scenery. I give some token effort to explaining where the characters are, but they may as well be sitting in front of a crude painting in a children's museum while they are having whatever emotional or action-packed moment they are having now.
I tend to ramble a lot, and in my ramblings I fail to separate sentences and paragraphs correctly resulting in long stringing sentences that are a pain to read. Luckily for me this is relatively easy to manage with lots of revisions and the help of an objective person who isn't afraid to consign chunks to the cutting room floor.
Show, or not to show? That is the question. Is showing not explicitly saying what is happening, like instead of telling "The room is really empty", you could actually describe the loneliness of the room.
Mustelidae = awesome
Getting into my characters' heads and figuring out what they would do in any given situation.
Windmill, windmill for the land / Is everybody in?
Writing natural sounding dialogue, I tend to think of my writing in an overly simplified way (in terms of story/scene structure) and natural dialogue doesn't work well with that mindset. Showing would be saying the room is empty, and implying the loneliness through other aspects. Telling would just be flat out saying that the character is lonely.
"I drank the blood of angels from a bottle, just to see if I could call the lightning down."
Giant alien spiders are no joke.
Getting out of the pre-production phase and actually start writing the damned thing.
"Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." - R. W. Raymond
Thunder, Perfect Mind
In descending order of importance.
- I procrastinate horribly.
- I find it hard to improve myself.
- I fear failure.
- I am pretentious.
- I overwrite.
- I cannot let go of loose characters.
- I lack clarity when I most need it.
- I fret about stupid things.
Owner of Dead End
My problem is mainly how to put the stuff in my mind into words on the paper/word processor. Or maybe how I seem to change plans way too much. Or that I only have the general stuff planned out in my head, or that I can't really write actual scenes down... Yup I have a whole lot of problems when it comes to actually writing stuff down.
"And you must be Jonathan Joestar!" - Sue
Southern Style Scribe
Aye-yai-yai. Where do I begin? 1. Deep, deep depression. 2. Procrastination. 3. Mental masturbation to fantasies of universal acceptance. 4. Concerns about storytelling ability.
I violate 'show don't tell' all the time. Also, I have trouble looking at my writing from the audience's point of view, which can result in it being confusing and having bad pacing.
I usually say "screw everything, show and tell." I overwrite, and I have problems with making the story flows: It usually flows way too fast or way too slowly.
Writer's Welcome Wagon
We had this kind of thread before. For me, I procrastinate (most writers seem to have that tendency), I usually write scenes longer than they should last, and I'm bad at using fresh descriptors for dialogue, or figuring out how to naturally exclude them.
This is a title.
My problem is that I'm just too good. Seriously though, like chihuahua said, procrastination. Also, I sometimes have trouble stringing scenes together. I have tons of ideas for characters and scenarios, dialogue, etc. But putting them together into one cohesive whole can be beyond me at times.
edited 9th Apr '13 2:59:10 PM by Eagal
The madness is catching.
I drown the action in dialogue. Once I get my characters to stop chatting with each other, I can write it just fine, but getting there...They talk. All the time. Most of it probably isn't even witty. Apart from that, I find it difficult to properly develop female characters. And I'm hopeless at developing romance. Also, I'm very longwinded and I procrastinate too much, I get distracted from the actual writing by doing illustrations, I have difficulties putting together sub-plots to carry the story, I get caught up in writing random scenes and dialogue rather than the story itself. And I haven't written anything decent in almost two months. ...Why am I even trying?
edited 9th Apr '13 3:06:55 PM by montmorencey
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
What does "procrastination" even mean in this context?
Well, since I don't have any deadlines to keep, for me it means mostly that 'write random scenes rather than work on the story' thing. I sit down fully intending to finally write that rotten first chapter in one piece - but then I get some idea for how to call back to that situation later on, or just some random piece of dialogue floats into my mind... ...and off I am to another 20 pages of randomness and my first chapter still has not moved one bit. Or I start sketching a character. Which is something I absolutely need to do, because that's how I create and develop them - but I tend to get distracted by it beyond the point where it is useful for character development. Also, I have been putting off doing my research, which means that I can't really write at the moment for lack of, well, research. I need to get to it.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
I guess procrastination isn't really something I do when writing, then.
I have troubles keeping my characterization consistent, and a lot of my characters tend to sound the same. Above all else, however...I have trouble actually writing anything down. I'll spend the majority of a day coming up with some random idea, only to have it never leave my head.
I'm gonna race for the morning sun; I can't wait for the day that's on it's way....
First Loyalty: Yourself
Above all else, however...I have trouble actually writing anything down. I'll spend the majority of a day coming up with some random idea, only to have it never leave my head.You Are Not Alone, friend. My other major problems are as follows:
Embroiled in slave rebellion, I escaped crucifixion simply by declaring 'I am Vito', everyone else apparently being called 'Spartacus'.
I get too fond of my characters, which makes it hard to drop shit on them and makes me sometimes linger too long on the details of their psyches and lives rather than getting on with the story. I used to think I had a procrastination problem, but I've come to realize that's just an excuse I told myself to avoid writing when I found myself uncertain of what to do next. "Yeah, I could totally write that next chapter, I'll do it later," really meant, "I have no idea what I want to do with this next chapter but I don't have enough self-esteem to admit it and work through my problem." It's a mental trap I still fall in from time to time, but less frequently lately. And sometimes I get into ruts — an alarming number of which I only find my way out of after consuming copious amounts of alcoholic beverages. "If stuck, get drunk" is occasionally fun, but not a viable long-term strategy for my life or wallet.
"A rational enemy is better than a foolish friend." -Arab proverb
Interestingly, procrastination seems to be a common problem. This gets less surprising when you consider you do the writing for fun, at your free time.
My weakness is descriptions. Scenery, clothing, stuff like that. It's part of why I lean towards comics/manga styled stories, 'cause I can just draw them.
So you never get the whole you know exactly what should happen next, but you don't want to because it's just a bridge (boring, but necessary) and you're not quite sure how to fill it out to make it interesting?
Aussie Tolkien freak
I have problems with show vs tell which keep on recurring. That and "what do I do to fill in the gaps."
The road goes ever on.