Story blockage! D:

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Moonlance, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Moonlance

    Moonlance New Member

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    I know this ['story blockage'] might be such a minimum issue for writers, and probably minor particularly for the more experienced ones.

    Yet, I have strong reasons to suspect it is also a fundamental issue; which affects most humans, therefore most writers too; therefore most writers of Fantasy, of course.



    If you have ever suffered from story blockage for some-any amount of time (especially while developing a Fantasy story at any stage),
    what did you do, or what do you do, to try to overcome the, mainly I think, inspirational difficulties?
    Which particular kind of devices ought to trigger prominent imagination back to life?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  2. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I think this is highly individual. I don't believe in "writer's block" myself but I know plenty of writers who do. Personally, I only work on a story if I'm inspired to write it. If inspiration flags at some point I put it aside for awhile. I'll only go back to it if I'm inspired to finish it. My experience has been that I usually am inspired to finish most of my stories sooner or later and in the meantime I've got lots of other stuff to work on so I don't feel guilty about leaving it for awhile. I don't think there's any point in forcing myself to write if I'm not inspired and I sure can't force myself to be inspired either. For me anyway, inspiration usually strikes randomly (which is always inconvenient...lol). I actually keep a file on my computer called "cool story ideas" where I jot down ideas as they come to me. That way the details are there when I have time to write.
     
  3. Moonlance

    Moonlance New Member

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    You're right, Faerlind. :)

    Actually, 'story blockage' was an inaccurate concept I've brang here, while trying to develop the deeper problematic.
    It is not about 'story blockage', but about the normal moments of non inspiration (so a more broad thing), and which approaches may exist to it.

    In this sense, the approach you've explosed is rather interesting, because you don't look at the issue particularly as a problem.
    In the opposite hand, the approach I had suggested in the topic (and I didn't realised it clearly until hours ago!) was actually a remnant of professionalism-productivism-haunting-phantom I have been in contact for past years.



    Thank you for sharing your own experience, it helped me to reshape my own reality.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  4. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    And that's a problem for a lot of writers that I know too. I can't count the number of times they've said to me: "I just want to finish something." or "I forced myself to sit down and finish it." They feel like they're wasting their time if they're not writing and then they feel guilty. I think that's ridiculous. There's nothing worse in my opinion than wasting time staring at a blank page or putting boring, uninspired crap down upon it because you feel that you have to. Go for a walk, vacuum, fold laundry or clean the bathroom! While you're doing these mindless things: daydream. Good stories are mostly written before they ever see pen to paper or a computer keyboard. :)
     
  5. Moonlance

    Moonlance New Member

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    It is complicated.

    Because:
    in one hand, there is the capitalism philosophy (optimize production for profit, despite human costs [and this seems to happen to writers too!]);
    in the other hand, there is the genuine 'genius', or at least, the obsessive creative mind (a bit rare today proportionally, let me add), who usually does only care for a 'spiritual' profit; a 'spiritual' capital that is neither financial, material nor social capital; maybe it's an intelectual capital after all, I don't know; that's why I'm calling it 'spiritual captial' for now.


    In the professional fields, it seems normal that it is a tendency to follow the capitalism philosophy in what concerns productivity, because mainly of competition, and need of money. It is therefore, understandable (in our society context). But it is not acceptable! a primitive civilization is... just primitive!

    While in the amateur field (of writing), it might be 'contradictory', to think with a capitalism philosophy.
    Of course there is a logic in this; but it is NOT clearly exposed; otherwise you would understand the case of your fellows; and myself I've met several people with the same.... sympthoms!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  6. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I wouldn't say that I don't understand the state of not being inspired to write or that I don't understand the idea that if someone who relies on their writing for their financial welfare quits writing publishable stuff, they could get into financial trouble. I understand what you mean perfectly.

    I can't speak for anyone else because everyone is different. For myself, I can't force an idea to pop into my head or force a quality story onto a page. Your original post suggests to me that you're asking how to do that when you're uninspired to write so you don't ever quit writing. What I'm trying to tell you from my experience is that I've never had to because I don't regard it as a problem.
    Stress is the biggest killer of creativity in my opinion. If I stress and worry over a lack of productivity, that only makes me less "productive" and less likely to think freely because my mind is preoccupied with other concerns. I get around that by being productive in other ways and I find that the mental state of being uninspired never lasts long if it ever shows up at all.
    The other thing to consider is that creativity can extend into other facets of life, not just writing. A lot of writers I know are also artists, actors/actresses, are into producing films and some of them solve their day to day life problems in extremely original and creative ways. Their brains are completely engaged in imagining something almost all of the time. In short, creativity isn't something they engage in once in awhile or just when they sit down to write, it's a way of life. That's another reason I don't believe in writer's block: the focus has just shifted to something else for awhile. Sooner or later it will shift back.
    As for getting into financial trouble when the creative focus is elsewhere: there is a way to avoid that: work in another job or career. Most writers do and those that are compelled and inspired to write will find the time to do what they love anyway. There are very few who can rely solely on writing for their income and even getting traditionally published doesn't guarantee that. That's unfortunate, but it's reality.
     
  7. Moonlance

    Moonlance New Member

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    Yes, actually I didn't know wether the writers you know and who try do that 'intense productivity' are in an amateur context or in a professional context. You are right to make the correction in this sense. Besides, maybe knowing in which context they are, would help me to verify my latter hypothesis ("in one hand...; in the other hand..."). Of course, I'm certain you understand* very well, and we all understand, the situation of 'optimizing production' that might occur usually to the professional writer or willing-to-be professional writer; what I'm not sure about though, is why that productivity philosophy might even affect amateurs in some way! (like I've catched it right away affecting my own behavior!); it is rather suspicious! maybe I've just been in the past in a creative professional area (Animation, Arts) for too long and am still influenced by old (and bad) habits in someway, examined in the next paragraph [STRESS].

    *Yes, I was just trying to make a distinction. Sorry for the bit ahead of time from my part there.


    STRESS:
    In my opinion, stress, generally speaking, I agree with you in this point, is probably a creativity killer; especially I think, big stresses, and prolongated stresses, because they tend to close lots of doors (even though it may open new ones). But I also believe that a certain, small dose of stress may actually improve, in some particular cases, creativity. I'm not saying anyone should get stressed in such way for the sake of creativity! But an interesting example of this I'm saying might be: in the Comics area, I know there is some kind of anual festivity self-creativity development contest, which is called 24-Hour Comic Day. The results are frequently interesting because the individual is incited to do experiments in a certain way he or she maybe wouldn't do in a normal situation. Of course, hopefully, it's not something for a life! That would be terrible! And is there that I agree with you that, in general, stress is more likely a creativity killer; particularly big stresses, prolongated stresses.



    OTHER CREATIVE AREAS:
    I think you're right to note that each creative activity have its own particular system.
    For example, for an actor or actress: (1) there is (usually) body movement involved in the creative process; (2) also, it's (usually) a work in group-process (not a solitary work [usually!] of writer's activity).
    Therefore (1) and (2) provides such system with its own complexity.
    However, I suspect that the stress, in general, will maintain its fundamentals while affecting creative individuals, despite the system differences, which will have its influence of course.
    Not to cite again, as you've mentioned in the beggning, how each individual functions.

    Therefore, "I know that I know nothing". :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013