Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#1
Hello! I've only gotten around to using my Royal Road account now, and while I'm still working on my first piece of fiction, I need to ask you folks one thing:
What, for you, is the hardest thing in a story to write?
Giving others advice on how to write this "hardest thing" are welcome!

For me, the most difficult part of a story when it comes to actually writing it is the introduction. I don't want to bore my readers, but how am I supposed to do it when the introduction is just narrating the start of the protagonist's day and seeing the weird new transfer student introduce herself?

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#3
For me making actual events happen is the hardest.  Especially the small scale events that are mostly there for fun and flavor, and aren't really key to any of the higher level stuff like the theme or the main plot or major character development.  I could wemble on for pages of introspection and worldbuilding infodump if I didn't put effort into making some kind of action happen regularly.

Writing serial fiction adds difficulty because the format kind of pressures us to get it right the first time rather than going back to edit.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#4
Honestly for me, it's making up names of the towns, villages, characters, and heroes in my story. Though other than that, it's putting together and linking the events that transpired within your story to satisfy both the plot and the readers. You have to tape up the plot holes and link together different events, putting them in a timeline and end it with a satisfying(or heartbreaking) conclusion.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#5
World building is challenging for me. When I look back at fantasy stories I've written there is pretty much nothing as far as world building goes. Maybe I have two locations and the journey from and to... but I couldn't draw a map of it. I'm very character driven.

Aside from that, despite having the end of the story be the reason I write a fic, connecting the middle of the story to the planned ending is the toughest part I think.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#8
Comedy.
I'm just terrible.
Funny enough I'm actually quite comical when I don't even try or meant to be funny, and yet when I make a concerted effort it's usually cringey or just a terrible pun.
Perhaps it's because I tend to make things unnecessarily deep while being ambiguous about it, so I try to balance it with lighter elements. Otherwise the only other hardest part for me would be not going overboard with details, at least all at once.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#9
Chryiss Wrote: Comedy.
I'm just terrible.
Funny enough I'm actually quite comical when I don't even try or meant to be funny, and yet when I make a concerted effort it's usually cringey or just a terrible pun.
Perhaps it's because I tend to make things unnecessarily deep while being ambiguous about it, so I try to balance it with lighter elements. Otherwise the only other hardest part for me would be not going overboard with details, at least all at once.


I have this problem IRL, I cannot imagine myself trying to write something comedic, although I did attempt a "side quest" in Raven: The Beginning that was supposed to be a comedic quest line. I'm not sure how it went (no review on that particular chapter).

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#10
sunandshadow Wrote: For me making actual events happen is the hardest.  Especially the small scale events that are mostly there for fun and flavor, and aren't really key to any of the higher level stuff like the theme or the main plot or major character development.  I could wemble on for pages of introspection and worldbuilding infodump if I didn't put effort into making some kind of action happen regularly.

Writing serial fiction adds difficulty because the format kind of pressures us to get it right the first time rather than going back to edit.

Whew, this. I actually stalled for two weeks on a chapter because I'm kind of trying to hurry things along and get to the bulk of my tale, but I also feel like I'm doing 90mph through what should be more establishing moments. My characters walk from point A to point B in a single page because I don't want the pacing to drag and I don't know what I would put in between point A and B, but then I read back through it and feel like things move too fast and aren't descriptive enough.

That's my other one. I'm really good at dialogue, according to my old professors and several acquaintances. But that comes wholly at the price of being awful at describing places and characters. I don't want to front-load a character introduction with "THIS IS LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE PHYSICAL DETAIL ABOUT THIS CHARACTER", and I don't want to be too long-winded with environments, but then I come back through and wonder if I described anything well enough to give the reader ... any indication of what I was thinking of. This isn't helped when I read published novels and they have two or three pages without dialogue, and I can't seem to go one page before everyone has to have a chat. Unless there's a fight, then I can manage two or three pages of actions. 

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#11
sunandshadow Wrote: For me making actual events happen is the hardest.  Especially the small scale events that are mostly there for fun and flavor, and aren't really key to any of the higher level stuff like the theme or the main plot or major character development.  I could wemble on for pages of introspection and worldbuilding infodump if I didn't put effort into making some kind of action happen regularly.

Writing serial fiction adds difficulty because the format kind of pressures us to get it right the first time rather than going back to edit.


Admittedly, I can relate to this too. I have a bunch of checkpoints in my outline plus a bunch of "set pieces" (like my characters and McGuffins), but for the most part I bum rush and improvise based on what I have. I would have a very set-up for the conflict but the moment I try to top that I just get messy and exhausted trying to give my story its own place.
Or, like in a Filipino-language novel I've put on hiatus, I have a particular set of events, but I can't make them connect each other coherently-- or, at least, I have a way to connect these events, but I don't know how to let it be known to the reader that there is a reasoning behind these events without spoiling the greater plot of it.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#12
vagueposting Wrote:
sunandshadow Wrote: For me making actual events happen is the hardest.  Especially the small scale events that are mostly there for fun and flavor, and aren't really key to any of the higher level stuff like the theme or the main plot or major character development.  I could wemble on for pages of introspection and worldbuilding infodump if I didn't put effort into making some kind of action happen regularly.

Writing serial fiction adds difficulty because the format kind of pressures us to get it right the first time rather than going back to edit.


Admittedly, I can relate to this too. I have a bunch of checkpoints in my outline plus a bunch of "set pieces" (like my characters and McGuffins), but for the most part I bum rush and improvise based on what I have. I would have a very set-up for the conflict but the moment I try to top that I just get messy and exhausted trying to give my story its own place.
Or, like in a Filipino-language novel I've put on hiatus, I have a particular set of events, but I can't make them connect each other coherently-- or, at least, I have a way to connect these events, but I don't know how to let it be known to the reader that there is a reasoning behind these events without spoiling the greater plot of it.

Do you have a process or a series of thoughts you go through when making the checkpoints or when starting to write toward a new checkpoint?

As for trying to deliver enough info but not too much, there are two common ways I've seen it done.  Either leave some puzzling "calling card" associated with the events, which can be anything from a rose to graffiti to spatters of blue paint to the distinct smell of eucalyptus... or have a character who knows they're a connection, says so, but refuses to explain or gets interrupted before they can explain.  I suppose the main character could also dream that there is a connection, if i's a magic realism or supernatural setting where true dreams are a thing.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#13
Style and Grammar.

It's the habit of perfectionism. I'm always thinking my message and intent isn't clear enough. I'm not saying I need to dump exposition, but sometimes I just want my work to look good and flow well. Like, if you printed a page from it and stuck it into an actual novel, only after reading halfway would the person notice that it is a completely separate piece of paper.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#16
^ I agree with Strange Teapot( awesome username btw) - Just keeping the writing consistent and pushing out interesting content is the most difficult part for me. Things like thinking about what my characters might do in a certain situation or how they react are exciting, however, it's hard getting to that point while meandering through the storyline. Also, I tend to write when I'm inspired -- which makes it difficult to keep going through a slump. *shrugs*

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#17
Rainli Wrote: ^ I agree with Strange Teapot( awesome username btw) - Just keeping the writing consistent and pushing out interesting content is the most difficult part for me. Things like thinking about what my characters might do in a certain situation or how they react are exciting, however, it's hard getting to that point while meandering through the storyline. Also, I tend to write when I'm inspired -- which makes it difficult to keep going through a slump. *shrugs*

I can get behind this too. Although, I feel like since I've started trying to produce a chapter per week to keep afloat on here my overall quality has taken a bit of a hit. Being under pressure to be consistent with posting is difficult. I don't know how people can update TWICE A WEEK in some cases.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#18
I used to struggle with word count. I'm too concise. But the more I've read, the more I've realised I like dense writing. Even if details are missed, its fine.

As for now... the worst thing is when I want to write something further on in the story. When I have a gap and I can't skip it, but I'm stuck (or slow) writing it.

Its exacerbated when I run into things I have no experience of. Like, none. Oops.

I've come to see that even if what I want to write doesn't fit neatly, its better to write it while I've got the spark. Worst case I had fun writing. 

Second to that I'd say the prologue. I think its important for my story, but immediately starting slow is counter intuitive. Its tricky to make it compelling. I might even try to get rid of the prologue later.

Re: Most difficult part of the story to write?

#19
For me the most difficult parts of the story to write vary depending on the story itself. Most often it is the introduction, that balance between informing the readers of the world you're writing in and grabbing their attention is a hard line to walk. However, in children's novels I feel I have more of a knack for introductions. In children's novels the climax is the hard part, because I want to make sure the hero does not only the logical thing, but the right thing. Or, at least, the best possible thing he could have done in that moment that helps the most people possible.