Re: How can I write more?

#1
Most stories I read online have chapters that exceed 1000 words, but whenever I try to write, every word past 500 becomes exponentially more difficult. I find that if I try and make chapters longer the quality goes down, additionally I start writing and a go off on a tangent which disrupts the flow of my story. Do you have any advice or tips for me, on how I can make longer paragraphs, and make my stories flow better?

Re: How can I right more?

#3
This is something that will improve with practice. When I first started writing, I wrote shorter chapters than I do now, mostly because I wanted the satisfaction of being "done" with something. As you write more (and read more) you'll naturally have more to say.

I'd consider allowing yourself to go off on those tangents though, then judge the quality later. Even if the end up cutting the content in a later draft, at least you let your imagination run wild. Not only will this give you more writing practice, you might also get some good world-building, characterization, descriptions, or dialog you can re-repurpose for later scenes. If you're serious about improving your writing, it's very unlikely you'll look back and see that as a waste of time.

Re: How can I right more?

#4
Wrote: This is something that will improve with practice. When I first started writing, I wrote shorter chapters than I do now, mostly because I wanted the satisfaction of being "done" with something. As you write more (and read more) you'll naturally have more to say.

I'd consider allowing yourself to go off on those tangents though, then judge the quality later. Even if the end up cutting the content in a later draft, at least you let your imagination run wild. Not only will this give you more writing practice, you might also get some good world-building, characterization, descriptions, or dialog you can re-repurpose for later scenes. If you're serious about improving your writing, it's very unlikely you'll look back and see that as a waste of time.


Yes, the best thing to do is to just keep writing and let the story come out. Do not focus so much on the length but on whether the story you want to tell is the one being laid down on the page. Final touches and edits can be saved for later, when the important part is done. 

Re: How can I right more?

#5
It might help to think of them as scenes rather than chapters. A scene doesn't have to be 5000 words; it can be whatever length it needs to be. After you have a few scenes, bundle them together, adding text to link them if necessary (e.g., "The next day...").

Ideally, the scenes in a chapter are related somehow, but even with professional authors, it has more to do with the passage of time and the point-of-view character than anything else.

Then, read through the whole thing as if it was something written by someone else. When you're reading it, are the scenes the right length? Or are they too short? By "too short", I don't mean the word count, but how the scenes feel when you approach them as a reader rather than a writer. If they're too short, why? Do they end too abruptly? Is there not enough happening in the scene? Is there not enough descriptive text? As you think through the issues, you can apply what you've learned when you write later scenes.

Don't try to do your final draft during your first draft. Get the words down first, then revisit them multiple times (with breaks in between to clear your head).

I have, on occasion, deleted a 3000-word scene immediately after writing it because when I approached it as a reader, it either didn't add anything to the story or it just didn't fit.

EDIT: After posting this, I realized this thread is over a month old. Oops.

Re: How can I right more?

#6
IvyVeritas Wrote: Don't try to do your final draft during your first draft. Get the words down first, then revisit them multiple times (with breaks in between to clear your head).
...
EDIT: After posting this, I realized this thread is over a month old. Oops.

It's never too late to give advice. :)

I stress this. I write in four steps.

First, I write the outline of the chapter. There's like 4-6 single sentences (not even full sentences) saying what I think should happen.

Then, I write the various scenes. Sometimes, I reorganize them. Sometimes I move one to a chapter before or after.

Then, you let simmer; you write more chapters.

Then, the third is revisiting the chapter in light of what happens later. You fix events, timelines, etc.

Then, you let simmer again, preferably a couple weeks.

And then you try a final cleanup pass to reread the chapter and tweak it a little bit, maybe.

(and then, of course, comes normally editing after you get external feedback on what you wrote)

But the main important passes are the first two (or second, if you don't do the global outline). Write your first pass, then once you've "enough", move to the next chapter. Don't try to polish it immediately.

At least, that how I work.

Re: How can I right more?

#7
I honestly think that you shouldn't write more than what you feel comfortable with. Some people publish 3 short chapters instead of one long chapter. If you ever find yourself trying to make the chapter longer but struggling, it's a sign that you should just be happy with what you've written so far. Atleast that's how I write.