Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#1
How do people finish a story within 80k words or less?
I mean, I've read some, and it works, but how.
It's like magic. 
Even if I tried to shorten a story, I'm not sure I could get it below 125k words.
I talk a lot, and I have large stories and worlds, so that's why I can't easily write short stories.
That's what I'm bad at. I have difficulties writing shorter stories.
I haven't met any issues when it comes to switching from one kind of story to another.
Some stories I work on are documentary, science fiction, post-apocalyptic, fantasy, etc. types.
But some people can't write a certain type of story to save their life.
What is the hardest kind of story or aspect of a story for you to write?
Anything, from grammar to category. Action scenes to romance scenes.
Anything.
Do you have any kind of troubles, or are you just a jack of all trades?
https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com%2FpKZiGS...54iJCM%3Ds85

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#4
I uh, have the opposite problem. Short stories let you dig straight into the emotion, or space you're trying to go with. One of my pieces to this day is a 2.4K word short I wrote about an AI, coming online for the first time, from its perspective. I still go back and reread that from time to time.

I have issues continuing to chain things together, through highs and lows. I think my one of my stories here on RR is actually the longest contiguous piece I've ever written.

Also sometimes finding the right path between where a character is, and where I want em to go, even when I know where the go is going. Especially if its not very far to go at all.

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#6
I don't get hung up on word counts.  Especially since I have no intention of traditionally publishing anything I write.  There used to be a time when a lot of fiction was serialized and written in pulp magazines like Amazing Stories and they were short, and that was fine.  Now it seems like everyone thinks they have to write door stoppers.

I think the thing I struggle with the most is making interesting things happen in a logical, suspenseful way.  I think at my best, I can write interesting characters, dialogue and settings.  But coming up with a compelling plot can be a challenge.  I'm tempted to do a paint-by-the-numbers like plot, such as the Hero's Journey, but that can seem forced and predictable. 

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#12
@Lime_Lover If you have a plot outline of one of your existing long stories, I could probably use that to show you what parts you would leave out or summarize to get a smaller but complete story.

Me, the thing that handicaps my attempts at writing is that my brain very rarely gives me any ideas for events that might happen.  Worldbuilding, tons of ideas, characters, plenty of ideas, high level plot, almost enough ideas, but low-level details of plot?  *crickets chirping*

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#13
Writing something under 80k isn't about shortening a story to fit that word count. You actually need a story that doesn't need a lot of words to tell.

It's all about the scale of the story. In fact, I prefer working on the shorter end of a novel because I really enjoy it. I don't like long epic stories now. I've been there done that and figured out that not what I want to write. I enjoy writing short novel and novellas. It's just my happy place.

However, I still struggle to write short stories. And maybe it's because I don't always read enough of them. It might just be because they never appealed to me and they remind me of English class reading some of the most boring short stories by writers that I didn't enjoy. Poetry is also something I cannot write, I will not write it, and poets can keep on doing their thing, just don't include me in the madness.

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#14

L.J.Anders Wrote: Writing something under 80k isn't about shortening a story to fit that word count. You actually need a story that doesn't need a lot of words to tell.

Well, yes and no.  It's a real mess to try to shorten an existing long story, but if you find a point in it where one act has completed and another is going to start, that's a place it can be cut with minimal rewriting for publication as multiple volumes.  Also, if you have the outline of a story that hasn't been written yet, that's more amenable to editing for length changes.  For example to convert a novel to a screenplay sometimes you have two similar plot sequences that can be merged into one, or two side characters who are a bit redundant that can be merged into one major character.

But generally it's not harmful to have more words to sell or give away. :)

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#15

sunandshadow Wrote: If you have a plot outline of one of your existing long stories, I could probably use that to show you what parts you would leave out or summarize to get a smaller but complete story.

See, I don't really have outlines. It's better to say that my current fictions ARE an outline.....And I'm nowhere near close to being finished. I have a final and many major/minor goals and plot points, but they're all in my head. I don't really want a lobotomy, so I can't do much there. They are, however, very solidified in my head. Due to how I made my story, you could say that it quite literally took on a life of its own. I don't control it, it just happens. It's...weird. I'm weird.



L.J.Anders Wrote: Poetry is also something I cannot write, I will not write it, and poets can keep on doing their thing, just don't include me in the madness.

Oh god. I don't like poetry at all. That may be due to having been forced to sit through fancy-ass stuff all the time with my horrible ADHD. See, you can't really afford to be rude in high society? (not sure if that's the right term, but it's close enough), so you can't walk out of the room, and you can't tell somebody that what you were forced to go through was damned boring. You can't even let it show on your face. It's hell. I didn't have to do it too much, thankfully, but fancy parties legit suck if you're a kid. I don't get why people glorify this stuff. fancy things suck. I'm not kidding. I get that some people enjoy opera and stuff, but I hate it. Poetry is one of those things. I don't want to be some perfect upstanding guy, I just want to chillax and do pretty much nothing. If something sucks, I wanna be able to say it sucks.

Oh, and expectations suck. Same with being excessively praised. At least people here don't mind telling me how mediocre my story is. Which is what I want it to be. Average. Normal. Possibly even below that.
Now I'm just complaining, sorry. I swear this is related to poetry... Maybe.
I wanna live my life how I want to live it.
Peacefully.
I'm not happy with high energy fast-paced lifestyles. 
Even if I have ADHD. Which makes it worse. Just wanna relax, but I can't relax.
I wanna just stay under my blanket for the rest of time. It's safe there.
https%3A%2F%2Fi.kym-cdn.com%2Fphotos%2Fimages%2Forig...57%2Fffc.gif 
I prefer people who are blunt, especially since I'm clueless. Very clueless.
That's why I actually appreciate my friends referring to me as the smartest idiot they've ever met.
Poetry is the opposite of blunt most of the time. A lot of the poets I've met are nice but nearly nonsensical. What child knows the nuances of life? Not me. I still don't really know what it means.
Madness indeed.

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#16
My current main project was supposed to be a 60-70k story finished by the second week of december. It's... erm, considerably longer and still not finished, so ... I definitely can empathize.

I have the utmost respect for people who can write normal size novels. I am not one of those people.

As for specific things I struggle with, is it cheating to say 'storytelling'? Because I love my worlds and characters, but trying to make it into a cohesive narrative is a constant struggle at which I'm fairly certain I fail more often than not.  As far as I can tell, I've got basic sentence-level, paragraph level competence down (though I do tend toward long running sentences with too many commas, I am at least aware of that fault) and can write individual scenes which are not unpleasant to read. But things like pacing and plot development feel foreign and incomprehensible.

peodistress

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#17

Lime_Lover Wrote:
sunandshadow Wrote: If you have a plot outline of one of your existing long stories, I could probably use that to show you what parts you would leave out or summarize to get a smaller but complete story.

See, I don't really have outlines. It's better to say that my current fictions ARE an outline.....And I'm nowhere near close to being finished. I have a final and many major/minor goals and plot points, but they're all in my head. I don't really want a lobotomy, so I can't do much there. They are, however, very solidified in my head. Due to how I made my story, you could say that it quite literally took on a life of its own. I don't control it, it just happens. It's...weird. I'm weird.



I really want to argue with this... in my mind outlines are not fiction, and anything that passes as fiction cannot be called an outline except in the metaphorical sense.  And any existing piece of fiction can be easily outlined because all you really have to do us summarize each scene or chapter in a few sentences.  But yeah, obviously that would not include anything that's in your head and hasn't been written yet.  I'd assume that plot points solidified in one's head would be possible to write down, except I have found out by experience that art isn't really like that, and thoughts aren't actually words even for people who have a strong mental voice.  So, ok.  I'll reign in my analytical side here and take you at your word that you are unable to outline your story.  If you have an editor friend you might ask them to outline one of your existing pieces just for curiosity sake.  But if you're not interested that's fine too.  Being able to write is the really important thing; not so much analyzing writing, that's just my hobby.

Re: Writing difficulties for different authors.

#18

Lime_Lover Wrote: How do people finish a story within 80k words or less?
I mean, I've read some, and it works, but how.
It's like magic. 
Even if I tried to shorten a story, I'm not sure I could get it below 125k words.
I talk a lot, and I have large stories and worlds, so that's why I can't easily write short stories.
That's what I'm bad at. I have difficulties writing shorter stories.
I haven't met any issues when it comes to switching from one kind of story to another.
Some stories I work on are documentary, science fiction, post-apocalyptic, fantasy, etc. types.
But some people can't write a certain type of story to save their life.
What is the hardest kind of story or aspect of a story for you to write?
Anything, from grammar to category. Action scenes to romance scenes.
Anything.
Do you have any kind of troubles, or are you just a jack of all trades?
https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com%2FpKZiGS...54iJCM%3Ds85



I typically don't write more than 30k words, I tried to write 7200 words recently so it would fit a 40 minute run-time but I couldn't, too much to cover. I have a very short attention span and I spend more time questioning the plot and the lore than I do actually writing the story. I can't write a story which does not inherently make sense to me, I unironically believe everything I write. 

I read stories using a text-to-speech program - because I'm lazy - and I'm very fickle. 

If you want short stories they have to be "problem oriented", meaning the whole point of the story is to alleviate a specific problem, a ton of other things could be of interest but you just focus on the problem and ignore everything else, anything which does not drive the plot is just getting in the way. I write dialogue directed at the characters not at the reader, so I avoid expositions. 

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