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 Friggin Chapter!

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Tenna
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PostSubject: Friggin Chapter!   Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:24 pm

I know what I want to happen in this chapter of my story, but for some reason I just can't write it. I always have the window open to work on it, but I just can't write it. Or I write something and change my mind because it's too long and not how I wanted the scene to go. This chapter is like over 3000 words and it's not even finished.

It's probably giving me trouble because it's actual plot things I have to write. Not Troopers playing on a playground. I got that scene covered.
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Daennika
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:48 am

Sounds like you're in a slight block, here's what I do when I can't put words on my thoughts.

Write a very "dumb" sum up of what you know should happen next, in very bad grammar and poor choice of words, using present tense too. I put that thing between brackets and let my characters "act it out" like it's a movie script, but they will improvise as they go because they're so talented. It usually works but it needs to be short or else you'll get stuck writing that too.
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:11 am

The chapter summary method is really helpful, whether you have no idea where the chapter is going, or if you DO know and things just aren't working out. :D

The other thing I do is if things get too complicated to write, I force myself to rework entire scenes. I had a battle scene written out when Signe got burned by bounty hunters, but I got rid of it because it messed up the pacing, it was annoying to write, and I didn't think it was going to be important over all. I cut a Jatne part too in a later chapter. It sucks at first but once you finish the chapter, it's a relief!

Other than that, sometimes I just write the scene even if it's crappy and it doesn't make sense, then I buff it up later. Usually my dialogue works like that. >>
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Tenna
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:06 pm

Daennika wrote:
Write a very "dumb" sum up of what you know should happen next, in very bad grammar and poor choice of words, using present tense too. I put that thing between brackets and let my characters "act it out" like it's a movie script, but they will improvise as they go because they're so talented. It usually works but it needs to be short or else you'll get stuck writing that too.

I almost just want to write my chapters like that and post them. And put a lot of it in all caps.

Thank you Daennkia and Catika!

I think I got the chapter pretty much finished now.
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Ms.MaraJade
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:57 pm

Quote :
This chapter is like over 3000 words and it's not even finished.

Hi Tenna,

I know your frustrations because, technically, word count shouldn't be a factor in a chapter. It should be the what the characters have going on around them and their reactions to that. However, I have to admit that I personally strive to hit about 4000-5000 words per chapter so if you're at 3000 and it seems long, don't worry about it! Very Happy

I actually get frustrated when I ONLY hit 3000 words in a chapter! Laughing Then, I have to decide if I need to combine chapters into one or if I can expand the one I'm currently doing.

One my chapters is currently over 6000 words, and I have no intentions to split it or delete from it. What is going on in that chapter is a key scene and needs to take place as it is. (For anyone following the Knight of Honor story, I'm looking at making it Chapter 7 when its time comes.)

So, I hoped I helped a little with your concern. Just write what the characters want you to. Trust them. They'll let you know. Wink

Along Daennika's strategy, I use a similar one: I write a paragraph outlining what the scene is about and what's supposed to happen in it. Sometimes I only write dialogue in the paragraph, sometimes it's a scene, and sometimes it's both. But, brainstorm! Write down every idea...good or bad. I have tons of scraps...somes paragraphs long. Just keep picking at things. Eventually something will click, and you'll have a virtual palette of words and sentences to use when the need arises. Wink Good luck!!
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Tenna
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:55 pm

Thank you Mara!
I've never been too sure when a chapter is too long or too short so I like to hear people's opinion on chapter length.

I have a new issue that I need advice on.

I'm editing my Meat Cans story because I think it's a little confusing and I want to make it more organized. I was thinking of add/editing my subtitles for when I switch to different scenes. Instead of just stating the location I was thinking about setting up the scene more by adding a message that was sent from one character to another to give a little more background on the scene or explain it better.

It kind of seems very Karen Traviss like to me though so I'm not sure if I should do it.
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:10 pm

Hi Tenna,

Glad to be able to assist with your chapter length problem!

As for your chapter quote question...If it helps any, I've been creating my own opening chapter quotes at the start of every chapter, just as is seen in the Karen Traviss novels. I opted to do so because, initially, I was planning to make each of those quotes be a tiny story in a story. I don't think it turned out exactly like that, but I'm pleased with them anyway.

As for doing them in-between the chapter sections, there's nothing that says you can't try it. If you can come up with enough of them to stay consistent, then go for it. Writing is all about experimenting and trying new things. I never thought I would be writing special ops of any genre (least of all Star Wars), but I decided that if I didn't try it, I would never know how far I could push my limits. I started small with a special ops team in my Voltron story, and they were only in about four or five chapters -- just enough to do a top secret rescue of a main character. But, if I didn't try to do that concept, I might still be in a never-ending cycle of writing romantic drama. Very Happy

Here's one of my opening chapter quotes. (It's from the Prologue of Knight of Honor.)
I learned much about these men, born from genetics, not birth mothers. They share emotions and bonds. They are protective of their brethren. They can even be quite charming at times. Each of them is different in their own way, and they are unique individuals who should be admired for their bravery and cherished for what is within their hearts.
Private communication from Jedi Barriss Offee to Master Luminara Unduli, describing her experiences with the Clone Troopers during her time in the Republic Mobile Surgical Unit 7 (Rimsoo 7) on the planet Drongar


That came out of a brainstorm session I had where I was just writing quotes I imagined characters would have said or excerpts from journals they would have written.

Maybe you can start with that, too. Open a journal (word document, notebook, handwritten piece of paper, etc.) and just start jotting down what you hear characters saying between sections.

Good luck!!
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Wed May 13, 2009 10:34 am

i'm hi-jacking this thread to complain about how school destroyed any work ethic I had to put into my stories. I'm stuck in Order 66 with Signe and Law because I can't get the scene to work--mostly because I think Signe is completely unlikable. I guess I could always post a short chapter because I have three other scenes written, but I didn't catch up with Sigma or Signe in either of them. In fact, Sigma is giving me trouble too, but that's mostly due to my own over-complication of their situation. >>

Then in my Mandalorian story, Unfold, I'm just sort of lazy. I have ideas for where I want it to go, but I'm going to have to spend the rest of the chapter calling two characters "Jatne" and that's just going to make me angry.

BAH WRITING

Okay done ranting. Neutral


Last edited by Catika on Wed May 13, 2009 11:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Daennika
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Wed May 13, 2009 11:21 am

You seem to be caught in the same "dry" phase as I am.

With work, family business, a busy trip to Sweden and allergies I just got no energy left for creativity. It sucks to find excuses and I don't know how to get back in the right state of mind again Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Thu May 14, 2009 4:56 pm

If it's any help, I miss your characters, Catika. Laughing I'll certainly be happy to hear from them when the inspiration strikes you again. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Thu May 14, 2009 5:53 pm

That time is NOW. I'm almost done with my Order 66 chapter and it's hella long. Very Happy I'll be posting it in the next half hour or so. Then I think I have the energy to finish chapter 2 of Undone. All it took was a couple of really long walks outside to get the plot going!
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PostSubject: Re: Friggin Chapter!   Tue May 26, 2009 9:09 pm

I think I'm going to add my name to the thread. I've been stuck on the next chapter for HV and I just can't seem to... continue. Like I've hit a mental wall, or something. I had a rough road map (aka incredibly vague outline) but this next part eludes me. I just want to bash my head into a wall.

I also found that... I have a huge problem finishing things. I always have so many ideas scattered around, I find myself starting a lot of things, but never completing them.

ARGH
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