giveamouse: Chocolate chip cookie (Default)
[personal profile] giveamouse posting in [community profile] writers
Hi, everyone! I just joined this community, and wanted to introduce myself by mentioning an idea that can help inspire writing, if you've dried up.

A friend of mine elsewhere on the 'net has been agonizing over an idea for a novel for several years now - trying to work out the characters and plot points and such, but has made very little measurable progress on writing it. Last week, it finally occurred to me that his angst over this particular work, and his efforts at trying to make it good (for some unreasonably high definition of good) was getting in the way of writing anything at all.

So I issued him this challenge: Set that story aside, and write me something terrible. It should suck in every way possible - bad characters, weak plot, lame dialogue, ad nauseum. Nobody should *want* to read it. It needs to be ten pages of suckitude that sucks mountains through a drinking straw, and you have exactly one week to do it in.

Because if you try too hard to make a story good it can have a completely paralyzing effect. What better way to get the muse back in the room than to deliberately make something that sucks? Without the emotional investment, the writing should be easier.

And some part of it might turn out to have redeeming value, despite your best efforts at deliberate failure. After all, writing something bad can be better than writing nothing at all!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-04 09:04 am (UTC)
sterling: (Turks Thumbs Up)
From: [personal profile] sterling
Good advice! There's definitely some value to "just getting it down on paper" before messing with editing or agonizing over word choice. If you want a fancier way to say "He was mad" then go back later and spice it up a bit. Just jot down the basic idea as it rolls through your mind and move on.

Some people have to draft the entire story (without revisions) before hitting edit mode. All in all, trying different things is sure to yield different results -- so no one should be afraid to experiment. ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-05 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rebelliouswhitequeen
Actually, I do something similar to what you just said.

I often have ideas I thought it would work, but then when I do try to write it, it sucks and if I'm not pissed enough to delete it, I'd just leave it alone. I might revise it later, or of nothing else, use the idea for another fic. Said other fic is usually "better" because then I would have learned from the last fic I tried to write what does and doesn't work. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-04 03:26 pm (UTC)
pendency: dog (Default)
From: [personal profile] pendency
I adore this idea!

How did he go with writing the 'something bad'?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-04 04:41 pm (UTC)
sincere: DGM: Lenalee's back to the viewer (troubling price tag ;;)
From: [personal profile] sincere
That's an amazing idea. If I ever have a block where I feel like nothing I write is good enough, I will definitely be trying this. Writing something so terrible that it makes me want to punch myself in the face for doing that to my awesome characters seems like it certainly should cure my inability to feel like I can write them well. XD

(Of course, most of my writing failure comes from inertia and an inability to get started. But that doesn't make this less epic advice.)


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