67 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

You can and should answer these prompts in your own style and voice. I do have my doubts and concerns about these kinds of tests, but if there is any legitimacy to the grading at all, it won't be ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
43 votes

Not wanting to "spoil" a story due to lack of skill

Write it. It may be as bad as you anticipate, but you can revise it. In fact, many writers do advise revision. Just not to the exclusion of doing new stuff. (And different stories.)
Mary's user avatar
  • 8,964
30 votes

The psychology of starting a piece of writing

How do you start writing? You sit down and write. No matter how trite, no matter how derivative - you write. You give it your honest best effort. Then, the next day, you give what you've written an ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
29 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

I am a discovery writer, I have been for many years, and I complete stories. Scrap your outline. Most discovery writers (including me) have struggled with what you are talking about; finding the ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
27 votes

What keeps most authors writing after receiving multiple rejections?

Welcome to the world of writers. That isn't sarcasm, by the way, that's truth. Let me tell you about my own tale, with a novel (series) called Altar of Warlords. This story has gone through a dozen ...
Fayth85's user avatar
  • 5,421
25 votes

The psychology of starting a piece of writing

Wait. I am a discovery writer, meaning, I do not outline or plot or plan ahead, except in a minor way. I often don't know where the first Act ends, or what complications and setbacks will arrive, I ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
23 votes
Accepted

I can't write without an inspiration

Let me tell you something: ALL WRITERS, OR AT LEAST THE VAST MAJORITY, HAVE EXPERIENCED THIS. Don't worry. I've experienced this before. This is something many of us as writers face. But if you wait ...
Acid Kritana's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

How can I make my book longer without it feeling like padding, while also not significantly changing the plot?

Here's my advice: don't worry about adding more just yet. It's your first draft. From my experience, it's going to get longer. Both my sister and I are working on writing books. My sister's story (a ...
lost_not_found's user avatar
22 votes

Not wanting to "spoil" a story due to lack of skill

Tolkien wrote the first drafts of what would become the Silmarillion during the first world war. He tinkered with it most of his life, writing and rewriting whole swathes of stuff. Writing something ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
  • 429
20 votes
Accepted

Not wanting to "spoil" a story due to lack of skill

Who told you it's bad to rewrite a story? That's terrible advice. No one ever publishes something without a ton of rewrites, and many well-known writers revisit similar themes over and over. It took ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
19 votes

I feel suddenly disconnected from my writing. Time for a break?

Trust your subconscious. I would say, do not stop writing, do not break your habit of writing every day. Just stop writing THAT. Do some other writerly stuff, on this project or a different one. When ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
19 votes
Accepted

How can I write GOOD work consistently?

You Don't You can't write "finished draft" quality work the first time, every time. No one can. Aim for Adequate, then Edit Instead, you can write adequate work, and then edit it into shape. ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
  • 1,890
17 votes

I love the world and characters I've created for my story, but I dislike the plot. How can I proceed?

In my opinion, you've already done a lot of the hard work. Creating the characters and well-constructed world-building leaves you open to follow endless avenues of plot. This is why fan-fiction is so ...
Rebecca Douglas's user avatar
17 votes

Creating a unique spin on a nuclear apocalypse?

I love questions like this! Here's some ideas I came up with. (And this video is also an excellent watch to learn what to avoid in this genre, so I recommend that too.) My advice, in brief, is this: ...
Sciborg's user avatar
  • 8,752
16 votes
Accepted

As a discovery writer, how do I complete an unfinished novel (which has highly diverged from the original plot ) after a time-gap?

Especially for a discovery writer, the first draft of a novel is often as much an exercise in planning the final version as it is an attempt to actually produce that final version. It may be best to ...
sesquipedalias's user avatar
16 votes

Dealing with writer's block

Skipping a scene, section or chapter that I'm struggling with is one I've used in the past and had some success with - it's better to be writing something than sat there not getting anywhere and ...
motosubatsu's user avatar
  • 7,283
16 votes

How can I make my book longer without it feeling like padding, while also not significantly changing the plot?

Some authors tend to "write short" (use the minimal possible words and then need to expand) and some tend to "write long" (write too much then need to cut) when it comes to first ...
Phil S's user avatar
  • 1,418
15 votes
Accepted

What happens when I get bored of a story I'm writing?

I think that it usually boils down to these three scenarios: At times, you simply get irritated and fed up. You reach a point in your story that you've only really thought out in broad strokes, but ...
R. Rengold's user avatar
14 votes

Dealing with inability to sustain interest in an idea

The advice is simple. Nail your butt to the couch and type. It won't always be fun, and your first draft will be very bad. If your expectation is to finish a beautiful story painlessly with a ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
14 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

Answer: To answer these sorts of prompts, particularly in the case where example answers trigger a negative response in you, I recommend the following. 1. Look for the structure of the 'perfect ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
13 votes

What keeps most authors writing after receiving multiple rejections?

What keeps writers writing is the utter impossibility of not writing. Tolkien had no hope of ever publishing The Silmarillion, yet he kept writing and rewriting and editing and re-editing it ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
13 votes

I can't write without an inspiration

I understand the feeling. However, the way to write better is to critique. Write a full scene when you aren't inspired - force yourself to finish it. Then critique it - what is missing from the scene ...
ArtickokeAndAnchovyPizzaMonica's user avatar
12 votes

The psychology of starting a piece of writing

I buy lots of papery, cheap, crappy notebooks and I get past the blank page by free-writing. I allow all that utter trite and nonsense churning around in my head to spill out onto the page and just ...
GGx's user avatar
  • 9,923
12 votes
Accepted

Overcoming "Possibility Paralysis"?

Welcome to Possibility Paralysis Anonymous! My name is Henry and I suffer from having too many ideas... You are correct in identifying that this is more than a writing issue but perhaps a little too ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
  • 10.8k
12 votes

If you're not a professional, what motivates you to keep writing?

What keeps me motivated is I like writing for its own sake, it is my hobby, it can make me laugh, it makes me feel good to have figured things out, and for crafting a piece of art. Like other people's ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
11 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

As a teacher, I never look at the examples given as 'correct answers' when we're talking about personal writing topics. Let me elaborate with two examples: a) Write an essay about Romeo and Juliet. ...
SC for reinstatement of Monica's user avatar
11 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

The only way to resolve it is to write. I'm a discovery writer too. I get excitement from just "imagining" how things could go, how the world might be, and how the character should react. Did you ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
11 votes

I keep rewriting the same section of my story. How do I move forward?

I rewrite obsessively; I have rewritten a scene a 30 times. Here is what I have learned. First: I might be trying to make this scene do too much work, so I can't get it to flow smoothly and still do ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
11 votes
Accepted

Enjoying my writing vs. maintaining writing habit

Not all advice is equally helpful to all writers. Some pieces of advice aren't even equally helpful to the same writer during different stages of the writing process. Like using a satnav, always ...
Anna A. Fitzgerald's user avatar

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