I hate my writing!

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I hate my writing!

Postby samurai10 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:42 pm

I never get any writing done because I write one sentence and then I'm like, "Ugh, I hate that sentence" and no matter what I do, I can't stop hating it! and then 10 minutes later I'm like, "This is hopeless! My writing absolutely stinks to high heaven!" And then I give up.

Any advise on how to not give up after 10 minutes?
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Postby Furen » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:48 pm

think of a topic before hand, then make a list of synonyms, that way you have lots of words to compile together and work with.
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Postby Syreth » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:56 pm

Whenever someone tells me something like this, I usually feel like I have a lot of good things to say, but then I have to remind myself of how different the writing process is for everyone.

But I will tell you what works for me: moving on. So you write one bad sentence. You think it sucks so bad that you feel like you can't get past it. Just move on and keep writing. Come back to it later.

The writing process is recursive, by and large. That doesn't mean that you'll always get it right after one round of editing. Sometimes you have to get through ten drafts that suck before producing one that's of any quality.

It's like any work of art, really. Sculpting, for example, starts with an amorphous blob of clay - a crappy sentence, if you will - and you modify, break away, and mold the blob until it takes the shape you want it to. It's not going to be instantly amazing. You might even have to scrap the whole thing. By the end, however, you'll have hopefully learned something, whether you succeeded or failed.

Anyway, these comments may or may not be of assistance to you in developing your writing process, but at least they will give you some insight into what's worked for someone else.
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Postby Atria35 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:42 pm

What Syreth said. Don't even wait ten minutes- start writing the rest immediately. Don't dwell on it, or you'll never write anything. Come back to it after you've done a chapter/finished the essay/whatever. You may come back to it and find that it's perfectly fine.

Also, when you've gone through it yourself, don't be afraid to use betas... editors. It's trial-and-error to find one that jives with you, but they can be invaluable for editing and thought processes.

(but you really do need to test out for betas! For instance, I used my mother for a while, but she went and rewrote things in ways I didn't want them rewritten, and used a different style entirely from what I use while writing, so it didn't sound right. I dropped her after a few times. Picked up some great ones in my friends, though. You can also find them online, on various writing sites.)
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Postby c.t.,girl » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:00 am

oh man...i can't tell you how many times i've written a sentence and have been like, "maaan this isn't very awesome." so i'll look at the words i've chosen. are they words that would make one FEEL what the character is feeling? i'm totally all about the feeling when i write RPs or stories or whatever(except for comments...because i'm pretty much brain dead when i write those. :3). i try my HARDEST to stay away from simple verbs like, "got, get, went, is, etc.etc.etc."

bad example: when he went to the top of the mountain, he got the sword of souls and was it awesome. the end.

ALGEBRAIC EXAMPLE!: When he rode his dreary steed to the highest, coldest part of the mountain, the young lad pulled with all his might on the glowing, magical Sword of Souls. As the sword jolted from it's resting place and towards the sky, the heavens parted and the light of the world showered down upon him and the people rejoiced for the rest of eternity. They had finally found their true and loyal king of England. THE END OF AWESOME.

also http://www.thesaurus.com/ IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. when you can't think of another word...best to put that word that you've used into the search bar and just read until you find your hero of a word.

ALSO ALSO what syreth has already said...even though i KNOW it's hard to get past that horrid sentence...especially for those with OCD don't give up. what i do when i feel that i've tried everything and have even written and searched the thesaurus countless times...i try acting it out...like pretending if i was in that situation. if i feel it doesn't flow then i ask someone i trust with being blunt what they think (:3 i'm blunt...and i'm willing to help those in need) and what they would change. lol but yeah...thesaurus. *_* BEST FRIEND.

[color="Red"]EDIT: when asking for opinions...make sure to let the person who's helping you know what sort of feel you're trying to go for so they know what to look for. :> IT HELPS.[/color]
[color="DarkOrange"]"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things... hey... the good things don't always soften the bad things; but vice-versa the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant." -11th Doctor

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case." - Chuck Close[/color]
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Postby c.t.,girl » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:01 am

woops...dbl post...sorry
[color="DarkOrange"]"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things... hey... the good things don't always soften the bad things; but vice-versa the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant." -11th Doctor

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case." - Chuck Close[/color]
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Postby Fish and Chips » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:56 am

samurai10 (post: 1461467) wrote:I never get any writing done because I write one sentence and then I'm like, "Ugh, I hate that sentence" and no matter what I do, I can't stop hating it! and then 10 minutes later I'm like, "This is hopeless! My writing absolutely stinks to high heaven!" And then I give up.

Any advise on how to not give up after 10 minutes?
Your first sentence will always be bad.

The first sentence you write will always be the worst iteration of that sentence you could have written in your entire life. It will be as grotesquely malformed and objectively hideous as it is possible for a sentence to be. Eventually, you will complete an entire narrative composed solely of such indisputably soul-crushingly awful sentences.

Then comes editing. The hardest, kindest surgery man can perform.

It's here to make your words beautiful, but more importantly it's here to make your words worth reading.

No writer of any measurable worth has ever published their first sentences. What you're reading and comparing yourself to is, at best, their third sentences, or fourth sentences, and occasionally fifty-first sentences.

You wrote one sentence and hated it? Of course you did! That sentence was atrocious. I don't even have to read it to know it's an active abomination against the entire canon of English literature. With its entire being, that sentence is worthy of your contempt and frustration. Just thinking about how horrible it absolutely must be makes me want to take a cold shower.

Because, I mean, really, what else could it be? It's your first sentence.

And if you thought your first sentence was bad, you should read mine. Your opening post is almost offensive to me, actually]anything[/I] - worse than I, at some point or another, have.

We are all bad writers; it's just that some of us have become very skilled editors.
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Postby ShiroiHikari » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:48 am

Fish and Chips (post: 1461560) wrote:awesome words


That was beautiful, Andrew; I want to print it out and stick it on my refrigerator.
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Postby samurai10 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:29 pm

Thanks for the great tips everybody! :D Really helpful. But....What happens is this.

*thinks**writes a sentence*
Eh, well, that's crappy.
*thinks for 2 minutes**goes on to something else for five minutes**comes back**thinks some more**writes another sentence*
Those two sentences are the crappiest sentences I've ever seen.
*asks for help from friends**friends say it's good and there's nothing they can change**goes back and works on sentences some more*
Gragh, 10 minutes and they're still crappy! I give up! *gives up*

See, I'm very strange. :P

Though, I really will try all your tips. They're very good. :D
"I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia." ~The Silver Chair

"You can close your eyes to the things you don't want to see, but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel." ~Johnny Depp

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Postby c.t.,girl » Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:19 pm

[quote="Fish and Chips (post: 1461560)"]We are all bad writers]

That was beautiful.

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[color="DarkOrange"]"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things... hey... the good things don't always soften the bad things; but vice-versa the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant." -11th Doctor

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case." - Chuck Close[/color]
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Postby LadyRushia » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:28 pm

I'm in agreeance with what everyone else has said here.

As tempting as it is to keep fixing a sentence until you get it right before going on to the next one, avoid doing that as much as possible. Let your first draft be your first draft. With first drafts, you're putting your ideas to words for the first time (and believe me, that translation can make the greatest idea ever nothing but crap).

Back in November, I did NaNoWriMo and hashed out the incredibly rushed and structurally broken first part of a story that I then posted on the internet for everyone to see. It's the farthest I've gotten writing a longer story in years. Does it need a lot of work? Yes, but I have a much clearer notion of where it's going now that I've actually written it out. I don't plan on editing it until I finish the entire story because then I can work on making every little piece fit together in the revision process. Subduing your inner editor for the time being will help you finish something. You can worry about making it perfect later.
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Postby Esoteric » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:23 pm

*thinks**writes a sentence*
Eh, well, that's crappy.
*thinks for 2 minutes**goes on to something else for five minutes**comes back**thinks some more**writes another sentence*
Those two sentences are the crappiest sentences I've ever seen.
*asks for help from friends**friends say it's good and there's nothing they can change**goes back and works on sentences some more*
Gragh, 10 minutes and they're still crappy! I give up! *gives up*

Have more patience with yourself...and more trust in your critiquers. Granted, not everyone is as good at giving critiques, but generally avid readers and other writers will be your best source of feedback. Ask, them and trust them. And chill, dude. Everyone starts out writing crappy sentences. I still write crappy sentences. Don't beat yourself up over it. Finish the story, get feedback, and then change things. You may be able to see how to make them better then, after time has passed.
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Postby goldenspines » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:33 pm

samurai10 (post: 1461607) wrote:Thanks for the great tips everybody! :D Really helpful. But....What happens is this.

*thinks**writes a sentence*
Eh, well, that's crappy.
*thinks for 2 minutes**goes on to something else for five minutes**comes back**thinks some more**writes another sentence*
Those two sentences are the crappiest sentences I've ever seen.
*asks for help from friends**friends say it's good and there's nothing they can change**goes back and works on sentences some more*
Gragh, 10 minutes and they're still crappy! I give up! *gives up*

See, I'm very strange. :P

Though, I really will try all your tips. They're very good. :D

All the advice in this thread is more than excellent.

In regards to the above scene, something that may help you when you're writing (it helps me, at least), is to write a sentence and keep going. Once you write it, don't look at it again until you get a page or more. Don't even think about it again until you're ready to edit. Who cares? You're the only one who is going to see it (for the most part). If you want to show it to someone to proofread, then sure, you can clean it up a bit. But overall, you don't need to worry about editing as you go. This is hard, yes. But it will take a lot of stress out of the writing process. ^__^
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Postby FllMtl Novelist » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:40 pm

Aside from the awesome advice already given, maybe you can try not to read as you write?

You probably look at the screen as you type (or glance up and down, I don't know), but fight the urge to stop typing and read what you've written so far. When you take those little breaks when your fingers stop between thoughts, try looking away from the screen, perhaps out the window, or at a blank wall. Then when you're ready, skim the previous sentence if you must, but try to keep yourself from thinking too hard about it.

I don't have the same problem you do, but I don't consciously read what I'm writing most of the time. I just type the words that are in my head, so I already know them (or what I intended them to be, XD). And I avoid looking for errors in what I'm currently writing because there will be plenty of time for that after it's all on the page and I've let it sit a while.

Also, sitting down to write with a goal in mind (i.e., "I will write at least one paragraph" or "I will write for at least twenty minutes") might help you to get more done, just because you've made a goal of it.

But like anything else, these won't necessarily work for everybody. Try it, and if it doesn't help, try something else. ^^ Best of luck to you.
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Postby Yamamaya » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:20 pm

Sometimes you just have to write something and then move on and deal with it later.

Yes that sentence might be appalling, but sometimes you can get so bogged down in dealing with the first few sentences that you lose all interest in writing. I've actually heard some of my professors tell us to write the body of papers/stories first and then deal with the intro.

The important part is not to forget to go back and edit that first sentence, paragraph, page.
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Postby c.t.,girl » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:36 pm

OO! i just thought up something that recently worked for me...BRAINSTORM THE HAPPENINGS FIRST. maybe if you plan out events for the paper/page of the story it might help? i dunno...i was having an awful time writing an RP post until i got the idea to brainstorm the events i wanted to happen out on a piece of paper...then i just filled it in with dynamic words.
[color="DarkOrange"]"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things... hey... the good things don't always soften the bad things; but vice-versa the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant." -11th Doctor

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case." - Chuck Close[/color]
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Postby Agloval » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:25 am

Here's a practical tool for when you return to your first draft to iteratively edit it into something worth reading: read it back to yourself aloud. I've found this often turns up rough edges which I don't notice when reading silently.

I find it quite useful to compose orally too, in that sometimes I get that first draft written by getting up, walking around and talking aloud through what I actually want to say. Then I rearrange it into something slightly better when I write it down. Then I read it aloud and rewrite. And so on. That's something that works for me, not everyone, but it's worth trying different techniques, as FllMtl Novelist says.
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Postby samurai10 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:45 pm

Guess what?

I wrote down two paragraphs. In ten minutes. :grin:

I took your guys' advice to not look at the sentences. And it worked.

Thanks y'all! :D

Now comes that horrid part called editing.....
"I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia." ~The Silver Chair

"You can close your eyes to the things you don't want to see, but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel." ~Johnny Depp

"MOES! Sign up and sig down!"

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This pokemon is stout in stature, but extremely loyal. it's head and ears make the shape of a samurai helmet. the scales from said helmet can be pulled out and used as kunai.
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Postby Asuka Neko » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:07 pm

DO NANOWRIMO! Sorry. I had to put that in there. But, as it is February and that is in November, I'd say that deadlines help. As far as editing goes, since you seem to have gotten there, I like to print my work out and edit it on paper so that I can't go "Blargh, this is crappy, imma press "select all" and then "delete"!" Get a blue pen and write all over that thing!! But then make sure to make the changes on the computer later. It takes longer, but I tend to catch more grammar mistakes.

My final words of wisdom: You are only 13, you know, you're probably at the stage where you improve so rapidly you'll look back at your writing from a month ago and think it's bad because you've gotten so much better.
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Postby FllMtl Novelist » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:55 pm

Awesome, Sam!! :D

It's recommended that you let the writing sit a while before editing. And then somehow stay objective enough to know what's bad, yet not be so depressed that you think the good stuff needs to go.

...I usually give stuff to my Mom. XD Though I read through it first myself, and make a couple notes (for the last thing, I was all, "Yes I know this and this sucks, PLEASE DON'T TELL ME D8") so she doesn't say what I already know. Or, if the opportunity arises, she can tell me she doesn't think that 'x' really needs to be cut. It's hard to show my work to someone else, but it's sort of a relief to get it over with and have someone else see it even when it is bad. If that makes sense. XD
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Postby Atria35 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:15 pm

FllMtl Novelist (post: 1461915) wrote:It's recommended that you let the writing sit a while before editing. And then somehow stay objective enough to know what's bad, yet not be so depressed that you think the good stuff needs to go.


This.

The objectivity is where good editors come in- they can help keep it in perspective as to whether it really does need to go and whether it can just be tweaked a bit.
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