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Writing help, please! :)

I've got this really hideous writer's block thing going on, it's truly ugly. Totally deadstop in the water kinda block. At the same time, I'm really desperately wanting to work on Public Enemies. Probably no one remembers that fic, it's been so long! The thing is, the new ideas go off in a different direction, which means a totally different ending to the fic than what I first imagined a few years ago. I'm not sure if I should rewrite the fic--the parts that are still just a loose collection of notes--or try to stay to the original outline. The way I want to go changes it somewhat but not the total flavor, plus I think it will shorten the story. Dean will probably end up being slightly more a victim but also maybe a harder character.

What do you all think? Would you chuck an outline, or try and make the fresh ideas fit with your original vision? And does it matter if the fic is more than a year old? *hides face*

Help me get this fic on the road again, beloved flist!


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
Doesn't matter how old the fic is! There's no expiration date ;-)

I kind of like the sound of the new ideas. I assume you;ll leave the already posted stuff alone, and this is just your own notes that would be affected? Is retooling a really big job, or just some tweaking? I think how Dean ends sounds really interesting. I'd be happy to talk things over more and bounce ideas around if you like.

Always feels good to start getting past the block!!!!
Dec. 2nd, 2014 10:42 pm (UTC)
all the written stuff is posted at AO3, and it might not even take a retooling--just some minor tweaking, which is easy to do there. I had this big long lead up towards the end of the story which in part features Dean going to jail. I wanted to mirror Dean's year before hell, but now I'm thinking of cutting to the chase. It would help if Sam were older as we go forward, but now I'm trying to think of ways around that. Where I left off, Sam is just starting high school but I need him to be graduating college, lol!

I mostly need encouragement to *start* writing. I just can't seem to start typing. :)
Dec. 2nd, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)
Time jumps are our friend! You don;t have to rationalize it - just start where you want. you can fill in a little backstory here and there, but don't let that stop you from just diving right in. And the filling in can be as spare as you choose. I like the time jump idea, I think it will give a sense of freshness and immediacy.

Do you ever write by hand? I have little half-size spiral notebooks, so I can have one in any purse or tote bag (because whichever one I carry that DOESN'T have one will be the one I carry when I get a brainstorm). Sometimes writing by hand is kind of soothing and makes things start flowing, as your pen glides over the paper. Or go somewhere with a notebook, like go to Panera or the library or somewhere like that, and get coffee or tea and sit with your words. I'd say outside, but it's a little chilly now ;-) Sometimes a new environment is a good stimulus.

Maybe don't worry about actually starting narrative yet, but write a scrap of dialogue. Describe a person or a scene in the story. How does Sam look now? Dean? Take the pressure off of producing, and just play around a bit, get yourself back in the shallow end of the pool, so to speak.

Dec. 2nd, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
Good idea, shaking it up in terms of the way I write--where I write. I do need something different here.

I need to get back into the music I used in the first part, sometimes that helps as well. I'm going to reread the very end, because I'm pretty sure now that timejump is the way to go. I can cap off this part of Public Enemies, and then start the final part after Sam has graduated law school. Oh gawd, there will be some major faking 1920s law schooling and lawyering! ha! Expect to hear more from me...oh, so many times! :D
Dec. 2nd, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
I think if the outline is a roadmap into the planned future, you can deviate. The outline was from your perspective at the time in the past when you wrote it. Life changes, paths change, things happen IRL. So it is with fic people, too. Even if you originally saw your characters following a specific path, your perspective has changed, and so will theirs, with you writing them now. Go with your present ideas--it'll be fantastic, you'll see!
Dec. 2nd, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC)

I'm going to give it a shot. I feel like I need to finish this story, so I can let the people who followed it once upon a time know that it's done. More than that, I really do like the twisted little characters in this fic--they deserve their finished story. :D
Dec. 2nd, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
If you still feel attached to this story then it so doesn't matter it's a year old. Whether or not you abandon your original conception is purely a choice. It may free you up to think of a creative alternative. On the other hand, the challenge of bridging the gap between the old and new ideas can often prompt creative new directions. It doesn't matter, objectively, which you choose. I think you just need to decide which approach appeals to you most and then go for it. Once you've made the decision, I think you'll find your thoughts will start to flow again :)
Dec. 2nd, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
I'm still attached to this twisted little Sam and totally doomed Dean!

macaronielbow, who has read the story, said she's fine with a time jump, so that might be the way to go. I was afraid that certain parts I wanted to write were outside of my abilities, but this way, I should be able to soft focus all the bits that'll be hard for me to write and still have a readable, somewhat logical story. I'm going to jot down some of the ideas that are starting to shuffle around in my head, thank you so much!
Dec. 3rd, 2014 01:02 am (UTC)
Time jumps are a very useful device and sometimes the most succinct and dramatically effective way of telling a story.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 11:41 pm (UTC)
I love Public Enemies. It was the first story of yours that I ever read. I think a time jump would totally work, just saying.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)
Oh! Say I put Dean in jail, and then time jump to Sam graduating college, and then start to wrap the story up from there? Would you feel cheated not getting to see Sam in school, or Dean actually in jail? That's what I'm afraid of because I felt like we were in every part of there lives before.

I'm also thrilled that you like it. I'm rereading it now to try and get back into that mindset--they way the talk, the times and such. so hard!! :D
Dec. 2nd, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
That would absolutely work. Do it!

Not that I'd throw prison fic out of my bed.... ;)
Dec. 3rd, 2014 12:03 am (UTC)
It doesn't really matter that the ending is different from what you thought before. There is a reason why you couldn't finish it earlier, and it may be because of the way it was going. Good luck and I look forward to reading :)
Dec. 3rd, 2014 12:13 am (UTC)
Chuck it and go with where the story is telling you, even if that means you go 'delete delete delete' on a big chunk of it. I've done it before, i'll do it again. It's the best thing to do. Otherwise - dead stop, brick wall, no go.

Good luck!
*smooches you*
Dec. 3rd, 2014 12:18 am (UTC)
oh god, that's like the hardest thing, the tossing huge bits...but I guess I knew that was the way to go, I only needed some hand-holding and some nudges the right way. I'm going to set the coffee pot on and work tonight--it's been a bazillion years since I've done that.

Hah, 'course, right now I'm doing that "housework so as not to think about writing" thing. :D
Dec. 3rd, 2014 12:33 am (UTC)
I know, it *is* hard. Another way to approach it is to hit the enter key about twenty times, and move the old stuff down the page until you can't see it. Then start typing the new stuff.

Because we always feel like there's some little gem, or priceless bit of description or dialogue or *something* we don't want to cut.

Once you're done, deleting the old stuff won't be as hard.

I do this all the time. :)
*twirls you*
Dec. 3rd, 2014 12:45 am (UTC)
oh bb. *hugshugshugs*

as someone that just came off a 4/5 year writing block - i can truthfully say - if it's not flowing? change it. Trash it. Start all the way over.

That's the only thing that helped me finally *start* and finish the fic i posted on sunday. i'd had it in word for 4 freaking years and could *not* get anywhere on it. until i just ... started over and wrote what i thought was wrong, but it turned out to be *right*, if that makes sense.

you can do it! i know it. i have tons of faith in you.

*sends you good writing vibes*
Dec. 3rd, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
*points at you*

who do you think inspired me to work on this? :D
Dec. 3rd, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
I remember Public Enemies!! Go with what you feel.
m. :)

Edited at 2014-12-03 02:54 am (UTC)
Dec. 4th, 2014 02:26 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU! I'm so happy that some folks remember that story! Added incentive to work on it! :)
Dec. 3rd, 2014 06:44 am (UTC)
I vote for going with the new ideas, it sounds like you're really excited about them. But like you said it is hard to delete a lot of stuff if you really like it, you can save it to be used later somehow, or to spark new ideas for another series. Or make an AU off of the original somehow...It's your story, why not?!
Dec. 4th, 2014 02:28 pm (UTC)
And of course the minute I get excited enough to start working on it, my body decides it's time to crash! I'm going with the new and hoping for the best, what the hey, right? :D
Dec. 3rd, 2014 07:34 am (UTC)
OMG I LOVE THAT STORY! Sorry, I got a little carried away.

I think deviating from the outline is fine. It's your story. Do what you feel is right.
Dec. 4th, 2014 02:30 pm (UTC)

What feels right at this moment is crawling back into bed and sleeping another 24 hours...but that's not what you meant, I'm sure. :D

I'm just gonna start writing and see where I end up. :)
Dec. 3rd, 2014 03:20 pm (UTC)
It's always been my opinion that outlines stifle creativity, but that's just me.

I think you should try to blend old and new ideas. Breaking out of writer's block can be so hard, but it's possible! I wish you luck and good writing vibes, Miss Roxy! <3
Dec. 4th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, lovey!

I do think in recent times I've been overly concerned about outlines, so it might be good to just strike out and see what happens.

Dec. 6th, 2014 12:43 am (UTC)
I agree with the majority on this one - it's scary to deviate because there's no way to know what will happen, but it's probably totally worth it to craft a new story and break writer's block. Plus, I think we are usually pleasantly surprised by where our characters take us.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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