(last edited February 5, 2010)

Sand Box


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          1. Can I add more text here?

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This is a sandbox where you can experiment with formatting before your make a page.

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This is to test the paragraphs.

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Div Macro?


Test 1 Test 2 Test 3

Text goes here?

Can I add more text here?
I think so.

Writer's block happens to a writer for many reasons:

-- lack of research -- lack of confidence -- bored with story -- writer didn't plot the story -- writer doesn't know the central theme of the story; what it's about

To overcome all of these, a writer has to focus and know each of them.

I'm trying to write this.

It depends on how you create the scenes. You can create very long scenes or very short scenes. There are some plays that only have one scene in them and can last for three hours.

The problem with answering this clearly is what a scene is very subjective. There are certain elements that go into a scene and an act. Study what those are first to determine how to create your scenes.

Research. As you research your characters and controlling idea you will find more possibilities and learn more about the world you're creating.

All good stories show how "life is like this!". If you're trying to write a moral tale, you will fail. And your teen critics will see right through it.

Instead, write a story that teens want to read that has a powerful controlling idea and a story well-told.

What you simply have is a setting: teens in a hospital for suicidal youth. You now need a premise and then a controlling idea.

Essentially, you need to learn how to tell a story. That way you can write something that the teens will want to read (and everyone else too). And your story should be drama. If it's just like real life, why would a teen who is going through those problems read it when they're experiencing it already?

Unfortunately, beautiful prose doesn't make a story. You have to create a story. The vivid, beautiful descriptions are merely extra. This is also why you're having problems putting it to paper.

Learn how to write a story. Check out "Story" by Robert McKee?. It's used at the top film schools to teach students how to write a story.


Just an update --- I got side-tracked and will get back to this hopefully this week.

Good ideas for excellent drama.

First, remember this quote: "All first drafts are sh*t." -- Ernest Hemingway.

Don't EVER be ashamed of a first draft.

With that being said, let's get to the heart of the issue. Look at your story as a series of scenes, sequences, and acts instead of the number of words on a page. That means you should know, at the least, the general direction where your story is going. When you sit down to write, start writing on a scene and try to finish it before you quit. Set a goal for yourself that you'll write X number of scenes that evening. Understand the motivations of the characters in the scene, the subtext, and what change it will reveal and how it progresses so that you can continue the next scene and build your quest. And set deadlines for yourself.

Try outlining your story in advance and spend time working on the story before you even begin writing it. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but it will help to send you in the right direction.

Additionally, research your story's world. That will help ideas whenever you are stuck. This is ultimately the real reason for most writer's block.

But from the tone of your post, I think the real reason is that you are not writing in terms of structure and how it relates to the entire story. Therefore, you write and you might not even realize how it fits into your story.

About forcing yourself to write, I'm sorry to say but that's the way it will be no matter if you're Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. You will have to force yourself to write or else your story won't get written. Very few essay writers can sit down and write a book non-stop without disciplining themselves to write. It takes hard work, skill, and the love of story to make it happen. Learn as much as you can about how to write a story and forget the gimmicks about writing prompts. Exercises that can help you to understand how to write a story, though, are so much more helpful as they provide an epiphany of how a story is told.

I don't ever have writers' block because I know what it takes to write a story and when I am stuck, I know how to remedy it, but I never sit around wondering what to write. When I have periods of not writing, it's because I'm not forcing myself to sit down and write. I end up, instead, finding other things to do rather than work. Reading the news on the internet, checking e-mail, watching a television episode. The moral of the story: writing is work, even if you don't get paid.

So, your assignment is to sit down and write a scene to your story and post it here. I don't know your schedule, but I think that the sooner you do this, the better...like right now. If you can't do it now or tomorrow, post it by Monday. See how you do on deadline. You might be surprised.

Also, investigate some of the tutorials on story structure to help lift the fog. I recommend, off the top of my head, some of these articles:

[url=http://www.storyentertainment.com/article.asp?id=2527]How to watch movies to learn how to tell a story[/url] [url=http://www.storyentertainment.com/article.asp?id=2541]How to write a story from an outline[/url] [url=http://www.storyentertainment.com/outline.asp]The Mummy Story Outline[/url] (this will show some real scenes from the movie, "The Mummy" in an outline form) [url=http://www.storyentertainment.com/article.asp?idCategory=30&idsub=184&id=2525&t=Instant+Workshop%3A+Creating+your+first+scene]Instant Workshop: Creating your first scene[/url]

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Edited February 5, 2010 (diff)