Whenever I write, my writing feels clunky. Like, I'll want to write a character going through a rough time, but it just comes out "he was sad, he moved on." I feel like when a writer I admire writes like something like that, there is an element gained and it stays with the character/ story. Is this something that will get better in time, or is there something i'm missing? btw love your blog
I can promise you everyone’s writing is clunky in the beginning. Many of us here at FYWH have spent weeks or months on different drafts until we’re “happy” with it–and by happy I mean not completely disgusted.
Now, it sounds like the writers you admire have a particular style, but it may not be the style you naturally gravitate towards in your own writing. I love Virginia Woolf, but if I try to emulate her style it reads like a monkey flinging shit against a wall.
Without a doubt, one of the hardest parts of being a writer is finding your own voice and making your own stylistic choices. Your voice as a writer is as unique as a fingerprint and the only way you find it is to keep writing, especially when it’s clunky. Sometimes, when I’m struggling with this, I’ll stop and say out loud:
What the fuck am I trying to say?*
And then type as I speak my response. It helps me get something down that I can work with and it’s always a better, more stylistically consistent, version of whatever horrific word vomit I had been agonizing over.
Writing is a craft. It takes time for anyone to learn
and improve. But there are some shortcuts you can try, maybe adapt to your own needs. Here are 11 writing problems and their solutions, or hacks.
Too many ideas syndrome
Problem: You have too many equally good story ideas
and can’t pick just one to write.
Solution: Select your top 3 favorite stories and
write the first scene of all three. If you can’t decide, write
chapter. The right project will be easier to work with, you’ll have
fun writing it, you will be daydreaming about the story, you will
love the characters. So, give away three chances instead of one.
Outline spoiling the fun
Problem: Whenever you outline a story idea, it
completely spoils your will to write it. The mystery is gone.
Solution: Instead of outlining the whole story, just
make a clear goal on how your characters should end. Will they
succeed? Will they fail? Will they be happy? Will they find
redemption? Will they be wronged? Decide how your story should end
and explore the plot as you go. Remember, no one will read your
first draft, so just write.
Problem: If you are a pantser, you might get lost in
the middle of the story, especially after the first plot point.
Solution: Give your story an ending. If you know where
your characters will end up, you’ll have a better understanding of
which routes to take. Always keep in mind how the story will end. Use
it as the beacon of a lighthouse to guide you through stormy waters.
Problem: You don’t have story ideas. Or nothing you
have so far excites you enough for a novel.
Solution: Read a book or watch a movie completely out
of your genre. This works like magic, I promise. I’m not a sci-fi
person, but Akira has given me more story ideas than any movie and
book from my own genre.
Problem: You are scared of writing, scared of
starting a new story, or just scared of not doing a good job.
Solution: Write a fanfic. No one expects a fanfic to
be a masterpiece (although many are). Fanfics are done for fun and for
passion. So, write your book in fanfic format. You can even use
fandom characters and aus in the process. When the story is
completed, change back to original characters.
Editing as you write
Problem: You keep going back to previous paragraphs
and editing instead of moving forward with your writing.
Solution: Write your novel by hand. This might sound
like a lot of work, but it’s quite the opposite. The white screen
of the computer urges you to review, to make it perfect, academic
like perfect. The paper however, brings you back to the craft, to the
urge of filling lines and pages. Handwriting also gives you the
opportunity of sketching and doodling.
Solution: Go offline. Turn off your wi-fi. Use a
device without internet connection. Or, if you keep fooling yourself
and turning the internet back on, write your novel by hand. Give
yourself a daily hour of internet, but live offline. And if you take unnecessary trips to the fridge or the bathroom, try the pomodoro technique.
Lack of plots
Problem: Nothing relevant is happening, your story
looks kind of boring. Or the main plot is too weak for a whole novel.
Solution: Take a few days off. Just relax. When you are ready to go back, read what you have written so
far. Maybe you were just tired. But, if
the story really sucks, go back to basics. Ask yourself two questions.
What type of story am I writing? How will this story end? Follow the
answer like a map. Change what needs to be changed, even if you have
to delete the whole progress. If you lack plots, don’t add fillers, just go back to basics.
Weak main character
lacks personality, voice and/or visuals.
Solution: Give your main character three things. An
external battle. An internal battle. And an unique feature. The external
battle is their goal, what they want to achieve, what they dream
about. An internal battle is their fears, traumas, doubts, mental
issues, prejudices and triggers to overcome. An unique feature is what sets them
apart from other characters, maybe they have piercings, or tattoos,
or pink hair, or lilac eyes, maybe they wear neon boots, or a mask,
or mittens, maybe they are left-handed, or blind, maybe they have a scar, or a
birthmark. Every amazing main character has external battles,
internal battles and unique features.
Problem: You have no will to write. The passion is
gone. You feel empty.
Solution: If you don’t
have access to medical help, reading is a good way to reevaluate your
career and regain your passion for the words. Read lots of books.
Don’t worry about writing, just read. Lose yourself in fictional
adventures. Read sci-fi, romance, horror, fantasy, crime, family
saga, classics, foreigner fictions, fanfics, shorts, poetry. Immerse
in literature. Literature can save lives.
Problem: Dialogues seem too formal, or too much like
the narration, or characters lack individuality.
Solution: Read your dialogues out loud while acting
as your characters. You can find a quiet empty room for that. Be an
actor. Go for the emotions. Record your acting sections, after all,
you might improvise at some point.
Here we have Viktor Nikiforov. Russian. Pale skin. White as the freshest snow on the highest mountains of Russia. Nipples are a shade or two darker than his skin tone.
Clearly, this man never sees sunlight.
That’s okay though. We love you and your pale, perky ass anyway, Viktor.
Ok. Now… adversely…
Christophe Giacometti. Suisse. Fabulous as f-. Skin glowing golden as a ray of fucking sunshine.
His nipples, what color are they?
Pale? Pink? Peach?! I don’t know. All I do know is that clearly, Christophe’s nipples are way way lighter than his skin tone.
Christophe Giacometti gets spray/fake tans.
And I mean, it makes sense. Look at how fabulous this man is. Clearly he would be the type to sip champagne on a Sunday afternoon laid out on a beach chair while air drying a fresh spray tan by the poolside.
Now… You may be asking yourself: Is this information important?
No. It absolutely is not.
But I came to this conclusion while half awake this morning and felt compelled to share it with all you lovely people in the fandom.
Because I love this child and he needs more love, especially his relationship with Yuuri ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
While Phichit is an incredibly friendly lovable cinnamon roll, he won’t stand for anything threatening his best friend Yuuri, even if the threat happens to be someone Yuuri loves. Yuuri clearly adores the Victor he knows now (just as much as he idolized the distant figure in the past), but Phichit won’t forget how much Victor hurt Yuuri in the past, unintentional or not.
I headcanon that on top of being a skilled figure skater, Phichit is an academic genius who skipped grades and entered college in Detroit super early where he met Yuuri, which explains their long acquaintance despite the age difference. He is very, VERY protective of Yuuri. I’ll put up a more detailed headcanon post later (and if there’s interest, possibly prequel comic of pre-YOI anime Detroit college days).
What are some of the major differences between autism and ADD/ADHD? Stuff like impulse control, executive function issues, stimming etc are pretty common to both of them, and i know a good handful of autistic people (myself included) who got misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD as a kid. And the fact that the two can be comorbid just makes it more confusing
eokay so first of all: i have both. so of course i cannot distinguish between both, because both are “me”. so i’m making the distinction by what i read more often in ADHD or autism contexts.
the things i’m listing are not diagnostic criteria, just things that i have seen talked about often. you might not relate to all of them even if you have ADHD / autism. additionally, having one or a few traits of something does not mean you definitely have it, but if you go “yes! that’s me!” at most or all of them, you might check the thing out more thoroughly.
there’s a summary at the end
things that are more ADHD and less autism:
impulsivity. i get an idea and then i immediately drop whatever i am doing (often quite literally) and do the other thing. for example: i am preparing a sandwidch. i am in the process of putting butter on the bread. then i think: i want tea. in that same second i drop the knife, on the floor, turn around to the water boiler and switch it on. then i realize that dropping the knife was probably not such a good idea because it’s dirty now.
constantly forgetting what you were just doing or thinking. this is pretty much what leads to both being easily distracted and impulsivity. it’s more than just forgetting. it is completely forgetting about the idea of a thing possibly occurring. you’re having an intense, captivating tumblr chat with someone and then you go to the bathroom and it is gone from your brain. you go bake some cookies, read a book, cut your hair, and when you come back to the computer it’s ohhhhh shit i was having a conversation until i suddenly disappeared… 3 hours ago.
being unable to sit still ever. it is more than just stimming. it is stimming 120% of the time. it is doing multiple stims at the same time always. i CAN not sit still. it does not happen. i am unable to not stim.
hyperfocusing randomly. like what i am doing with this post right now. i started typing and then i got completely caught up on it and now i cannot stop and i forget the time and anything else i was going to do because this post is my world now and i. must. finish.
hyperactivity. i cannot describe this better than ALALAL ALALALA KLHADFUILSDHFJKUIEF!!!!!!!!!! LKSKSHALALALAL!!!!!!!!! it’s jumping around the room. running up the walls. sitting upside-down on your chair while screaming from laughter. spamming your twitter with 200 tweets that just say “CACTUS!!!!!!!!!! MOLAR TOOTH!!! CACTUS!!!!!!!” while laughing your ass off.
losing every object. always. misplacing objects that you were actually using just now. pencils, headphones, jewellery, coffee cup, everything. where is my phone that i was using 20 seconds ago? i have no idea. 3 hours later i find it in the laundry basket. or on some door handle. losing ridiculously large objects that you cannot possibly lose and being unable to locate them for hours. objects that i have misplaced inside a 40 square meters apartment: laundry basket, mattress, chairs, tables, small oven, computer, and many others. you get the idea.
forgetting plans and appointments and everything really. i recently learned that some people can actually keep complex plans in their heads. a fellow autistic explained me that he can remember everything he needs to do and lie it down neatly in his mind. i don’t think every autistic is as good with that as he is, but most people have some sort of idea what their next big tasks are. i don’t. i don’t even know where i wrote them down. i also forget appointments because even if i remember that i have plans for wednesday, that does not automatically mean that i realize when wednesday is happening.
addiction to distraction and entertainment. boredom is torture, and i don’t mean that as an exaggeration. sitting in a waiting room drives you up the wall, sometimes quite literally. forgetting your phone is not just irritating and means you have to read the cereal box. no. you build a tower out of the cereal boxes and jump on the table. when the party is going slow you collect all the paper flyers and fold 100 airplanes and shred the rest of the flyers to pieces. not being able to concentrate without loud music in the background.
things that are more autism and less ADHD:
sensory hypersensitivities. not just getting distracted or annoyed by bad sensory input, but actually getting hurt and deeply uncomfortable. not being able to even sit near someone with deodorant on. starting to cry whenever you get cold. ripping your shirt off because the tag was too scratchy.
sensory hyposensitivities. not being able to feel the pain from scratches. not being able to enjoy music unless it is ridiculously loud drumming against your ears, while not being hard of hearing. only being able to calm down when something is pressing against your ribcage so hard you can hardly breathe. enjoying bright flickering lights right against your eyeballs.
the bliss that stimming is. it is not just “something that feels pleasant”. it is something that makes you feel whole. it is something that puts you in a place where everything is good and right and the right stim fills you up with pure bliss. you soak it up like a sponge and you feel like you’re flying and it’s the best thing. it clears your mind and soothes your soul.
the overwhelm of sensory overload. you literally cannot function in a loud, crowded area. sensory overload makes you forget how to think. you immediately shut down or meltdown. you become helpless. you can not get yourself out of this situation safely. you get lost. you are unable to figure out a way to get out of the situation. you can get in real danger because of sensory overload if you do not have help or luck.
auditory and visual processing difficulties. needing subtitles for every movie you watch, even though you are neither Deaf nor hard of hearing. constantly going “what? say that again? HUH?? i can’t hear you over that noise!” while everyone around you is conversing easily. being unable to decipher an image quickly. being unable to read maps or flowcharts.
trouble with verbal communication. you might be nonverbal sometimes or always. you might have problems saying the right words. you might rely on scripting heavily, that means you have fixed rules of what to say in which situations. you might be unable to react if your script stops working because someone says something unexpected. you might be unable to say what you mean because you cannot find words fast enough. you might say things that you do NOT mean because you have heard them somewhere so the words are more easily found.
trouble with nonverbal communication. not being able to read tone of voice, facial impressions and allistic body language. constantly being misinterpreted because you make the “wrong” body language or facial impressions or tone. not being able to recognize irony and jokes because you can’t take the subtle hints that people give about them. not being able to interpret emojis and emoticons. not being able to recognize the difference between “hello”, “hello!” and “hello…”. coming off across as “rude”, “weird”, “scary” or something else that you are not.
being unable to figure out social rules and conventions. why do you always have to answer “fine” to the question “how are you?”? why does a person think that i hate them just because i do not like talking to them? why do people think i like them just because i was talking to them? which people do you call by their first name and which by their last name? why do people laugh about me just because i hugged my teacher? nobody laughs when i hug my friend.
relying on sameness, rules, schedules and rituals. no, i cannot drink tea out of the coffee cup. it Does Not Work. i cannot sleep without my squishy pillow. i cannot wear my Outside clothes inside. when i make a plan, things have to go EXACTLY as planned or i melt down. i cry when i lose my favourite stim toy. it can also mean: having to do the same things every day at the same time. getting overwhelmed by changes. not being able to function in an unfamiliar schedule. not being able to do things out of order. not being able to sleep with the Wrong sheets. not being able to eat from red dishes. and many others.
things that are both autism and ADHD:
needing to fidget or stim. being unable to concentrate or calm down without moving or specific sensory input. not being able to function properly when not allowed to stim. shutting or melting down when not being able to stim.
special interests or hyperfixations. “special interest” is the autism term and “hyperfixation” is the ADHD term. it means fixating on a certain subject so intensely that you can hardly think about anything else. some people learn subjects very deeply in a very short time. it means getting caught up in it. it’s what you think about in every second. like being in love, only with a subject instead of a person.
living in a fantasy world. retreating into a safe space to escape from a world that is not very kind to us. hyperfixating on a story or a fantasy world or dreamworld as an interest, either as a refuge or as a special interest or both.
trouble with socializing. being ridiculed for being “weird”. being unable to function well in social situations because of your specific disabilities. having a hard time maintaining friendships and other social relationships.
appearing eccentric. dressing and behaving in unusual ways. having unconventional interests and hobbies. being unable to connect with most other people, being the “different” person in most groups. having social positions such as the “class clown” or “the outcast” - entertaining everyone else or distancing yourself from everyone else.
appearing childlike or younger than you are. never getting rid off childlike behaviours. stimming and fidgeting because you like it or because it helps. not caring about how you look. having hobbies and interests that are seen as “childish”. impulsive actions that appear childlike. behaviour that is seen as childlike.
executive dysfunction. being unable to do things even though you really want to do them. being unable to start tasks or switch tasks. being unable to recall what you know in an unfamiliar situation. being unable to figure out the steps necessary for completing a task.
reactions to over- and understimulations. you might start to fidget or stim. you might try to get away or get angry or cry because things are too much or because there’s not enough stimulation. you might fall asleep in class because it’s too little stimulation. you might cry in class because it’s too much stimulation.
meltdowns / shutdowns. having reactions that are stronger than is deemed appropriate to negative things like adverse sensory input, emotional stress, etc. that means breaking down crying from small things, having rage fits over small things going wrong, or on the other side completely shutting down, flopping on the floor, freezing in place etc. in case of under- or overstimulation or emotional stress.
developing anxiety or depression. social or generalized anxiety as well as depression are common in people with ADHD and autistics because we often get bullied, our disabilities are often exploited to hurt us, and we may get excluded, ridiculed and hurt on a regular basis. we might despair because we never seem to fit in. we might overcompensate and overtax ourselves in order to appear “normal”. we might burn out as a result.
creativity and unconventional thinking. getting ideas that nobody else has. making connections nobody else would even think of. being good at finding similarities, patterns, and differences.
daydreaming and spacing out. shutting down or simply daydreaming your way through situations that you cannot function in because of your specific disabilities. forgetting what you were doing and just dreaming away. getting lost in thoughts. dissociating from adverse sensory input. escaping from the reality that is hard to bear or just getting distracted.
getting caught up in a task. hyperfocusing on a thing that you are doing or being unable to initiate the end of an action. being unable to interrupt your train of thought or action. being unable to switch tasks.
i don’t claim completeness for this list. so.
more ADHD than autism:
constantly forgetting what you were just doing or thinking
being unable to sit still ever
losing every object. always
forgetting plans and appointments and everything really
addiction to distraction and entertainment
more autism than ADHD:
the bliss that stimming is
the overwhelm of sensory overload
auditory and visual processing difficulties
trouble with verbal communication
trouble with nonverbal communication
being unable to figure out social rules and conventions
relying on sameness, rules, schedules and rituals
both autism and ADHD:
needing to fidget or stim
special interests or hyperfixations
living in a fantasy world
trouble with socializing
appearing childlike or younger than you are
reactions to over- and understimulations
meltdowns / shutdowns
developing anxiety or depression
creativity and unconventional thinking
daydreaming and spacing out
getting caught up in a task
so that got a lot more elaborate than i was planning… anyway. i hope it answers your question, anon