Doubting My Ideas

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nicksabo
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Doubting My Ideas

Post by nicksabo » June 3rd, 2011, 10:34 am

Recently, I've been working on an outline for a MG story that I plan to write. The idea came to me awhile back, and it seemed great, up until I was finished outlining. Now I'm doubting the plot, characters, the whole idea. This isn't the first time that this has happened to me, but am I simply over thinking it, or am I realizing that perhaps my idea for a story wasn't that good after all? Does anyone else have this problem?

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Watcher55
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Re: Doubting My Ideas

Post by Watcher55 » June 3rd, 2011, 10:52 am

nicksabo wrote:Recently, I've been working on an outline for a MG story that I plan to write. The idea came to me awhile back, and it seemed great, up until I was finished outlining. Now I'm doubting the plot, characters, the whole idea. This isn't the first time that this has happened to me, but am I simply over thinking it, or am I realizing that perhaps my idea for a story wasn't that good after all? Does anyone else have this problem?
Self doubts are like those styrofoam peanuts. They're part of the package, and they get everywhere. A good idea is a good idea even if the excitement of the first spark has worn off. Trust the story that's in your head - the outline is a useful tool, but it's not an unbreakable contract.

I'd bet all your money that I'm not the only one on this board that had to rip everything out and start over at least three times.

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dios4vida
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Re: Doubting My Ideas

Post by dios4vida » June 3rd, 2011, 10:53 am

I think doubting ourselves, our plots, characters, talent, originality, etc. is all a natural part of being a writer. We all go through it. I think most of us have posted something like "URGH I'm terrible why do I do this to myself?" on the forums at one point or another. Nathan called them the "Am I Crazies". (Look up that post on his blog, it's wonderful and encouraging.) So first of all, don't fret. Remember that you aren't alone. We writers tend to do this.

As to the plot itself, most times I can't tell if it'll really pan out or not until I start writing it. Outlining is wonderful but it will only get you so far. You have to get into the nitty-gritty of storytelling, get to know your characters, and let the plot start to develop on its own before you can really tell if it's got potential. After all, I've had outlines that have gotten trashed two chapters in because as I was writing, this popped up and then this character would react differently than I'd anticipated and before I knew it I had something very different but better than what I'd outlined. So I'd suggest putting aside the doubt and just diving into the writing. See what happens. As my Mum always says, "throw it against the wall and see what sticks."

So take a deep breath. Get some cookies, or coffee, or whatever you need. Stop overthinking, put your fingers on the keyboard, and see where the story and characters take you. You can do it. Just relax and remember that you're a writer. Write what you need to write and don't worry about the rest right now. Good luck, and welcome to the Bransforums!
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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dios4vida
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Re: Doubting My Ideas

Post by dios4vida » June 3rd, 2011, 10:56 am

Watcher55 wrote:Self doubts are like those styrofoam peanuts. They're part of the package, and they get everywhere. A good idea is a good idea even if the excitement of the first spark has worn off. Trust the story that's in your head - the outline is a useful tool, but it's not an unbreakable contract.

I'd bet all your money that I'm not the only one on this board that had to rip everything out and start over at least three times.
Watcher, as always, you are hilarious and right on the point. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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polymath
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Re: Doubting My Ideas

Post by polymath » June 3rd, 2011, 10:59 am

Consider backtracking to middle grade literature's primary conventions, its first principles. One, a setting where a middle grader first experiences the insuperable struggles of the world at large, like a school setting or other time, place, and situation where he or she is partly on his or her own initiative for the very first time and emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually almost up to the challenges. Underlying that is exposure to perhaps dissenting opinions and attitudes and viewpoints contrary to guardian imposed ones, certainly different ones. Middle grade is where children first exercise self-identity formation independently from guardian imposed identities.

Two, middle grade literature's strengths and purposes and moral authorities' approval depend on and are all about indoctrination. At the very least, it is the age stage when children are indoctrinated toward collecting information rather than primary grades' learning how to consume information. At its best, middle grade literature helps middle graders parse their quickening self-identity formation.

Sure, I doubt, without doubt there is no struggle, no plot. Writing is a plot. Life is a plot. Middle grade is but one initiation crisis along the journey.

I am an overthinker, obviously. It is a tool, like a weapon, it has a double edge. It cuts both ways. When the mind races, follow it to a natural obstacle or conclusion. But take time to pick roses along the way.
Spread the love of written word.

nicksabo
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Re: Doubting My Ideas

Post by nicksabo » June 3rd, 2011, 12:55 pm

Wow, this is very encouraging. Thank you all for the great advice!

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