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View Full Version : Writer's "Flash Forward!!!" Problem


Tysyacha
07-30-2006, 01:10 AM
Dear Writers,

I have a problem. I love writing my story, but I want to skip
right to the final climax and the end a lot of the time. How
do you keep from going "Ick! I want to skip this crap and
go right to the end! Who cares about the rest? I've already
got the beginning out, and the middle is just a bunch of middle.
It's the END that's really going to be spectacular!"

I want to NOT think this, but how? I just want to hurry up
with my story so much, plot-wise. Rush, rush, rush--that's me!

Please help,
Tysyacha

The Doctor
07-30-2006, 01:34 AM
I get this all the time. To resolve this angst, I write out the ending, and get it out of my system. Then, I write the rest. Then I go back and re-read the ending, just to make sure I didn't make any mistakes, or forget anything in the eariler story. Sometimes I add things in to the end, too.

stingerhs
07-30-2006, 01:50 AM
hehe, the joys of writing. interestingly enough, you've run into a fairly common problem of writing. most authors start with an idea and then come up with a solution for the idea. in other words, they take a concept and then use the concept to create one heck of a climax. then, they just have to work on developing the concept into the climax.

trust me, its a perfectly normal problem that even i've run into with my writing. the easist solution is to start by writing down the big climatic end (and i did say write, which means that you need to use pen and paper) and then going back and writing ideas down that will lead to that big climatic ending. it makes for better organization, and it also leads to better creativity on your part since you can make several plots that all intertwine at your big climax. hehe, at least, that's how i do it. ;)

and in case you're wondering why i emphasize using pen and paper to write down your ideas, well, there's an answer for that, too. with a computer, you can type things in, and the data is stored somewhere, but you're limited to what you can draw out with a QWERTY keyboard (ie, just words). when you write it out by hand, you can doodle little notes here and there, cross things out, draw arrows to connect things, etc. its a much better way of getting yourself a visual on how you want your story to go as long as you can understand it.

anyways, there's my couple of tips for the day. ;)

Sabretooth
07-30-2006, 10:11 AM
I used top get that problem when I was writing Victim of Betrayal - but I devised something to solve it.

Most of the time, you have a big idea for the end. I say you add similar, smaller events through the middle and concentrate on them as if they were the end. Play with yourself and pretend to be the reader, not the writer. Imagine how you want to pan the next sequence and then switch back to the writer in you. Its a little complex, but the idea is to deceive your brain.

Jae Onasi
07-31-2006, 06:28 PM
When I started writing AOJB, I never expected it to get as long as it did. About 10 chapters into it, I started to realize I was losing track of where I wanted to take everything, and I'd get good ideas, snippets of conversations or a 'Bindoism' and end up forgetting them later, which drove me nuts. I did have a somewhat specific endpoint in mind by then (though nothing more than "The three Jedi have to go take out a Sith Lord"). I do keep everything on the computer, but that's mainly because I'm art-impaired and don't do little sketches and such that most others do.
Anyway, here's what I had to do--
Have one Word doc for the story itself
Have another Word doc just for ideas. My idea page is semi-organized into categories--romance, fight scenes, stories for Jolee to tell, the Sith Lord plot, conversation snippets to include, that kind of thing. Whenever I got an idea I'd post it at the bottom of the idea page if I didn't have time and then categorize it later, or I'd just stick it in its proper category. I have a little notepad and pen in my purse for those times when I didn't have my computer with me, and then I'd put the notes in the computer when I got home. I'm not sure how my pastor would react to knowing that sometimes his sermons had some very useful little tidbits that I later adapted for my story, but you just never know where an idea will come from. :)
Have a third Word doc for an outline. This was a very sketchy outline for me, but you can make it as detailed as you want. When I sat down to outline the story once I realized it was going to be a lot longer than I anticipated, I had both my initial story and the endpoint in mind. I put those down, and I filled it in to get my people from where they were to the end scene, trying to make sure to have some excitement in between. I viewed it almost as a roadmap--I had to get from point A to my destination, but in between we were going to stop here and do x, get some info and head to point y, find something interesting and need to go investigate at point z, return to point y to fill in the gaps, which would send me to point q where I had to battle the Sith Lord.
When/if I get around to doing another story, I'll fill in that outline as I complete each chapter and have a very brief chapter summary, because once I got into the upper 20/lower 30 chapters, I'd ask myself 'now what did Mik'oth say back when they were still on Coruscant' or something like that and have to scroll back a bunch of pages because I'd actually forgotten just which chapter it was in. :)
Now I did find myself thinking about the climax point a lot more as I got closer to it (up until that point I could concentrate on where I was on the map at that moment), and I finally ended up just jotting down a bunch of ideas for the scene just to get it out of my system. I didn't write it out fully because I still had to develop the chapters before it, but it at least calmed that 'urge to write the end' thing down until I actually got to it. Most of the notes I made I ended up using, some got tossed because the issues got resolved in earlier chapters or they were no longer necessary, and some good ideas just didn't get used because they no longer fit the scene.
Don't know if that helps or not, but it seemed to work for me. Of course, since I'd never written anything remotely novel length before this, I was pretty much had to figure this out as I went along, so it may not work for everyone or every situation.

Niner_777
08-01-2006, 11:02 AM
^hmm...

I have felt like skipping to the end, but I've never really done anything about it, except think of it. That's probably not the best way, but because my fic doesn't have many breaks in action, it keeps me interested, even though it's not the climax.

Actually, I'm kind of worried about the climax. I can never seem to fit things into small amounts of writing. I'm afraid that my climax in either going to be split up between chapters, or super long. I don't know what to do about that, and it might not even happen like that.

Jae Onasi
08-01-2006, 03:32 PM
Niner, nothing wrong with it split into multiple chapters or one long one. Chapter breaks are purely arbitrary, anyway. The only reason I kept mine about 5 pages long in Word is because it seemed about the right amount for people to read in one sitting if they're just cruising through CEC. Otherwise, some of my chapters would have been only a few pages, and some would have been 10 or 15.
If I had what looked to be a really long chapter for forum-posting purposes, I'd just cut it off at a cliffhanger point and save the rest for the next chapter. Always leave them wanting more.... :D

machievelli
08-01-2006, 03:54 PM
With al this good advice there is nothing for me to say