It’s been a while since I last tried to write a full story. I have footnotes and passages of various stories written out in note pads or just sitting as saved files on my computer. I essentially have a entire books worth just of writing prompts for various stories.
One problem I keep encountering when I write is that I visualise the story so vividly in my head how a character looks and acts that I almost struggle to describe them. I don’t want the character to come across as one note or overly done. A bland character can take a reader out of a story which is one of the worst things that can happen when telling a story. But on the opposite side of the spectrum you can overdo a character and make their motives or personality unclear because they are surrounded by a thousand distracting and unimportant details.
I can create one character to follow an ark that will represent one thing or tell a part of the story but I may want to include too much for just one character to carry. I could add another character, one who runs parallel to the initial characters arc and includes the added character or plot details. However adding another character raises another set of issues. How will this character integrate into the story as a whole? How does this effect the tone and pace of the story so far? How do I differentiate this character from what I have done before?
These problems lead me to drop projects and say “I’ll come back to them some other time.” And there the stories sit waiting for me to come back and finally finish them. Maybe I’ll find a way to stop burning out one chapter into a story and how to stop procrastinating, and when I find out I’ll let everyone know.
The most common problem I always get when I’m trying to write is not coming up with the story, but at actually putting pen to paper. I can picture an entire story, detailed so vividly in my own head. I come up with worlds, characters and a general basis for the story, but at the point I want to lay it all out and type out the story, all words and writing ability disappears. I have no idea how to start a sentence, what the first line will be or how I’m gonna like any of the scenes I’ve imagined together. The subsequent confusion then just results in me making a note of the ideas and putting them to one side to return to another day. After several occasions of doing this, I have yet to return to any of the stories. It’s the doubt I have in myself as a writer that stops me from ever pursuing the dream further. I love reading and dream one day that I could write a book, not with the intention of it getting popular but just to see something that I have crafted be published and read and if all goes well, be liked. If I find a way to overcome this mental block then I’ll be sure to share it with everyone, but for now I’ve just got to soldier on through it.
Fantasy is something we all use to help us escape the world around us. In our minds, we can create a world different from what we live in but also one that we recognise and control, making everything around us something somehow familiar yet different. When we translate this imagined world and reality into writing through the medium of books, online posts or other mediums, we share the constructed world that we have created with others. There are many imaginative people who in their minds create worlds with fantastic creative landscapes, creatures and stories and keep them to themselves. Their fear of criticism of their world, imagination or writing ability stops them from wanting to share their creation with others. They may think that their minds creation is too far fetched, silly or even too embarrassing to translate into a fully constructed story but when faced with these fears we need to remember that those whom hopeful fantasy writers aspire to be and idolise, had likely held the same fears or even faced actual criticism for their creations. We now live in a world where thanks to people like J.K.Rowling we can imagine ourselves in a world of wizards learning spells and being sorted into houses via a magic hat, participating in a journey through J.R.R Tolkiens land of Middle Earth to combat legions of orcs to rid the world of a mentally corrupting ring, or even living in Sir Terry Pratchetts Discworld where we live on a flat disc on top of four elephants stood on top of a giant turtle floating through space. It is through incredible imagination that we are able to experience whole new worlds that in some way represent the world we live in or teach lessons we didn’t even know we’re being taught. Do not be worried about sharing the new world you have created in your mind, because it may create a new incredible world of fantasy for millions to enjoy.