I have an encyclopedia, not a story: what to do?
April 23, 2014 11:05 AM Subscribe
Authors Of AskMe, has this happened to you? During my self-imposed creative hiatus over the last year or so I conducted a lot of research into what would be my dream project. A project I could be passionate about, the kind of book I'd really want to exist. So I made a list of every thing, character, concept, idea, sudden kind of twist I'd like. I have three notebooks of this stuff. I cross-indexed it and included all my references. I have an astounding about of detail on what I want to put in and touch on but no actual story. I keep staring at it, like it's a list of SCP entries, and I can't think of a damn thing for anyone to do with these collected items, places, motifs, themes, and people. It's frustrating cause I can come up with quick pulp narratives on the fly for stuff I'm not working as hard on but every attempt to break and outline a rising action for these people results in rapid breathing and complete brain fume-lock. I keep asking "What does the main character want?" and coming up with nothing. Is this common? Is there a resource for this? Can I pay someone to go through these ideas and find something that other people might want to read?
posted by The Whelk to Writing & Language (39 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Also I'm trying to avoid talking to my friends and fellows about this cause I've been talking about it for the past three years as I gather stuff and now that I can't GET GOING on it I feel like the biggest fraud ever cause talking a big game and producing nothing is the worst crime on Earth and clearly I should just die.
Yes I know it's irrational but that doesn't stop me.