"On Hold" Projects

"On Hold" Projects

A Lesson by TJ Graham

I call writing a project. Why? Depending on what it is, it takes time.


   I'm a very bad person. Horrible. Why? I'll tell you. It was a dark and rainy night....No, okay. It was April 29th, 2007. I had just finished, on paper, writing the second part of my Science Fiction trilogy "Black Haven" called "Revelation". Hasn't changed. Been almost 4 years. Hasn't changed. Not one bit. I had started writing the third, but it crashed and burned. I haven't given up, I just wanted to move on. I'll prove I haven't given up.
  In the 4 years that the trilogy has sat, collecting dust, it has gone through at least four different plot changes, everything from robots, to clones, to aliens. This is what you call a writing "On Hold". A project you HAVE NOT GIVEN UP on, but are still working out the kinks. Just like a restoration on a car. Sits in your garage, but you working on it bit by bit.
  Now, it's okay to stop working on a writing project and move on to something else. DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU OTHERWISE. Maybe you can stop working on the "Big Project" and write a Short Story version of it.
Example: "Breaking Walls" is my "Big Project". I started that in October 2008, two years, people!
I have written a short based on that (It is actually a semi-epilogue) called "Walking".
You see? I said I was a very bad person. That's two good projects "On Hold"

Now, a way to 'cure' my laziness is to make a promise (sort of). Make a list of your current and future writings, and set a completion date for every single one.


Here's mine.

Breaking Walls” needs to be finished by: January 2011.

Black Haven” needs to be started on by: Fall 2011.

Opposing Force” needs to be finished by: Summer 2012.

But DO NOT make yourself a promise that you can't keep.

As I, obviously, already have.

However, I have found that using this method could work, if you want to get something done. But I still find that taking your "Pain in The A*s" project and turning it into a short story and rebuilding it from there is the best method.

So, if any of what you have just read works for you, congratulations! You are on your way to finishing your most difficult work yet.

So, if you think it'll work for you. Let me know.

Good luck, and good writing.


Previous Lesson


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Posted 6 Years Ago

I set daily and weekly goals that I try to reach. For my daily goals I set a designated time for writing and within that time I set a page number. Then I also, in keeping with what Stephen King recommends, I set a block of time aside for reading. I keep track of this by making sure my goals are not out of reach and then at the end of the week have the satisfaction of putting down that, yes, I have reached my goal, of say, 45 pages or no, I did not. Then I adjust my goals accordingly. If I wrote more, then my daily goal is raised. If I didn't, I look at why. Were my reasons from a typical week? Did unexpected things happen? Did I account for certain things, i.e.: doctor appointments, sick kids, household emergencies, etc.? It helps to get into the story as well. There are more times than not where I write longer because I am so into the story I am not ready to quit when my time is up for the day. Just a suggestion. It works for me.

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Posted 6 Years Ago

Hello dear how are you ? i am miss Pamela , by name i saw your profile at www.writerscafe.org and was move to contact you, please contact me back in my email ([email protected] ) for me to tell you more about me or you can send me your private email for me to send you mail on it and tell you my reason i contact you, am waiting for your email to my email
([email protected] )

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Posted 6 Years Ago

I agree that outlining is a good method to use if you want to keep from running into "walls", however, you need to remember that when outlining you should still detail different events as much as possible, because like for myself the details can sometimes be the problem...

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Posted 6 Years Ago

To keep from hitting walls and stopping for long periods of time, I created a detailed outline of the direction the story would go before I ever started. I know my beginning middle and end. The details are all that needs to be filled in. It keeps me from coming to a grinding halt with my very first big writing project. I haven't given myself a deadline, because I read over and over and over and change things often. I'm not really sure how I will know when I think it is finished, but I know how it will end.

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Posted 8 Years Ago

Good advice.

I've kept a list of most of the stories I'm writing/intend to write, and it does help to keep myself motivated.

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Posted 9 Years Ago

Really good advice! Thank you!

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Posted 9 Years Ago

I too had the same problem. I had this story I really wanted to write ever since I watched the 1st Narnia in the movies - that was in 2006 or 2007, I think. Ever since then I only finished at least half of its 1st chapter, and I was planning on making it a 4-part/5-part book series, but I am still planning on finishing it.
Good advice btw...
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TJ Graham
TJ Graham

Castle Rock, CO

According to "I Write Like", I have the literary talents similar to Margaret Mitchell, author of 'Gone With The Wind'. That's too bad, I was hoping It'd say Stephanie Meyer, because I'd be able to thr..