Writing advice? PLEASE!!!!!

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  1. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    Well, the deal is that I've been mulling over a Hub for over 2 weeks now and the more research I do, the angrier I get!  It's about a guy who lived long ago, but, boy, what an ASS!  I am way too emotionally involved, and it has kept me off HP for weeks.
    Anyhow, does anyone have any pearls for this new writer regarding focus and 'distance' from one's own writing?  The Hub is also impossibly long, so editing is another art that needs work.
    It does involve my life in a round about way, so I suppose I can't totally disengage my feelings, but I do need to 'leave it' somehow.
    Sorry to be so obtuse...but hey, I gotta write this thing in a unique way.lol

    1. Cagsil profile image72
      Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Hey Lorlie, first off, good morning. smile Secondly, how much emotionally involved are you?

      As in meaning what exactly? If you actually know this person, on a romantic level, then ask yourself why are you writing about this person?

      And, don't say because you had a romantic involvement, because then the writing has too much emotion and not enough creativity.

      If you were not romantically involved, but experienced a kinship type friendship, then I would suggest you stop trying to connect with that old feeling and use your creative-side to substitute. It will help you to better focus on the task.
      If you feel it is too long, then do a severe hack/edit job or create a second hub?
      How did it involve your life in a round about way? Which, should have been answered above? You don't need to "leave it", but simply accept the experience you had and either the pain it caused or the joy it gave you, and be honest with yourself about it.

      This will help you to move forward, by removing the obvious limitation, which you have placed on yourself. And, before you saying anything.....Yes, you've put a limitation on yourself, otherwise you wouldn't be here asking for help. Look at what is causing the limitation, see all your choices and then choose a direction to write.

      I think one of the reason you have so much already written is because you're like me, you think too much. Not all the research is to be completely explained in detail. Sometimes you can put a sentence or two, then move on to the next "key" item in your research.

      I've had Hubs that were well over 5000 words, and in the end it was about 3000 words. As far as, the fact that YOU wouldn't read it, doesn't mean others wouldn't read it the length it is now? Just a thought.

      Some people like long reads and some don't. It's hit or miss really. I try to write everything, but end up leaving out portions, which fit into smaller ideas for other hubs.

      Hope that helped. smile

      1. lorlie6 profile image73
        lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Good Morning, Cagsil-off the bat, I must say that you've pegged me in the over-thinking department.  My family is constantly accusing me of this, but I feel I'm just taking EVERYTHING into consideration, know what I mean? lol
        Well, in terms of the Hub/s I am going to write, they have nothing to do with romance.  I suppose I've been misleading somewhat in this thread since this guy I've grown to detest is long dead and gone.  Sorry to my readers!  They are historical facts about my world-my place of residence-and I am furious.  Calm down, Laurel, deep breaths.  By the way, Cags, thanks!
        I am such a drama queen at times lol, so people, thanks for all your input.

        1. Cagsil profile image72
          Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Sounds, to me, like you've not move past this anger you have or resentment? Even though the person is DEAD?

          I mean, living in the past isn't healthy. Learn from it, accept it and move forward. It's the only way, so as to not cause yourself so much hostility, frustration, anger or whatever else.

          smile tongue

    2. TheGlassSpider profile image64
      TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Why should you disengage from your feelings about this subject? I suggest that some of the most powerful writing can come from strong emotions. If they're blocking you up, I would say the best thing to do would be to write it out...Delve into those feelings, write what you think and feel, and see what comes out. The original piece might not be exactly what you're looking for, but perhaps it will help deal with the emotional attachment (thus allowing you to move forward in a different direction if need be).

      And you never know, it might be a great hub, or at least the START of one.

      I wish you luck!! smile

      1. mailxpress profile image51
        mailxpressposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Hi glassspider,
        I feel good writing comes from strong emotions too.  Writing can be used as a way of healing.

    3. thisisoli profile image72
      thisisoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      There have been a couple of times I have suffered from this, and in the end I always drop the job.

      It's just not worth the time it takes to force yourself in to writing.

    4. profile image56
      mistrunnerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      first of all mate, be it fiction or non, all writings are in some way emotionally attached to its author so dont feel bad about that. If you are seeking to display a factual hub, then do just that. Write only the facts of this persons life, editing all personal comment from your hub. Words or phrases that include I or we or me need to be edited out. Also anything that shows opinion one way or another. Basically to write a detached hub you need to report only the factual points of your subject. Good luck with your hub, and i look forward to reading the final draft when you are done.

  2. profile image0
    lynnechandlerposted 13 years ago

    Lorlei, I write it out long hand then type it up in wordpad so I can copy and paste. Most times on a long piece what happens is the as I start typing I edit so the piece comes in a bit more manageable.

    As far as distancing yourself from the piece just get it out on paper first that will get it out of your brain at least then you can see what you need to do with it from there.

  3. hublim profile image67
    hublimposted 13 years ago

    You may want to consider breaking the hub into parts and creating multiple hubs for the topic. Work on one part, it’ll be less to edit and you can focus on a smaller article.

    It sounds like the document has evolved into a monster hub, having a hub that is too wordy can put readers off, if you like to put the keyword research hat on, it’ll also allow you to have different parts of your story focussed on different keywords.

  4. Flightkeeper profile image66
    Flightkeeperposted 13 years ago

    Hi lorlie, what a topic! To write about something I don't like I tend to find out something that is interesting underneath all the stuff I don't like and connect to it.  Your subject sounds twisted but that can be fascinating in itself.

  5. myownworld profile image74
    myownworldposted 13 years ago

    Try splitting it into more than one hub (like part 1 and part 11). I often do that when my hub gets too long. And sometimes one's best writing is one where you're emotionally involved in the story....that 'anger' will probably make it all the more intense. Yes, put it all down...but do take breaks at the forum. Keeps you sane... smile

  6. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    What amazing ideas...thank you all!

  7. theirishobserver. profile image61
    theirishobserver.posted 13 years ago

    This is a dilema, I know you have read the first chapter of my book, I done it in three parts, but yesterday decided that it would read better as one Hub, so I done that, as you can imagine there was so much to write and it was hard to know what to put in and keep out, some good advise already, write it in word, dont panic, a good hub is worth while, I have a few that recieved little thought and they are crap, just take your time, when your happy with it, I have no doubt that we will be happy with it smile

  8. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    Yep, my LIFE is often a dilemma, so this is no surprise! lol  But honestly, I think I'll mull all these words of wisdom over and do more research; I don't want to overwhelm the reader. 
    And yes, I will take my time, no matter if my score suffers or not.

  9. Flightkeeper profile image66
    Flightkeeperposted 13 years ago

    Lorlie, it might help to post a piece of your hub at a time. That way you don't have to wait until everything is done and you will hook readers into your series.  dohn does this very effectively with his fiction, there's no reason why you can't do the same with your nonfiction.

    You've peaked my curiosity about your subject so let us know when it's done.

  10. ddsurfsca profile image70
    ddsurfscaposted 13 years ago

    When I took my writing courses, they taught us to outline so you get your subject matter in the correct order.  Then go over the outline and overwrite everything, using way more describing words than you need.  Then you go back one more time and in the places that you have used to many words, and overwritten, cut it down to the exact words that you want so that you describe things as colorfully as possible.
       They taught us that unless you have written your topic at least four to five times, it is not done correctly.
       Also, I think it is impossible to disconnect yourself from your subject matter.  Everytime I work on my autobiography, there are many places that I sit and write and just cry through it.  It is a therapy sort of

  11. Dolores Monet profile image92
    Dolores Monetposted 13 years ago

    1) What do you consider too long?
    2) Sometimes being a bit emotional can make a hub interesting!

  12. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    Flightkeeper-you've got it...ddsurfsca-what classes those must have been; I've never taken any, just love the language and the process.  Dolores-umm, the more research I do, the longer and more sordid it becomes!  Well, I'd say it'd be a Hub of at least 5,000 words. sad
    I sure wouldn't read it! lol

    1. Dolores Monet profile image92
      Dolores Monetposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      wow, 5,000 is a bit over the top, but it can be fun getting all that information down, sorting through it, and even (dare i say it) editing. a good writing lesson

      1. lorlie6 profile image73
        lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Absolutely!  The research is mind-boggling, but it is fun and infuriating.  I've never really edited anything properly, but this one's going to require it.  A good writing lesson is what I need! lol

    2. rebekahELLE profile image86
      rebekahELLEposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      lorlie, writing it out can be therapeutic in itself. maybe writing will help you figure out what it is that bothers you so much, as flightkeeper mentioned.
      the writing process is for you.
      the final product is for your audience.

      the advice which I've received that I think of when I'm writing is:
      what does your audience want to know?
      what will they gain from this?
      what do I want them to take away from my writing?
      is it just a personal story or do you want to point out something you learned or gained from the experience?
      if it's too long, you will lose your readers. I would try to condense it so you really write what others will read.

      sounds intriguing! smile  I want to read it!

      1. lorlie6 profile image73
        lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Oh, yes, RebeccaELLE, that pesky reader! lol  Just kidding-you're so right in reminding me of the audience.
        After reading all the comments here, I'm pretty certain that this 'thing' will be in installments.

  13. prettydarkhorse profile image54
    prettydarkhorseposted 13 years ago

    hi lorlie, yes it will really help you if you subdivide it, Cant wait for the first part, you take your time though and give yourself a break.

  14. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    Thanks, PDH, I will take my time, per your instructions! lol  No, really, the topic's important to me, so I should take it easy and not get so irate!  Even though, as Dolores and Flightkeeper pointed out, a bit of emotionality can give it an edge....I hope.

  15. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    It's a philosophical anger, I suppose, and I guess if you read them, you'll understand what I mean. 
    I'd best get to that writing now, doncha think? lol

    1. Cagsil profile image72
      Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Hey you are the one that came to the forum looking for help. If you're addicted to the forums, it's not my fault. It's yours! lol lol lol lol

      1. lorlie6 profile image73
        lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        So right you are...and I've gotten great advice.  So I'm off to the writing races! lol

      2. lorlie6 profile image73
        lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Cags, I am not addicted to the forums, I just wanted to get some advice from other writers here.

  16. profile image0
    Crazdwriterposted 13 years ago

    Here is my advice *hugs* big_smile and just take it one day at a time...write what you feel needs to be said. As for distancing yourself I would say what another hubber said and write out all of the emotions yuo are feeling right now all of the anger, all of the sadness, whatever you are feeling writing it out.

    saw that it was like 5,000 words...I say make it a two parter.

    1. lorlie6 profile image73
      lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Hugs to you, my friend!  I am thinking a 3 parter, but we shall see! lol
      Thanks for bein' there.

      1. profile image0
        Crazdwriterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        three parter works too big_smile and anytime I'm always ready to help

        1. lorlie6 profile image73
          lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks-gotta go do that thang, ya know, writin'!

          1. profile image0
            Crazdwriterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            writing....sounds familiar lol have fun lorlie!

            1. lorlie6 profile image73
              lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Will do, babe!

  17. ddsurfsca profile image70
    ddsurfscaposted 13 years ago

    Just one more thing, and it is probably very important to how your hub comes out in the end...
       It sounds to me like this subject is something that is very important to you, and that you are already planning on how long it will be...(I never know how long mine will end up)...
       Just bare this in the back of your mind as you go along.
       Make sure that as you go along, knowing that this subject is very captivating to you, make sure that the story has the same charm and interest for your readers. 
       Another thing that I learned in my writing classes was that every story must have a "Moral to the story" or that you learn something from it, just something that will keep your readers engaged in the main theme. You speak of philisophical anger, make sure that your readers feel the same anger that you did, with the right wording
       Many writers fall into a trap of assuming that the storyline will have the same appeal to everyone as it does yourself, and end up writing something that is more along the line of a diary or journal of something that happened to themnself long ago. 
       Maybe stop every now and again and read what you have so far so that you don't get lost in a long thought of something that may be dry and not needed to get your point across.
       The classes that I took, by the way were creative writing, and how to write children's books, with emphasis on what vocabulary suits what age group, and the length and what we are teaching through the story.  It was very helpful learning.

    1. lorlie6 profile image73
      lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, ddsurfsca, for your thoughts and advice.  Over the last 2 weeks I have been researching this topic and have learned something new daily.  You are so right to remind me of the reader.  No tangents allowed-well, maybe a few.lol  Another point I appreciated was that you mentioned that you never know what length your hub will be.  Well, my friend, after my serious case of overthinking, I decided to pitch the 5,000 word idea, and even the 2 parter concept.  I've decided to focus it more tightly into 1 hub.  AND, I started it today!!!  It's soooo hard to be a writer, takes such time and effort, and many of those around me consider my efforts a waste of time.  In fact, they are at times annoyed at this passion of mine.
      And, Internetwriter-your journalistic point of view is invaluable.  This is an historical piece, so distance is necessary.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sensing the Henry the 8th/Dracula side of this guy-and in a very real way, you're right. 
      I'm not trying to be mysterious, folks, I just want to get this thing done!!! lol But I must take a break now and then here on the forums-much needed relief...

  18. Internetwriter62 profile image76
    Internetwriter62posted 13 years ago

    I don't know who you're writing about, but from your description, it sounds like Henry the 8th. I know that there were many people that lived long ago that were truly nasty, like Count Dracula. I guess, you have to do, what I did during World History class, back in my Sophomore year, in high school. I just studied these individuals, kind of, like they were fictional, in order to distance myself. I sometimes have to deal with the news that way. I live in the real world, I just know that if I take the evils in it too seriously, I get really depressed. So just do your research like a journalist would, facts, just the facts, stay focused and you will write a brilliant hub.  Think like the journalists that covered the war in Vietnam and journalists that cover some really sick crimes, yet they have certain coping techniques. I believe they distance themselves, by defusing the realness of the situation, other wise they would go crazy.

  19. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    I finally published the thing!!!!!lol  Wow, what an experience that was.  Anyway, just thought I'd let you folks know since you were so incredibly supportive when I needed you!

    1. TheGlassSpider profile image64
      TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Well congratulations!


      Leave it to me to be late.

      1. lorlie6 profile image73
        lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this


  20. profile image0
    Lecieposted 13 years ago

    what sometimes helps me is to change the names. then you pretend it all happened to these characters. when you have it all finished you just go back through and fix the names.
    when i'm writing about someone i know i got to emotional. all i have to do is change their name and picture myself writing a fictional story that will help others. it keeps me foccussed to the end. then changing the names back is a breeze. you only foccuss on the names and not the part that upset you. good luck.
    have fun and be creative

    1. lorlie6 profile image73
      lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Well, Lecie, I didn't change a thing, because I never knew the guy-he was an engineer extraordinaire who stole water from the Eastern Sierras for Los Angeles at the turn of the 20th century.  Named Mullholland.  Part of his story is in the movie "Chinatown."  Since I live in the place he made a desert through wheelings and dealings, I thought I'd write a pretty scathing-yet not libelous-hub about what he did.
      I thank you for your idea, though, because I am stashing this thread away for future reference!

  21. qwark profile image61
    qwarkposted 13 years ago

    Hi Lorlie:
    I've read some pretty good suggestions offered.
    None of us is a pro writer, but we certainly will offer whatever, we think, is necessary to write an interesting "hub."
    I use my "notepad."
    I can type thoughts onto it, save it in a file, come back to it later to make corrections or continue writing.
    I think, like many do, that if your "hub" is long, try doing it in "chapters."
    The responses you get can be considered to help you decide if you want to carry on or end it.
    Each "chapter" should take a thought from beginning to end but entice the reader into looking for the next chapter.
    If I were writing it, I'd write it completely, then review it, seperating chapters.
    When it has been completed and reviewed, I'd offer it chapter by chapter.
    I hope I offered something useful.

    1. lorlie6 profile image73
      lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Quark-that is helpful.  I try to follow some of the writing advice I've read in "Bird By Bird" by Anne Lamott, which fits my style, I suppose, in that she recommends keeping your story 'tight' in a sense.  Well, I'm not doing her any justice, but the point is essentially not to go off on tangents.
      So your chapter idea is perfect, since I could do that initially to see how many tangents I'm tempted to follow-perhaps leading to an entirely different hub!

  22. Lynda Gary profile image59
    Lynda Garyposted 13 years ago

    qwark, some of us actually are pro-writers.  We use the hubs for various reasons.

    I'm getting ready to go check out lorlie's published hub (the topic here), but wanted to add my two cents for others who visit and may need the advice:

    Like many, I'm not an "outliner."  But when I do write a piece that is somehow complex, I continually ask myself, "What point am I trying to make?"  "What do I want the reader to know?"  "Does the reader care?"  and "Does this relate to the point(s) I'm trying to get across?"  Anything that I've written -- or plan to write -- that doesn't fit, I scratch.

    With writing, especially, anything that doesn't add to the value detracts from it.  All of the extra nuggets that I may find interesting but that don't accomplish my purpose simply have to go.

    1. lorlie6 profile image73
      lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for your two cents, Lynda.  I thought some hubbers were pros, but wasn't certain. 
      I like your questions...continually asking yourself these is important, and since I'm new at this game-writing-I believe I need to keep these things in mind.

      1. Lynda Gary profile image59
        Lynda Garyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        YW, lorlie.  I think there are a lot of us here who are traditionally published.  We get some flack, too, for publishing on sites like this.  The general consensus in the writing industry is that these type of sites demean "pro" writers.

        Like I said, I have my own reasons -- and, frankly, I don't care what the majority opinion is.  That's a diff topic, tho.

        Back to your original OP:  I suggest that you go back and re-read your "My Dearest Mama" hub/letter.  An emotional topic, like the one you've referenced in your OP, but well written, organized beautifully, and points made without any extraneous stuff.  When you re-read it, you might remember HOW you did it, how you stayed on task, etc.  (It's a beautiful hub, btw!)

        PS: Did you ever quit smoking?  Have you seen my recent forum post "Smoking Cessation, anyone?"

        1. lorlie6 profile image73
          lorlie6posted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks for the kudos, Lynda-and no, I didn't quit.  I will have to soon again, though, to have my other hip replaced.  I've been procrastinating and avoiding the inevitable...

  23. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    Well, I am pleased to say that by HP's standards, those strong emotions produced my most successful hub yet.  It took me about a week to do the research, etc., but it was a wonderful experience and has opened my eyes in many ways!


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