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Old 04-12-2016, 10:57 PM   #1
le_kitty
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On endings and finished work

I came across this passage in a book I'm going through:

"A painting is never finished. It simply stops in interesting places," said Paul Gardner. A book is never finished. But at a certain point you stop writing it and go on to the next thing. A film is never cut perfectly, but at a certain point you let go and call it done. That is a normal part of creativity - letting go. We always do the best that we can by the light we have to see by.

It seems like that's what we're all picking up on. Unfinished endings, readers wanting more, and re-writing the same scene because we can't let it go.

Food for thought?
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:07 PM   #2
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The story may not be finished...

The story might not be finished but generally I'm finished with it when I submit it.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:08 PM   #3
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To which you can add W H Auden's observation: ‘A poem is never finished, it is only abandoned.’

Having spent much of my writing career working to a deadline, I long ago learned the importance of writing what you need to write - and then stopping. If I later think of a better opening, a better ending, or a more engaging plot, they can all go into the next piece.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:18 PM   #4
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I find that THE END is a good sign for locating where the writing stops. We may not like where the writing stops but by golly it stops in close proximity to THE END.
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:16 AM   #5
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Some film directors have trouble letting go. How many re-edits of Star Wars and Blade Runner were there?
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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My stories are finished, done, ended, when they are posted on Literotica.

I can then forget that one and move on to the next, unless I or commentators spot the typo or plot error once it is posted. If so, I edit, and forget that story again.

Which causes me difficulty when I want to write another chapter or a sequel. I have to get back to the writer I was when I wrote that story.

Re-reading a story posted a decade ago is like reading someone else's work.
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:34 PM   #7
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I think true art is never done, but sometimes the artist is.
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:40 PM   #8
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I'm afraid it often is far too easy to nudge both the art and artist into being overdone.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewobbit View Post
I think true art is never done, but sometimes the artist is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamScribble View Post
To which you can add W H Auden's observation: ‘A poem is never finished, it is only abandoned.’
I like these sentiments. Several of my stories got posted because I was too tired of them to continue adjusting and finally gave up. Earlier postings just went on and on as I did chapter after chapter vainly trying to find an end.

The idea to stop when it's still good is fun too, it strokes the ego to have people asking for more. And sure beats 'jumping the shark'.
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:19 PM   #10
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Some here may have seen my thread on starting with endings. That's how to ensure the story stops. Its termination may be cliffhanging or ambiguous or incongruous, may beg for continuation, but as far as I'm concerned, it's over and done, plop. Know what you want to say, say it, and move on. I mention a few ways I approach storytelling:

* Populate a setting with characters and a few plot points and let them play it out; I need merely transcribe+edit the show. This can stretch out forever...
* A journal-type account with a known storyline can play in my head like a video. I blog it, noting thoughts, words, deeds, then flesh it out till it sings.
* Start with an image or event the story will lead to and maybe end with. Build a setting and tale to inevitably reach that destination. Make your point.

Different story types take different approaches, duh. One size don't fit all. Which challenges more, a story in search of an ending or an ending in search of a story? When should you use a formal plot structure? When to break the rules, setup new rules, break those too?

My basic guidelines: Not all who wander are lost.
If you don't know where you're going, you'll likely end up someplace else.
The journey can be more interesting than the destination.
Strange travel directions are Allah's dancing lessons.
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:36 PM   #11
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More frequently than not, I don't have the ending in mind when I start writing. I start with a character(s) and/or an event, a setting, and let life play out. This makes for some very uncomfortable moments until I figure out where I and the character(s) are going.

Occasionally I pull the curtain on the story before I should because of a contest deadline. That can be good or bad - good because it keeps me from blathering on and on; bad because I often don't develop the story as much as I could, and probably keeps me from hitting those stratospheric scores some achieve. But I am frequently satisfied with the end product, which counts to me.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:00 AM   #12
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When you got no destination any destination is okay. But every writer knows the end is supposed to resolve the story conflicts.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOIRTRASH View Post
When you got no destination any destination is okay. But every writer knows the end is supposed to resolve the story conflicts.
Yup. I just wish I knew that when I started writing, well maybe at some level I did, but you couldn't have told from the hap hazard way I write. Now I have an end/resolution in my mind when I start. Dammit though, that's harder than just starting with a scene and working blind from there. To have a resolution in mind I now have to think of a problem.

It's getting to be like work or something. Except that it's fun. Mostly. For a while it wasn't then last month I finished one and things are looking up.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:13 PM   #14
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ObTopic: I think we're not distinguishing between "endings and finished work". We may reach a nominal conclusion (or maybe more than one -- I tacked a few endings onto Bride of Kong) but still want to keep tinkering with aspects of the story. Yeah, I could have worded stuff better...

I'll only submit an edit now if I notice something REALLY egregious I can't explain away in comments. Some authors see stories as their babies to be held close, cuddled, nurtured, goo goo. I see mine as fledglings, kicked from the nest. Fly away, little birdies, and shit somewhere else. I need room for new eggs. (That's a metaphor. Then again, it's omelet time.)

Them who want to futz around with their stories endlessly, to tinker with their tawdry tales, are certainly free to do so. Whatever floats boat. But those revisions won't grab many new eyeballs. Authors can decide whether they'd rather write or be read.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le_kitty View Post
It seems like that's what we're all picking up on. Unfinished endings, readers wanting more, and re-writing the same scene because we can't let it go.

Food for thought?
Three different issues there.

One is the creative person wanting to fiddle with the creation forever, always thinking it's not good enough yet, not being able to let go and call it finished.

The second is the audience loving the characters so much that they want more stories with them, even in cases where the end of the story, while not killing them, resolves every plot point and puts a very solid cap on their character arcs, to a degree that writing a sequel with new plot conflicts or character arcs is nearly impossible without negating the importance of what happened in the original story.

The third is a long-running serialized story with multiple plot arcs, and the writer(s) have a very difficult task concocting an ending that is suitably epic and/or suitably ties together the loose ends they've been leaving all along. On TV you just get a series finale that sucks or isn't an ending at all. On this site the author may just abandon the story and leave it as it sits without an ending.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:49 AM   #16
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The story might not be finished but generally I'm finished with it when I submit it.
Agreed.
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Old 04-24-2016, 02:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamScribble View Post
To which you can add W H Auden's observation: ‘A poem is never finished, it is only abandoned.’
Thank you for quoting that. I'd heard the phrase before, but never knew where it came from.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnevil9 View Post
Some film directors have trouble letting go. How many re-edits of Star Wars and Blade Runner were there?
That's a slightly different case, because there were so many other people with their fingers in the pie who kept the director from putting out what he or she thought was the final vision for the film ... producers who wanted to put it into a tight time slot, or who undertook a different edit to suit their tastes. We writers generally don't have that problem ... the only exception I can think of offhand is Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, which the original publisher cut drastically. Heinlein, for all his fame, didn't have the clout to dispute it, but did release his more extensive version when the rights reverted to him. But the whim of the publishers had nothing to do with those.

And, while we're on the subject of science fiction, I remember that Isaac Asimov did extensive re-writes of The Ugly Little Boy and Bicentennial Man in conjunction with collaborators.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:08 AM   #18
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Writers have trouble with ends when they imagine shit that never happened before.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
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That's a slightly different case, because there were so many other people with their fingers in the pie who kept the director from putting out what he or she thought was the final vision for the film ... producers who wanted to put it into a tight time slot, or who undertook a different edit to suit their tastes.
I recall a pioneer example of the exact opposite. Todd Rundgren released an album on an early interactive CD with embedded software and encouraged listeners to make their own mixes of his recorded tracks. He surrendered any "final vision" to his audience. Which eventually evolved to disgruntled viewers editing Star Wars I to remove all traces of Jar-Jar Binks. Yeah, sometimes the director's "final vision" sucks.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:30 PM   #20
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Changing The title of a Finished Story

Here are a few questions I have for my short true stories.
When I started posting stories on Lit I thought each new story would go below the last. This worked great on my Living Our Fantasies story.

I didn't realize any new title was added in alphabetical order. Now two later stories ended up above the first. I'd like stories to remain in roughly the order I place them so early explainations about our lives is read first.

My title Dollie's Random Short Stories should be worded MsDollie's Random Short Stories.

My title Hold my Titties should be Please Hold My Titties so they end up below my first title beginning with "L".

Is there a way to make these changes in finished and published stories? I PM'd Laurel but never got a reply.

It's not life changing but would be nice.
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Some stories are short and contain two or more little ones.

Book #1 Living Our Fantasies... never ending story.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIVINRFANTASIES View Post
Here are a few questions I have for my short true stories.
When I started posting stories on Lit I thought each new story would go below the last. This worked great on my Living Our Fantasies story.

I didn't realize any new title was added in alphabetical order. Now two later stories ended up above the first. I'd like stories to remain in roughly the order I place them so early explainations about our lives is read first.

My title Dollie's Random Short Stories should be worded MsDollie's Random Short Stories.

My title Hold my Titties should be Please Hold My Titties so they end up below my first title beginning with "L".

Is there a way to make these changes in finished and published stories? I PM'd Laurel but never got a reply.

It's not life changing but would be nice.

Did you read the submission FAQs? https://www.literotica.com/faq/05235347.shtml#05314067

I don't think this fully explains a change for titles, though. I suggest you use the old title on the title like (with the "EDITED") behind it and that you explain what you want the new title to be in the comments box.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:47 AM   #22
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Denny

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Did you read the submission FAQs? https://www.literotica.com/faq/05235347.shtml#05314067

I don't think this fully explains a change for titles, though. I suggest you use the old title on the title like (with the "EDITED") behind it and that you explain what you want the new title to be in the comments box.
Thank you. I lost where I'd written this post.
I did consider adding a message in the editors box in the submissions. I know Laurel is too busy to mess with things like this in PM's.
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Still living our Fantasies Proud playgrounder #397

Find our true short stories below 98 done<-----
Some stories are short and contain two or more little ones.

Book #1 Living Our Fantasies... never ending story.
Book #2 Please Hold My Titties... short b(.)(.)by holding stories.
Book #3 The Gogenfart Farm... RV nudist park and simple bondage games.
Book #4 Ms. Dollie's Random Stories... in no special order. Could have happened in 1960 or 2016 then 1985.
Book #5 People Watching ...Like going to the Zoo but free.
Book #6 Mr. Joe Whuzzit... first dress up surprise master
Book #7 Ms.Dollie’s Living Fantasies... retirement years(.)
Book #8 TENTS, TRAILERS, TITS, CONDOS, AND CUNTS
Book #9 TiTs and TAXI'S
Look here--> https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:54 AM   #23
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ANOTHER SILLY QUESTION

It's about how to know how many words are in a short story????? Most of my chapters are very short. I've started putting two together.

I use 'WORDS' and font 12. Is there a rough idea how many pages 750 words will look like?
I can't find a word count anyplace.
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Still living our Fantasies Proud playgrounder #397

Find our true short stories below 98 done<-----
Some stories are short and contain two or more little ones.

Book #1 Living Our Fantasies... never ending story.
Book #2 Please Hold My Titties... short b(.)(.)by holding stories.
Book #3 The Gogenfart Farm... RV nudist park and simple bondage games.
Book #4 Ms. Dollie's Random Stories... in no special order. Could have happened in 1960 or 2016 then 1985.
Book #5 People Watching ...Like going to the Zoo but free.
Book #6 Mr. Joe Whuzzit... first dress up surprise master
Book #7 Ms.Dollie’s Living Fantasies... retirement years(.)
Book #8 TENTS, TRAILERS, TITS, CONDOS, AND CUNTS
Book #9 TiTs and TAXI'S
Look here--> https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:04 AM   #24
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I'm not sure what the problem is. Word gives you a word count (bottom left). "Pages" means nothing as there are so many varying ways (margins all around, font, font size, spacing, etc.) that a page template can be set up.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIVINRFANTASIES View Post
ANOTHER SILLY QUESTION

It's about how to know how many words are in a short story????? Most of my chapters are very short. I've started putting two together.

I use 'WORDS' and font 12. Is there a rough idea how many pages 750 words will look like?
I can't find a word count anyplace.
A Lit page runs to about 3700 words. If you're working in Word with 12-point fonts and single spacing without any fancy formatting, you'll probably get about 500 words to the page. For an exact count click Tools->Word Count.
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