jakers923's picture
jakers923 from Columbus, Ohio is reading Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut October 25, 2011 - 9:41am

Dear Lits, 

I am in need of assistance, I have an old friend who used to write a few years ago but has since lost the motivation. He says that he is interested in starting again so I have come up with a story for us to write from our own perspectives. I have, up to this point, done everything aside from write his part for him. The plot is taken care of, the characters are developed and all the holes are filled. If anyone has any suggestions or has been in a similar situation I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 25, 2011 - 9:47am

I mean you can't force someone to write if they don't want to.  If he doesn't have the motivation and you carry all the weight, you will eventually resent doing all the work.  I would just let him do it in his own time.  Give him writing prompts, if he truly wants to write, he will make the effort.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 25, 2011 - 9:48am

Jesus, you might as well finish the thing yourself.

If your friend isn't motivated or has problems getting motivated, perhaps this isn't the right field for him.  Sorry, but people who say they want to write but can't muster the motivation, I have no pep talk for that.

enough's picture
enough from Indiana is reading Warmed and Bound October 25, 2011 - 9:52am

Sounds like a writer being a writer. When he's done wallowing in it he'll make a move.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind October 25, 2011 - 9:57am

I often write with friends who wouldn't be writing otherwise. I find that if you take complete control--like forming the chatacters and the plot and all that--the other person might not be that willing to write anymore. He or she will feel constricted and worry they'll mess up the plot you've already laid out. 

I'd say, ask your friend questions. Lots of them. "What kind of character do you want in the story? What kind of plot? What setting?" You might get a bunch of "I dunnos" in response, but it does get them thinking. 

I try to approach the situation in as simple and as relaxed a way as possible, so as not to overwhelm the other person, especially if they haven't written in awhile. I don't push them too hard, and let them go at their own pace. That way I don't scare them away.


Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy October 25, 2011 - 4:46pm

You look pretty young, if your avatar is any indication. I don't want to be a downer but experience has taught me that you can't be everybody's chearleader. You will eventually get tired of it and possibly bitter. It is more productive to be your own cheerleader and put your energy into your own projects.

simon morris's picture
simon morris from Originally, Philadelphia, PA; presently Miami Beach, FL is reading This Body of Death, by Elizabeth George October 26, 2011 - 1:05am

I tried collaborative writing and it was fun but unless one of you is James Patterson, it is a waste of time in re publishability. You know what they say about collaboration, don't you? A camel is a horse created by a committee. You and he could probably have a better time if you didn't force your agenda upon him.

I don't know about you but I find writing without the purpose of eventual publication to be a waste of my time. If I wanted to write for myself, I would keep a diary. Real writing is about back aches and carpal tunnel syndrome, numb hands, and the risk of hemorrhoids from sitting in one position hour after hour. I am willing take the risks because I know that eventually I will get some of my work published because I already have done so, and because I am relentlessly obsessed and I'm willing to listen to anybody who can give me constructive advice.

jakers923's picture
jakers923 from Columbus, Ohio is reading Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut October 27, 2011 - 7:58am

Thanks for all the advice folks!