1.) I have started a lot of stories that I know are great and that I plan on getting to, but going back and editing what I have bogs me down. I will go back, I NEED to, just have to find the drive to plug away at the beginnings and get back into the swing. Scrap if you want, but, being the packrat that I am, I'd say save, shelve. You never know, you could always use some of the pieces to put into something else.
2.) Hmm, well, I am most inspired by music/movies/books. I want to go out and do things after I expirience a great one. I can't listen to anything while doing the writing itself, too distracting for my procrastinating nature, but working off the bliss is a-okay. When I am writing, I often think of something I have read that was similar. The Johnathan the Curious story came from me reading a lot of Lovecraft at the time, especially "The Dreamquest of Unknown Kaddath." What I liked most was it didn't try to be too scientic while being a sci-fi kinda thing, having the protagonist jump from the moon to Earth with a group of warrior-type cats and all. Lost of sci-fi ends up being similiar since the future surely holds logic and simplification of all things, so while I plug away and create the world, I try and keep in mind that it doesn't all have to be computer perfect. That is the kinda thing that drives me and keeps me focused. Also, reading terrible things helps. Seeing terrible things printed gives me hope. To think "I could do better," and not in a boasting way, just feeling it, is great.
One more thing! Wanting to share my ideas is a huge push. I know what it feels to be inspired, and I want to give that to others. I almost feel like I owe it to the characters as well, who are usually inspiring me while being conjured. I have a lot of creative people in my life, so making something that would entertain them as well as myself is a great push, to inspire us both.
3.) Well now, hmm. Depends on what you want. When something escapes me I have to go back and think, "Okay, what did I really want here?" It's one of those things where you have to decide if you have the room to digress or if you have to do some snipping/pasting/remolding to get back on track. Sometimes great discoveries come from getting off track, other times they are derailments that swallow up time and make for some splendid headaches. Usually I let something sit so's I can think about it. I will be in a whirlwind of discontent whilst trying to figure out just where in the hell was it all going, but almost always there is some little click that comes along. I'll be zoning out at mini-golf awaiting my next turn to hit the ball nowhere close to the indent in the floor and suddenly "Oh, yes! THAT is why the room on the ship is so blank, everything is built into the walls!"
'Course this method is also a time-swallower. Forcing ideas to flush out conclusions could also help. Just write a bunch of random senarios, maybe, get some brainstormin' goin' on, and get the noodle in gear.
Thanks for the questions! I want to hear the answers of others!!!
Sorry for such a late reply-- new job, sleepless nights, restless mind, etc., etc...
I have a lot of times where I do a ton of work beforehand and then once I start writing, honestly I do, like, three pages and I'm good. I'm ready to delete. I find that the outline and lists and everything else is helpful as an organizational tool-- as a map, really-- but the more of the map I fill in, the more boring the journey is. I've found that I'm less likely to scrap something if I just write it with little to no idea where I'm headed.
I'm a packrat too. I save everything, so I know all about that :) But then there are the other times when I play cruel mistress and delete something and immediately empty the recycling bin, just so I can't go get it later. I don't know, a sickness really.
RE: Inspiration. I hear you on the reading something that is terrible thing. I didn't think it was boasting, mainly because when I read something bad, I think, "I could do better. Christ, ANYONE could do better." So.
I shouldn't really have said that I don't like to get inspo from movies/music/books, because I didn't word that entirely correctly. I like to take little, little things from concrete works. But I keep it small, like... let's see, the only thing I can think of off the top of my head is if someone in a book was wearing a purple scarf, but it's not intricate to that particular book's plot. I might go, "purple scarf... purple scarf... who would wear a purple scarf... what can you do with a purple scarf..." I don't know. And even though I like to "build" soundtracks to my stories as I go, I do sometimes hear a song and look at my bank of characters and think of something between/among them that would be better served by having said song behind it. My inspiration doesn't come from wanting to share or inspire because I really don't think I have anything to say, so...
And I know well of the little clicks, like those you have during mini-golf. I get mine at the worst times. The surest way for me to sort things out is to lie down. It's like the second I get in bed for the night (well, 4:00 AM), all the ideas rise to the top and then I'm in limbo-- do I get up? Do I try to remember this until a better time...? But yeah, I always have the best clicks when I'm supposed to be giving my full attention to something other than writing.
I asked the getting away from question because I'm not sure if I need to keep my writings on one track or not. I have some certain styles that I think are just... "my thing(s)" and a lot of times those different quirks don't mesh (or I think that they don't and I may be wrong). So. I don't know, I had a point and I lost it, but thanks for replying with your answers!
It's strange but I don't even know where my inspirations come from sometimes. Like the Riva story, I needed something sci-fi or fantasy and the idea popped into my head almost complete, with most major scenes there, just waiting for the details to be worked out. The same thing with the story I wrote with Jeanne last spring, I went to bed and the story popped into my head (of course while I was trying to get to sleep!), I just had to work out the details, which did sometimes change as the story progressed. But otherwise, inspiration comes from music, books, the newspaper, court tv, everywhere - usually just one thing that I build on, either the situation, main character, or just the ambiance.
I don't like working from outlines, but sometimes you have to. Though Riva's Story is not in an outline, it is all in my head. But Omega Street was outlined and I have an outline for a new story that I just don't have time to write right now and was afraid I would forget the details.
My stuff also frequently twists into something different than originally intended. I don't usually try to wrangle it into what I thought I wanted, I just go with the flow. If it's something I can reuse I will, but if not, so be it!
I submitted my story to the Writer's of the Future Contest, though really it is the first couple chapters of a full length book. It was tough to find a way to end it, so when I move on to the next chapter, I will probably have to do some rewriting.
Anyway this is my first real post. I forgot to check, I will try to remember to check more often!