OK, decision made

So in regards to my previous posts on plot, I am now convinced that crashing ahead is the wrong way to go.  I said I’d tell you and here I am.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve been devoting some time and concentration to the links on plot that I posted the other day.  They have been incredibly inspiring and insightful.  The problem is, I’m now looking at the 14,000+ words I’ve already written, not to mention the next 2,000+ those words set up, and I’m thinking it’s now all wrong.  That’s a pretty hard pill to swallow.  So, do I scrap it all and start from scratch?  Do I carry on as if I had written what I had intended, get to the end and then go back during the rewrites.  Or do I bang my head a little more and see if I can make what exists work at least even a little?

I wouldn’t be in exactly this mess if I had done all this work before committing words to page.  I mean, at my current position, I am only vaguely aware of my antagonist.  How am I supposed to have a cohesive plot and conflict without any form of antagonist?  I need to rethink a lot of what I’ve done and where I was going with it.

So I have some challenges ahead.  I’m going to hammer out a plot outline basing it on the idea that I will leave what I already have.  I know there will be major revisions eventually, but at least it won’t be as demoralizing as deleting everything.  Wish me luck.  Progress updates as I go.

Posted in Plot, Work In Progress and tagged , , , , .

4 Comments

  1. I would recommend reading Larry Brooks site http://storyfix.com/

    He covers EVERYTHING you need to know about story structure.
    His story structure series breaks it all down into steps and might help you look at what you already have written in a new light, help you figure out where to use it, and whether or not you can use it at all. I recommend reading the whole series first and then check out the rest of the site. He is full of straight forward advice on how to tackle writing a novel. He really puts things in perspective.

    http://storyfix.com/story-structure-just-possibly-the-holy-grail-of-storytelling
    http://storyfix.com/story-structure-series-1-introducing-the-four-parts-of-story

    His site was the first thing I thought of when I read your post but I know of several more articles that could possibly help. Ill dig them up and get back to you.
    🙂

  2. I also have Larry Brook’s book on Character Development (found at his website as well). Where you are in your writing is so close to where I am with my WIP. I’m stuck at character development (it’s my protagonist I need to get to know better – how’s that for agony), and I have a much longer draft in my hands.

    I’ve *considered* putting the draft down and spending a lot of time with the characters. Then, I’ll know better if I should go back to the original draft or start over completely from scratch. Trying to retrofit a character’s personality to the story already in play is quite a challenge.

    This novel writing business is tough! But, as Ray Bradbury said, “You fail only if you stop writing.”

    • Ah Mr. Bradbury, such sound and wise advice. Thanks for seconding the recommendation of Larry Brook. I’ve been checking out his site and it looks incredibly useful. I’m still wrestling with my protagonist as well, though I know him much better than my villain. You’re right, retrofitting seems very daunting, but I know I’m going to end up doing it!

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