Monday, May 10, 2010

Revision woes

Still in the throes of revision (and a cold, unfortunately). A lovely combination.

The good news is following my character through the drafting process worked. In combing through the first draft of Project Sparkle, all of the motivations make sense. Sometimes (much of the time?) they're not written out clearly, but they're there. Each scene follows on from the previous one. I feel really good about that.

The bad news is that my tutor thinks my climax is way too complicated. I agree. It's pretty cliche too. I think it mirrors about half the Law and Order episodes I've ever seen.

The worse news is that I'm not sure what to do about it. I know what I want to have happen generally. One character needs to go missing. Another character needs to find him and save him. Along the way, there is much scariness, but various subplots and minor characters band together and it all turns out hopeful. Specifics? No idea. One way to do it is the complicated Law and Order plot I've already written. Are there others? Probably.

I've spent much of the weekend in front of my notebook, playing out various scenarios in my head. I just can't turn anything into a concrete scene.

I probably will eventually. But for the time being it's pretty frustrating. Any advice?


  1. Plot isn't my strength, so I've gotten stuck in this way many times. My advice is to find someone you trust to bounce ideas off of. I've found that brainstorming with a trusted friend can be SO helpful because they think of ideas that you'd never think of yourself, or they might say something that gets your mind going in the right direction. It helps if the person is also a writer, but an avid reader can do the trick too. Good luck!

  2. Good to know others get stuck like this, Anna! I actually did just what you suggest with my husband, and also emailed a bunch of my fellow students. But you're right, I think the ideal situation is to sit down and really bounce ideas off someone else. Hubby was quite useful, though I had to explain so much to him. Now let's see what my classmates can come up with! I wish I was better at this type of thing myself, but maybe I just need to accept my limitations and get myself a dedicated writing buddy.

  3. You know, I can't say enough about having a writing buddy you know you can always count on. If it's someone whose opinion you trust and who you feel comfortable with, you can show them your crappy drafts and know they won't judge you. :-)

  4. That sounds lovely. I've been on the lookout for someone for a while, but stopped actively looking when I started this course, hoping I could match up with someone through that. Maybe I still will... I think it would be so nice to have someone to really talk through this stuff with and to see my work warts and all!

  5. I am a notorious over-complicator of plots. I'll be writing and see how X ties into Y, and how Y can be tied back to W, U, & F, which builds up B, D & R...and then they all lead to Z! Fabulous, right? Meh, maybe not so much.

    When I sense I'm trying to accomplish too much, I look at what subplots can go. This is hard, but sometimes if I combine two characters or lose a character and all their sub plots all together, the core of the story comes through much stronger and the climax is less complicated.

    I don't know if this is possible for you, but it's always worth a look, right?

    Good luck!


  6. I think my problem may be closer to adding a bunch of subplots right near the end of the story in order to make the climax make sense. But same basic problem (just not as neatly done as yours!). I think you're absolutely right, though, the goal is to figure out what can be combined or slimmed down. Thanks!


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