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Rewriting my plan again…again.

June 28, 2013

Over the past few days, I’ve been spending a lot of time on the plans for my novel.  I’ve been having a number of ideas lately and thought that it was really about time that I started to implement them, even if my plans were already supposedly finished for about the fifth time.  This time ill definitely be the last time I do this.  Probably.

One thing I’ve realized recently is how helpful it is to have a notebook around when working on book plans.  When I’m really stuck, it’s far easier to stare at a notepad than it is to stare at a computer screen.  As soon as I have a thought, I jot it down; sooner or later, these thoughts always seem to coalesce into the solution I’m looking for.  Among other things I’ve now merged two characters together who originally filled similar roles, significantly streamlined the story’s beginning and noticed then filled several outstanding plot holes.

In addition, I took the advice of Shannon Thompson and used Earth Album Alpha (not to mention google image search) in order to get some more inspiration for my scenery descriptions.  For me, most of the best pictures were rural shots from Indonesia; I ended up finding some real beauties.  Following on from that, I further decided to get some pictures of animals in order to better visualize and/or improve the designs of some of my fictional creatures.  Giant Wetas seemed to come up a lot here.

largest-insect-22

One of the largest insects known today, with the heaviest individuals weighing in at over 70g. Cute, no?

All in all, a good few days’ work.  The only problem now is that I no longer know how I’m going to end it.

Essentially,my plan is solid right up until the beginning of the third act. Just as the protagonist’s life is beginning to go back to normal, they find themselves in a fresh crisis after an earlier event comes back to bite them in a big way.  One of two things can happen as a result of this crisis, neither of which is good for the protagonist, and both lead different climaxes and subsequent endings.  Right now, I really can’t decide which way I’d rather play it.

After a bit of thinking, I’ve decided to give myself until Monday to come up with an answer.  If I manage this, then great; if not, I’ll just start writing regardless.  It is entirely possible that I’ll work out where I want the story to go long before I come to the problematic section.  Of course, it is equally possible that I’ll just end up winging it.  I guess I’ll just have to see.

On an unrelated note, I am now officially home for the summer.  Yay!

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From → Blogging, Writing

13 Comments
  1. I keep a spiral notebook for each novel project. I carry it around with me, have it handy when I’m lounging around with the kids, take it in my tote when I go out. That way I can capture ideas and connections, buy postcards and tuck them inside, add magazine or newspaper articles, and character photos. (I like to buy 8×10 glossies of actors/actresses, but that’s just me.)

    • Help Me Help Holly ♥ permalink

      Love this idea! I’ve been thinking of doing something similar and now inspired to do so 🙂

    • I think I’ll aim to keep my own notebook with me from now on, too. You’re not the first writer I’ve seen mention character photos, so I think I really ought to start trying that.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. My advice would be: leave Act 3 open and start writing, but keep thinking about the problem as you write. You’re stuck exactly where I am – at start of third act, unsure what denouement will work. Except I have already written Acts 1 and 2, and hoped Act 3 would reveal itself to me when I got to it. I’m finding I still can’t work it out at the planning level. I need to work it out from ‘inside’ the book, by reworking one of the key characters to get to know him better, so I’ll get a better feel for what would be a satisfying crisis and resolution to his narratative journey.

    • Thanks for commenting, Bobbie. Monday has come and I’ve still got nothing, so I am indeed just going to start and see what happens when I get to the problem scene.

      Good luck getting your character sorted; I have no doubt you’ll work out the solution before long 🙂

  3. I agree with Bobbie’s advice. Don’t worry so much about Act 3. Instead, focus on the parts you have a clearer picture of right now. (Remember the “writercopter”? Here’s where it comes in.) That way, you can make progress on the book while letting other areas marinate for a while. And then I bet a fantastic idea(s) will hit you when you least expect it. 😉

    Also, never heard of Earth Album Alpha until now. I’m going to check that out before I log off for the night. Thanks for sharing!

    • No prob at all :). I hope you have a good time with it.

      I’m going to start from the beginning, but will employ the writercoper if and when I get stuck in order to keep the project from bogging down; I’ve got a nice big list of scenes sitting on my PC right now, so there’s always going to be something I can work on. Thanks again for sharing this method over on your blog!

      • No problem! And it sounds like you have a plan. Good luck! Can’t wait to read about your progress, which I believe you’re already blogging about… *off to next entry(ies)*

  4. magicandwriting583 permalink

    I think I agree with some of the other commenters. Just start writing and see if you come up with any ideas. I’ve noticed that sometimes my best ideas come when I’m not actively searching for them. The problem will still be in my thoughts, and I’m subconsciously thinking about it, and then bam! Idea! But when I’m really trying hard to find it, I can never think of anything. Funny how that works, eh? 🙂

    • That’s the plan, as of about now :).

      I’ve managed to solve problems that way when puzzling over uni work, come to think of it. Needless to say, I’m hoping it happens here, too.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • magicandwriting583 permalink

        Let’s hope it does work. 🙂 Good luck!

        No problem!

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