Revision of plot - ugh

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BetweenTwoWorlds
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Revision of plot - ugh

Post by BetweenTwoWorlds » April 9th, 2011, 7:28 pm

The more I work on this novel (WIP) the more flaws I see.

I threw away the middle third of the book because I realized it wasn't the story I wanted to tell at all. A YA novel that somehow became a courtroom drama. NOT the story I wanted.

So I re-wrote a new middle which is much more satisfying, with more rising action and more and more things coming the way of the protagonist.

And now I realize that there really isn't a significant goal accomplished by the end of the book. Like some YA novels, it's a coming-of-age story, but - that just isn't enough to carry the book. It would be a cozy read by a middle-ager in front of the fire and not something a middle grade would want to read.

I'm not in despair, just - well, annoyance at how clearing away the story that didn't work revealed another flaw in the work where the story just isn't compelling.
----------------------
WIP1-4: Dead, and buried, and lost in time
WIP5: Finished, but hidden in a drawer
WIP6: 72k YA/MG. Working on 3nd edit.

Mike R
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by Mike R » April 9th, 2011, 11:04 pm

Don't know how to help you.

But, I want to point out that it is possible to edit a story to death.

I hope the solution comes to you.

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sarahdee
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by sarahdee » April 10th, 2011, 1:40 am

Maybe you are being too hard on yourself, have you ran it past some beta readers to see what they think?

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wordranger
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by wordranger » April 10th, 2011, 8:19 pm

What's a significant goal? Not every novel has to end with saving the world!
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

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Mike Dickson
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by Mike Dickson » April 10th, 2011, 8:34 pm

If you're an outliner it sounds like you need to go back and adjust from there. If you've never user Dramatica Pro, check it out. When done correctly that program makes it nearly impossible to have holes.

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Robin
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by Robin » April 10th, 2011, 11:22 pm

Have you considered taking a month away from it? Just move on to something else. Or spend one entire month reading nothing but YA or MG (you have to pick on genre to focus on).

Hope this is helpful.
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/

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BetweenTwoWorlds
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by BetweenTwoWorlds » April 11th, 2011, 12:47 am

First of all - thank you all for listening to my complaint and my very self-referential whining.

The deal is - this book is your typical YA-coming-of-age novel. (OK,ironic, but it stems from panic.)

The first dramatic crisis - the huge end to the beginning - is significant.

And then there is the follow up, the rambling middle, which needs to be - in my opinion - big as well. Instead, I have a series of rising crises and reactions, but there isn't the payoff I somehow think I need. But the problem is, I can't seem to make my protagonist follow directions. He doesn't have enough flaws, and the antagonist doesn't have enough strengths. I feel like it's Miss Nell and Snidely Whiplash.

I'm going to finish the few remaining scene that I wrote as stubs and then...

...I don't know. I'm super frustrated. And I have an admittedly artificial deadline of June 1 to be done with the first readable draft (this would be the third edit, but the first draft I'd consider as ready for review.) And I've made a commitment to have something to show at a writers' conference in August.

Oh why did I think I could write a novel? This is hard.

This will be the first one that I've completed that I also think will be readable and sell-able.
----------------------
WIP1-4: Dead, and buried, and lost in time
WIP5: Finished, but hidden in a drawer
WIP6: 72k YA/MG. Working on 3nd edit.

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BetweenTwoWorlds
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by BetweenTwoWorlds » April 11th, 2011, 12:49 am

And I was just telling my wife today, "You know, most of the writers I know are a little crazy." I exempted myself, of course.

Now, not so much.
----------------------
WIP1-4: Dead, and buried, and lost in time
WIP5: Finished, but hidden in a drawer
WIP6: 72k YA/MG. Working on 3nd edit.

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wordranger
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by wordranger » April 11th, 2011, 8:02 pm

You know what? If it is your first one, don't beat yourself up over anything at all. Kudos to you just for taking on the insanity at all. Your first does not have to be your best. In fact, for most of us, it rarely is. It's usually a starting point.

Try putting it away, and starting something new. You might find that things take off and everything works out great for that one. Then maybe, just maybe, you can pick up your "baby" some day and have an epiphany and Wala! Best seller.

Ya never know!

Good luck!
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

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BetweenTwoWorlds
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by BetweenTwoWorlds » April 11th, 2011, 9:32 pm

Thanks, Jennifer.

I think you're righter than you know about the fact that the first one is the hardest because it's the first one, and hence is "novel." (I amuse myself with my puns.)

I"m going to take a bit of time off and think about something else.
----------------------
WIP1-4: Dead, and buried, and lost in time
WIP5: Finished, but hidden in a drawer
WIP6: 72k YA/MG. Working on 3nd edit.

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wordranger
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by wordranger » April 11th, 2011, 9:53 pm

Think of writing as a journey. It's really about loving what you do.

If you are stressing over it, put it aside.
Give yourself time to fall in love with something else, and you might want to come back to your original later. You'll probably be glad you did.

Good luck!
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

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Cookie
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Re: Revision of plot - ugh

Post by Cookie » April 12th, 2011, 10:57 am

I am going through the exact same thing right now, except I'm not changing the plot so much, as changing the pov's. While I know it is going to be a much better novel, it's the changing everything around, and losing some parts that I really like because it no longer fits. Some days I don't even want to look at my WIP.

I find that doing mindless things will help my brain work problems out. So, step away from it and casually think about it as you do other things and--hopefully--viola! It solves itself. I don't know if this is the same for you, but my brain seems to be the most creative either late at night or early in the morning, so try thinking about your story before going to bed. Don't try to work anything out, just think about it, and see what pops into your head when you wake up.

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