Friday, August 22, 2014

The Wrong Direction

I don't know how many other writers have this problem, but it's happens to me usually a few times in any book I write.

I know what I want to write in a particular scene, and I start writing, only to know in my gut that it doesn't work. Intellectually, I don't know why right away, but my intuition tells me it doesn't work. So, I scrap the scene and have to rethink the plot.

Over the years, I've gotten a lot better at this. While I wrote my first (unpublished) novel, I had a lot of false starts. Instead of doing much planning, I'd just try another direction, and eventually one would feel right.

I'm afraid that in the last few days I've gone about 2,100 words in the wrong direction with Bodacious Creed. I realized that the latest scene doesn't feel real. It feels contrived and therefore just doesn't work. Fortunately, I now know to think about why that is, and to fix whatever the underlying problem is.

Yes, I know. I'm being very general here! That's to avoid spoilers.

By going back to basics to fix that underlying problem, I've realized I'll have to make a few changes to what's come before, but that's always part of revising. What I came up with though is much better than what I had before, so I'm planning out more of the book and continuing on.

Perhaps what it comes down to is that I'm not much of a "Two-thousand words per day or more" author. Because if I do that, I often end up going in the wrong direction. That works great when I have a solid plan of what's going to happen, but if I don't have it all figured out because it's complex, or because the characters are resisting, I need to step back and plan again. I hope I can have the first draft done by November! If it takes a little longer though, it's for the sake of a stronger story.

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