Plot Changes During Writing Phase

Published by Annûniel in the blog A Tale Told by an Idiot. Views: 101

I've been working on this book for quite some time. As the time passes, I grow as a writer and the plot, character development, and world-building changes. I gave myself a deadline of the end of the spring semester (early May) to finish Part One. I was doing rather well too, until about a week or two ago when my writing brain just shut down.

I've started to pick myself back up, but I've already started to change the plot a few chapters back (I'm writing chronologically). This isn't a problem in itself as I plan on going through and doing two large edits that involve major rewrites. The problem comes from the fact that these plot changes affect chapters I have not written yet. So the question becomes, do I continue to write along the plotline that I planned originally? Should I go back and make edits now? Or perhaps I should write the coming chapters to reflect the plot changes, even if they make little sense if someone tried to read the book straight through (it's only a first draft, so it will be edited and corrected later).

Option 1: Continue on originally planned plot and take notes on changes for the next edit.
PROS
- Story has sense of continuity so readers/editors can read and make sense of the piece
- Satisfaction from a completed work
- Will likely still be able to meet the deadline
CONS
- May be a bit of a struggle to push through the story as I know it is going to change
- I'm changing the plot for a reason (i.e., nonsensical reasoning for a character, plot not driven well, etc., etc.) so the draft will be weaker.

Option 2: Go back and rewrite the chapters/scenes to reflect the new changes in the plot.
PROS
- Story has sense of continuity so readers/editors can read and make sense of the piece
- Will be a better, more satisfactory draft
CONS
- Will not meet deadline
- Will not get necessary satisfaction from completing the piece

Option 3: Write future chapters to reflect plot changes and rewrite previous chapters in the first edit.
PROS
- Will be a better, more satisfactory draft
- Satisfaction from a completed work
- Will likely still be able to meet the deadline
CONS
- Will not make much sense in terms of continuity
- May be confusing as to what changes need to be made and where for first rewrite
- Will not make sense to readers/editors until after the first edit


*sigh* I just don't know. I'm mostly contemplating options 1 and 3 as I really feel it's important to me to feel the satisfaction with a completed work. I've been stuck in a cyclic pattern of editing and rewriting because the plot changes enough. I think I need to break out of it, but I'm still a bit lost as to where to go....
You need to be logged in to comment