1. CyberFD
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    CyberFD Member

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    Alright, I may have a bit of an issue

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CyberFD, Jul 8, 2013.

    As some may know, I have begun writing my very first novel (have yet to decide if it's just one book or a trilogy, but probably not important). I'm about sixty pages into writing, and one of the big things that I wanted to happen by now... well, hasn't happened. Plenty of other stuff has happened that has both set up the world and stirred up other problems, but do I need to cut some stuff already or should I wait until I have an entire draft complete?

    NOTE: All of my necessary characters (aside from one or two that don't come until about halfway in) have been introduced at this point.
     
  2. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    Hi CyberFD,

    That really depends. Are there are things keeping the readers' interest going on? If you are struggling to find a balance to scene setting and action, a useful framework that can be drawn upon is the three act structure, which helps to direct your characters goals and development (google it). It is by no means a rigid rule, but it is a useful guideline if you are thinking about these sorts of issues.

    And remember, even if you do decide cutting lots out, no writing is wasted writing - even if its only to help you understand your story better :)

    TPM
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I think you should wait until you finish it. If you worry about this type of stuff now, you may never finish.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's all dependent on your own work style, but if I had a vote, I'd say write now and cut later.
     
  5. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just write it all out. Or don't.

    If I'm on an editing mood, I might cut off some stuff, if not, I just keep writing. What are you afraid of if you "do the wrong thing"?

    I co-write with T.Trian (a user here) and I've noticed we've written A LOT of stuff that's just fluff or boring, but it's helped us to understand the characters better, keep them more logical, keep their psychological development more plausible, and so on.

    Some writers edit as they write, thinking very carefully how to formulate the story into words. Some writers just get the story out first, edit later. Some do something in between.
     
  6. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    I am of the opinion that you should just write.When it's done, put it away for a while and when you can look back at it with a fresh view it might be easier to judge if the flow of your story is good or not. Right now in my pre-first draft (round-robin fan fiction, will be turned into a original story by changing the characters to original ones) I have a lot of unnecessary things happening plot wise, but by writing those, I get to know the characters better. I wouldn't worry too much about the first draft, there is always time of revision. And remember, there are no rules in writing (beside spelling and grammar rules).
     
  7. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Step one is just getting all the ideas down on paper, as they come. Don't worry about them being in order. Write the thing you wanted to happen. Just write it. If it works you will move it or change it. If it doesn't, it gets cut, at the end. But get it on paper now.

    I had to schedule occurrences in my books. Generally, like you, I had a rough idea of where things needed to happen in the book.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Good advice given already. Pacing, like a lot of aspects of writing, is something you learn by doing (and reading, but mostly doing).

    Also, place me firmly in the "write now, edit later" camp.

    Good luck.
     
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I edit as I go, so if I were doing it, obviously I'd have weeded out the unnecessary already. I see no point in re-writing an entire draft when I can deal with things as they happen. But that's how I do it. Some writers can work that way, others can't. What feels comfortable for you?

    But my question to you is how do you know these things aren't needed? Do you think they should be cut simply because it's taking longer to get where you wanted to be, or because those things are superfluous and don't add anything to the story? This is one problem planners sometimes run into - they get so tied to what's supposed to happen that they go ballistic when the story wants to go another route.
     
  10. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    And then sometimes you get this shockingly interesting new direction as though the story used you as a means to write itself and it can be amazing! :)
     
  11. Darkjester79
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    Darkjester79 Member

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    Great advice here. I am also in the "Write now, edit later" camp. But I would also say do what you feel you need to do. Its all up to you and your style of writing. If you feel it needs a bit of editing, go right ahead and edit. The only thing I would say is don't swell on it too much or you may never finish.
     
  12. Krishan
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    Krishan Active Member

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    When working on longform pieces I find it easy to get caught up in trying to make one bit perfect, to the point that the whole project loses momentum. I'd finish writing before going back to make any changes. Not only will this help make sure you *do* actually finish, but it will mean that when you come back to make changes you'll have a more complete idea of what you're working with.
     
  13. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    I, also, will party with the "Write now, edit later" camp.

    I've been working on a novel for almost four years now. Even as ideas evolved, which made things I'd already written inaccurate with the story, I just kept going. But now, nearly done, I've started to go back and correct the tangled mess I've left behind me. And oh is it a mess. It's like trying to run a fine-toothed comb through hair that hasn't been brushed in months. It's a painful process but I wouldn't change my tactics if I had the chance to do it again. I now know where I'm going and I have a firm grasp of characters and plot, which I wouldn't have had if I'd just gone back and fixed things every time I changed something in the plot or about characters or the setting. I should now be able to correct everything in one fell swoop. :D
     
  14. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I'm in the write now, edit later camp. I used to edit as I went and GUESS WHAT! I never finished a single thing because I was too busy mulling over the previous stages to move on with the plot.
     
  15. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    Edit now only what you need to edit in order to help the plot move forward. Other than that, just write and then come back and edit.

    Oh, and when you do, keep the stuff you cut out in a different file. You may find that it ends up being important to the story, but fits in a different chapter.
     
  16. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    Write it all out, then go back and edit.
     
  17. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    ^^^^^ THIS! ^^^^^^

    I can't tell you how much material I've sent to the rubbish bin only to regret it later.
     
  18. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    I used to keep cut material in a separate file but after 50-some pages built up, I stopped. What I do now is I email a copy of my manuscript to myself every night after working on it. This preserves that material, should I ever need to reference it, but now that I'm thinking about it I can see some issues with that approach. I'd still need to know when (or generally so) I cut something out to be able to find it again.
     
  19. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Every week, I click "Save As" and rename the new file. Word automatically keeps all your old ones as whatever they used to be called. So I have "[name of book] week 1" through (currently) "[name of book] week 5". It's easy to click save as and the new window pops up with the current name. You change the last number to the next number. Now you have another copy with the new name as well as all the old copies.

    It's excellent if you have a sudden power failure and Word forgot all those autosaves it was supposed to be doing, every two minutes. Like happened to me once :(((((
     
  20. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    KaTrian and I always have a separate outtakes file for each story where we put all the cuts. And if we're feeling conscientious, we put dates on the outtakes, so even if there's pages and pages of the stuff, we have some idea where to look for a particular piece should we ever need it.

    ETA: JetBlackGT, that's happened to us too, but video games have taught me to save after almost every paragraph just in case, because losing even a page of text can be really... "annoying" doesn't even begin to describe it.
     
  21. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    Great advice. It has taken me years to allow myself to finally just write and worry about the editorial stuff later.
     
  22. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Just keep going. Editing is when you can go back and fix any problems. Don't lose your momentum now.
     

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