1. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    Do over...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jaro, Aug 28, 2014.

    I've recently taken up writing again. Years ago I would plan everything out from top to bottom, then begin writing, but I would get bored with it before the end. This time I figured I would just start from scratch and go with whatever comes to my mind. I really like this path but for one thing: Eventually I start having a bit of a plan of where I want to go, but the story always gets away from me and goes a different path, one that I am not liking as much (or I may like, yet maybe for a different story line).

    Twice now I've done this and started over at the point the story took a hard left instead of a right, yet somewhere down the road it happens again. Does this happen to any of you out there? I find this method keeps my attention much better, almost as if I'm reading a book already written, and I'm learning the story as it progresses. But how do I keep it on track, and not have to restart at the 2,000 word mark of the 10,000 I've written?
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just make sure whatever turn the story takes makes sense based on what has already happened. Sometimes it's obvious; sometimes I have to look at more what-if's pertaining to this latest turn before I can decide whether to take it or not. But once the decision is made (and I'm assuming I made it rationally), I stick with it. The other alternative can move on to the next story.
     
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  3. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Don't keep it on track. Sometimes you need to take a hard right and see where it goes.
     
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  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes. The big bad wolf is always luring me off my path - but it always makes the story much more interesting.
     
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  5. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    There's a fine line between getting lost and going exploring.
     
  6. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    @Selbbin : I think my issue is I have just been getting lost. For whatever reason the path would take a different direction and I would hit a dead end....
     
  7. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just fork it.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If I might chime in here ...part of the fun of writing this way (no planning or only partial planning) is to see 'where it goes.' However, if this method is going to work, you need to stick with it, and make it go somewhere, eventually.

    If you find yourself 'stuck,' don't just abandon the project and move to something else—unless you're doing it only for a short time, to achieve distance and a new perspective. Do stay with it, find a way to get unstuck.

    If your character ends up in a situation where they can't win, or have done something they can't undo ...well, take that idea forward. What happens next? Unless our universe explodes into another Big Bang, in real life these situations DO lead somewhere. If you've simply lost interest in your character, think: what would make me regain interest in this person or their situation?

    The great fun of writing stories is creating problems (either intentionally or unintentionally) and solving them.

    You may well have to start over at word 2000 of your 10,000 word story, if things have taken a turn you didn't expect. That's the way the cookie crumbles—but if you have to do a massive edit to make a better story, that's not time wasted at all. Once you've decided what your story is really about, this is actually an easy and satisfying thing to do—like having a clear-out of an overstuffed attic. You throw away the material that doesn't work, and write what needs to be there instead. It's what lots of writers do.

    Personally, I can't think of a worse waste of time than starting story after story, and never getting to 'the end' of any of them. That's the trap to avoid, really.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
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  9. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I have a tangent journal that I use for these occassions. I do a basic outline for my story, major characters, synopsis of the plot. And start writing, as new information comes to hand, if I can't see a way to put it into this story I put it in my tangent journal, write a few paragraphs to give it life then return to the story I'm working on. This way my mind can let go of it ensuring it's not lost in memory somewhere and also satsified that at some point I will come back to that.
     
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