1. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    Never Satisfied with a Project

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Silver_Dragon, Apr 14, 2011.

    Well, I finally finished the last draft of the second book in my series (while book 1 is not yet complete)...and just had a great idea about how I could restructure the whole thing.

    I've done a few novels before, all of which I decided to change around so significantly that I had to discard them. It's getting a little frustrating. Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions on how to avoid feeling the need to hit the "cancel" button after having finished a project?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why did changing them round cause you to discard them? Just curious because I change mine around until I happy with them. It can upto five rewrites for me to be satisfied with the story order.
     
  3. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    With the work that was to be Book 1 in the series, the whole draft just felt flat for some reason. I think it was because I split up the plotlines wrong, and destroyed all the interesting conflicts between characters that would have otherwise taken place. That draft was a version of an earlier novel, which I decided to expand in order to use it as a basis for my series. I'll go back to it, but I'm going to rewrite from scratch using only the basic plot and certain elements of Book 1, in the hope of improving it.

    With the current project, I actually like a lot of it. I just keep thinking of plot elements to change in order to make it better, and especially with those that occur early on in the project, they change the whole thing. I won't actually be discarding this one.

    Maybe I just need to give myself time to do more drafts.
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    When you start making changes in a MS I think it's a good idea avoiding doing it on the original, make a copy of it first and do the changes there, if you change your mind about it later at least you haven't lost the first version.
     
  5. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    I've changed some of my stories drastically over the years, to the point where arguably there even was a genre shift or something like that. But really, as a lot of writers have said or told me, writing is about rewriting. And sometimes rewriting is doing a whole crapload of changes, yes. I'm pretty sure a lot of famous and/or classic authors wouldn't even dare show you their first draft out of embarrassment.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^^^

    What cybrxkhan said - my very first story began as an action/adventure story narrated by a dead king. Then I switched to his seventeen year old son (Still Prince Jonathan, little dark and weedy and his older brother (at this point no name) I killed off). Somehow his name became Angus, he became 6ft10 bolshy, rebellious, and not weedy. Was also now blonde haired and blue eyed.

    I took the story back yet again after the older son appeared as a fully fledged character in my head called Socrates (yes I confess my most frequently used character originally died in the first paragraph of my first story). He was outed by the then Paul Jackson fully human bit posh and nerdy not very handsome kind of slimy, Palace Facilities manager (to those that no my stories he became Nate). Then one day I needed a way of taking my first person character somewhere he shoudln't be - I had tried using letters, emails, phone calls, conversations to cover this scene but began to realise he needed to witness this event. Probably as a result of watching He-Man a lot my character turned into a falcon in a really bizarre ceremony (its still bizarre but not like that), I also needed to teach my character about the legends so my ancient character was born - originally it was done by stopping time within a building but over time he spawned the idea of a whole new race.

    Although I say my first story only took five rewrites that isn't true it filled about ninety books starting over and over again. Before I got the netbook and then typed out my 50K first draft of my story. It was a further two drafts - the colour of the falcon changed, so I rewrote it to change the look of the town and island (making places white so the falcon could camoflauge himself, seems like a simple change but pulling it back allowed me to turn it into a symbol as well). Next one happened after writing first draft of a second book and it changed aspects of the world. Final one was done because my writing had improved.

    My current wip has been restarted nearly as often I started originally with two nasty serial killers who somehow became two fun police detectives.
     
  7. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    Thanks to all of you for your replies! This is encouraging.

    Elgaisma, I think I work much the same way you do. My current plan, now, is to set my draft of Book 2 aside for a few months, go back and do Book 1 and see what I think of my current work later (I'm sure that after having done Book 1, there will be even more changes needed to my current WIP). I will probably do a fourth and maybe a fifth draft of the second book.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it helps I am now totally content with the story I have - you are welcome to look at my story in various stages if it would help ? I have a completed first draft, complete about fourth draft and final just needs polished after a break piece the others I didn't keep.
     
  9. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    That would be great. Should I PM you an e-mail address?
     
  10. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    I don't mean to be critical but writing multiple books in a series when the original is not completed, isn't that kind of odd?

    I'd understand unfinished projects and moving on to something new but to have a series and the first segment is not somewhat locked down just seems odd.

    My thought is, you may want to focus.

    You seemed to have written quite a bit of stuff and that's not a bad thing but if you don;t like it, I'd take a little time to slow down and figure out what it is that I am missing.

    To be honest, I've tried writing so many times and hated what I wrote. Only now to I enjoy (somewhat...) what I write. It's only now that what I write seems to have a natural feel.

    Took me a long time to get there and I didn't start a serious project until I understood what I liked.

    People have different ways to get there but if you don't like your output, you need to consider how you do things.
     
  11. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    ^ You are right, it is kind of odd, and probably not the best way to go about it. What happened was that I finished the draft of book 1 and was too impatient to get it perfect before I went on to the next...but I think I am going to change the way I work somewhat. I'll try to focus on one project at a time, and maybe do a bit more outlining with each to cut down on the massive structural changes.
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think going a little bit ahead can be helpful - saves having to rewrite the first quite so often to make the others fit lol But once you have the stories mapped out then focus on one.
     
  13. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    I grant you that and I do think it's a matter of how the person works. Some can work ahead. For you, I think it sounds more like you are working different sections of a story that will be in the form of different books. However, in the OP, I got the sense that the first MS was somewhat abandoned for a seemingly greener pasture of a second one.
     

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