1. Mobhit
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    Mobhit Senior Member

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    Stuck in a Corner, and the Paint ain't dry

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mobhit, May 23, 2011.

    I kinda accidently wrote myself into a corner. You see I have a few options to get myself out. But I really want advice

    I kinda killed someone and it is an Obvious killed and buried in the ground dead and actually has no head!

    Now I wrote several chapters that led up to a Massive Issue!! and the only way out of it is with said person, and Believe me when I tell you 0% chance of survival for anyone in this situation without this Character.

    There 15 chapters leading to her death. 14 chapters leading to the Issue.

    I know I can revise a a few things but nothing can bring her back with out destroying 15 chapters or completely omitted 14 important chapters.

    What should I do?? Help!:confused:
     
  2. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmmm!

    I suppose ghosts are out? Identical twin brothers? Special effects movie theatrics? Parallel universe dopplegangers? It was all a dream?

    Without knowing the situation better I can say you are only limited by your imagination. To give a strange example, the original writer of superman when it was first syndicated, was fired from his column and given only a little time to finish up before the new guy arrived. So he had superman in his last issue, chained down to railway tracks, welded in place, with a super heavyweight loco on its way etc. You get the picture. He basically put him in an unwinnable situation. The new guy came in, saw what he'd been given to work with, and realised he couldn't do anything. He'd been written into a corner. So the paper hired the original writer back, and his first scene in the strip was "And with one mighty bound etc!"

    Not sure if this is true or an urban legend, but it makes the point. Think outside the box, remember the laws of reality and suburbia don't always have to apply to a book, and probably though I hate to suggest it, start catching up on some soap operas. I guarantee its been done before.

    Cheers.
     
  3. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm thinking 'Bobby in Dallas', the famous shower scene, were it was all a dream and the last number of episodes were to be dismissed.

    Corny - yes, but they got away with it.
     
  4. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Kill him and don't look back!

    Introduce a new character and finish the job for good...
     
  5. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe someone else has secretly gained the same powers as the dead character?

    Maybe you can rewrite the "death issue" to hint that the dead character relinquishes her powers to someone else just before her death? Then, fifteen issues later, the other character reveals that she's been training in secret all this time and now is finally ready to use the powers?

    If it will work well depends on the details of your story and characters, of course.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Avoid the cheap devices mentioned above (some of which appear to have been posted tongue-in-cheek). Take some time away from your project, and then come back and decide whether you rewrite the chapters leading up to the character's death and resolve your massive issue or leave your character dead and rewrite the chapters that created the massive issue. Sometimes, it just works out that way.

    I started out on my current project over a year ago. At the time, I had only the most vague sense of what I really wanted to accomplish - more focused on the themes I wanted to hit and images I wanted to create rather than the actual story line. When I'd gotten about 55,000 words in, I realized that the story had morphed into something very different than I had envisioned, but that the early part of the story did not align at all with where I was going in the latter stages. If my storyline were a spine, it would have had a serious case of scoliosis!

    I walked away from it for a few months. I threw myself into other interests, not writing at all and reading a couple of novels, an old baseball book and a lot of short pieces, all unrelated to my project. Then I went back and started thinking about what I wanted to do. When I had a much clearer idea of where I wanted it to go, I went back and started over. I kept the first ten pages of the opening chapter and then started making changes. Once the opening chapter was complete, I started writing from there, occasionally cutting and pasting in pieces from what was already written, but mostly writing anew.

    Now, I like where it's going. I'm enthusiastic about the project again, and for the first time I don't feel like I'm at sea with it. The decision to start over should never be taken lightly, but sometimes it's the only way. Trying to "fix" inherent problems in your story usually makes it look like a patch job. Better to take the time to do it right.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I honestly don't believe that writing yourself into a corner is possible. Just rewrite the death scene to leave some ambiguity. Or you could just rewrite the entire thing. There are no corners to back into because you are the one in control.
     
  8. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is, if you're writing a ten-novel series and you've already published eight of the books :D
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you've published eight books, you shouldn't be asking members of this forum for advice. You should be a total pro who is in complete control of his material. You'd think that, after publishing eight books, you'd have some flinking idea of what you're flinking doing.
     
  10. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I would have to second that. ;)
     
  11. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tell that to Terry Goodkind ;)
     
  12. thesims
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    thesims Member

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    In A Song of Ice and Fire, GRR Martin seemingly kills off some of his characters but writes their deaths with a lot of ambiguity. Eventually we find out that some of them weren't truly dead.

    Two children, namely, are believed to be dead and their "bodies" are hung before the castle walls to support it, but the author hints at the fact that the bodies, in fact, belong to someone else. Similarly, there is a debate as to whether Eddard Stark, who's killed off early on in the series, is really dead since GRR Martin was vague about the character's death and all.

    If that's your only option, go for it but don't use that device everytime you write yourself in a corner.
     
  13. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry, but published work does not good writing make.


    My advice: there are situations in life where only ONE person you KNOW can fix something. If they die, or are removed from the equation, you find someone/-thing else. I don't believe that there would be many (or any) situations, where there could only be "one".
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think he was referring to the OP.
     
  15. Mobhit
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    Mobhit Senior Member

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    Thank you all for the Advice problem fixed, and My Characters are Safe(ish) I appreciate the help
     
  16. MatthewR
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    MatthewR Member

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    No, they didn't. The series tanked because people hate corny crap like that.

    If you killed him, he's dead. Tough rocks man, make your protaginist deal with that. I love it when books can the age old idea of "happily ever after" screw it let the bad guys win one go around.

    Just a thought.

    *SPOILER EXAMPLES**

    John Connolly's detective Charlie Parker has had every friend/family member imaginable killed or maimed because the bad guys won, the protaganist emerges but scared, flawed --- aka an awesome protaganist.

    George RR Martin kills off Eddard Stark in his first book and I literally jumped from my reading chair exclaiming "HOLY SH*T!" And loved every book since.

    Killing off good guys is what makes stories real, you can't have triumph without really tasting defeat first.
     
  17. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't say killing off good guys makes it /feel more realistic... I don't now what I'd call that. I mean, killing off the less-prepared or less-skilled makes it feel more realistic as far as I'm concerned.
    I loathe farmboys who manage to kill off a villain after a few lessons in swordfighting or through natural skill and flamboyance. It's dumb.

    Case in point: your character died, probably for good reason. This is a good thing, and is nothing even remotely like a corner. It's just a really dark alleyway. Probably with muggers and knives and syringes, and you're scared. But just in case you've forgotten, it does actually have an opening at the far end. </metaphor>

    In other news: my love for John Connolly's writing died when I read one of his novels. I was barely fifty pages in and there was this horrid, aberrant, disgusting paragraph that overused the word "playa" about how a minor character was a playa who had playa shoes and a playa haircut. And bitches. I'll be honest; it really really annoyed me. It wasn't a first person section or anything. It was just tripe.

    I loved Nocturnes, his book of short stories, though. The writing in that was magnificent.
     

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