Random Ramblings of a Ravaged Mind
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  1. 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.
    - 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
    - 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.
    - Story has sense of continuity so readers/editors can read and make sense of the piece
    - Will be a better, more satisfactory draft
    - 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.
    - Will be a better, more satisfactory draft
    - Satisfaction from a completed work
    - Will likely still be able to meet the deadline
    - 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....
  2. Ever have one of those moments when a particular piece of writing seems daunting and overwhelming? That the plot just doesn't flow right and you're having trouble seeing how it comes together? Yeah, I've been having one of those moments for a long time. The trick is snapping out of it, with which I haven't had much luck.

    Been meaning to try and find some simple creative writing exercises to get the flow going again. Haven't really had a lot of luck with that either. I used to do some text based RPing (more collective storytelling with others than D&D type stuffs), but I quit because I didn't have the time for it and it was draining my creativity to the point where I ran out of energy when it came to book writing. Still, maybe I should pick it back up... Or maybe do some short story fanfiction... Just something to keep my creativity active and my writing dust-free.

    I need to find something soon...
  3. One of the aspects of fantasy writing is the maps that you find in virtually all published novels. I always find myself flipping back to them to learn where things are located in relation to each other. So the creation of my own fantasy story can't be complete without its own map. I wouldn't think it would be an easy task by any measure, but I didn't imagine the amount of frustration that I get from attempting it.

    I know that my frustrations stem from my own desires to satisfy my detail-oriented self. I'm not satisfied with just a rectangular block of land and water as most fantasy authors are. No, I have to have a fully designed map that could be placed on a globe... well within some reason. Only a small portion of it may end up in the book I'm writing, but I do plan on writing more books with this world.

    This task is a lot more daunting than it sounds. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by it and have to stop to save my mind from frustrations. Other times, I grumble about wanting a tablet PC to make my life easier and keep everything proportionate. I could easily draw zoomed in and out versions of the same area, but it would take a considerably large amount of effort to keep them within the correct proportions without the aid of a computer. But drawing on a computer is virtually inconceivable for me. Thus, I am stuck with the frustrations of my own limitations.

    While you only need a pen and paper (or keyboard and computer) to write, I could really use a Tablet PC and stylus to create maps.
  4. Sometimes, while writing my novel, I notice that certain scenes are very difficult to write. They feel forced, like they don't really belong in the story. I didn't notice it until the other day that these scenes all have one thing in common: they are told through the point of view of certain characters.

    The story is trying to tell me that these characters shouldn't have their point of views narrated. I realized that I should probably limit it to three characters. I have half a dozen main characters and trying to give them all narrative time seems to be taking away from the story. So I suppose I have limited the number of protagonists to three. I still consider the other characters to be important enough to be called "main," however.

    In the sequel to this novel, I think the point of view will shift to three other characters. This leaves one character without ever narrating the story. I wonder if that's because he always seems to be an enigma...

    This realization really helped me become more creative. Now if only I can solve this problem with connecting the dots in the plot that cropped up recently...
  5. I hate it when I start to think my novel is crap.

    I know most writers go through it every now and then (or at least that's what I tell myself), but it's still depressing. Suddenly, the novel I've been working on for years is no good. I've wasted all that time and energy into something that won't ever make it past the publisher's pile. And I'm a failure as a writer. :(

    Most of the time, it's just a portion of the novel that just doesn't sit right. It either doesn't make sense, doesn't flow well, or just down right silly. So I sit and brainstorm until I realize that it didn't happen *that* way; it happened *this* way. And then I feel better about the story as a whole and get back to writing.

    It sucks on the rare days where I think the whole story should just be scraped. I've hit a pretty low point in my life and my writing (which is pretty much only this novel at the moment) is one of the few things that's been positive in my life. So it hits all that much harder when it's a source of woe.

    Still, I'm trying to keep movin' forward. What else can I do?