1. hugobrown200

    hugobrown200 Member

    Sep 17, 2017
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    Advice, writing and re-writing

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by hugobrown200, Jul 25, 2018.

    About a year ago I started writing a short story and ended up writing something that is kind of loosely a collection of scenes that somehow is around 50,000 words.
    All of this was in first person and in February I decided to re-write it in third person just to make it less interior, bring in other characters and more of a setting. My issue now is I can't seem to decide how to re write it, I've done about 15,000 words but the more I write the more confused it seems to get as I come up with ideas and struggle to keep them for more than a day/ make a concrete decision. Now I keep returning to the beginning and re-writing that and am massively struggling with the characters that are not the MC, his occupation/ if he is a student and the setting.
    I bought a notebook the other day to start handwriting but hasn't seemed to help too much. Has anyone ever been in a similar situation? I get tempted to give it up but I can't really bring myself to/ don't want to.
  2. Drinkingcrane

    Drinkingcrane Active Member

    Aug 6, 2018
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    I have never been in you situation but I would give you the general advice not to give up...ever. Writing is supposed to be hard imo. Keep banging your head against that wall eventually you’ll break through. Trust your self. Take a break and let you unconscious work on the problem.

    Hope that helps :/
    hugobrown200 likes this.
  3. AndieBoDandy

    AndieBoDandy Member

    Jun 21, 2019
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    That is the craft of writing. It isn't easy. It's hard work. My current WIP I think I started it four different times trying to decide at what point to come into the story at. I kept all the scenes and was able to incorporate most of them (thankfully) into the story. One however I completely abandoned after quite a lot of research too.

    There are a few things you can try:
    Some writers are able to do an outline -- I have never been able to do this, I find it takes all the fun out of finding out where I'm going..
    I've heard of using Excel to map out scenes. Then you can shuffle them around as necessary.
    There are different mind mapping tools available as well.
    You could try a timeline. ​

    When I was working on comic book scripts, I used recipe cards. Each script/book got it's own card. I could shift them around as I needed. Put episodes or stand alone stories where ever I wanted. It helped me to visually lay it out on the floor or on a cork board.

    If your supporting characters are the problem; do you need all of them? Perhaps two smaller characters can be intertwined as one to make a more interesting character that better speaks to you.

    My advice would be to keep all your ideas. Write big, worry about editing when that time comes.
    Best of luck to you.
  4. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Jul 7, 2016
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    That's kind of long for a short story, and a bunch of scenes don't always tell a story. My approach to your problem would be to open a blank document and start again. You'll remember all the important parts. I know it sounds a little crazy, but this method is often the best when it comes to cleaning up and revising short stories that aren't working. Your other drafts aren't going anywhere, but it also sounds like they're not really short stories. Moat short stories that sell to journals and magazines are between 3k and 5k words. Outside of that, they've got to be really good. I mean they've got to be really good to sell anyway, but 50k is not a short story and 15k is going to be a hard sell. Just something to keep in mind. But I would try the new document approach and remember this time you're telling a story. I don't know much short story reading you do, but this does come into play when writing them.

    I've done this blank document approach with several of my short stories that I just couldn't seem to get right. I think it can work much better than dealing with and playing around with what's already on the page. And when I started selling fiction, the stories that I rewrote from scratch were the ones that sold. It's just something else you might want to try.

    Or just write another story. The more short stories we write, the better they tend to get. I never get hung up on one story. They're not all going to be great and they're not all going to sell. But some of them are. Think about how much more time you want to sink into this one. It could be worth it but not all of them are. Just another thing to think about.
  5. hyacinthe

    hyacinthe Active Member

    Oct 24, 2018
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    50,000 words is not a short story. it's a novel, though a short one

    so hey! you wrote a novel!
  6. Rahil Rayomand

    Rahil Rayomand New Member

    Aug 21, 2019
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    You know that Dostoevsky did everything to write The crime and punishment in first person but he could not make it ?
    still he did'nt give up and he kept writing in third person. So if u feel that the third person is not possible let it in first person and work on that. I havent read ur story so i cant give u an exact solution.

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