1. Banananarchiste

    Banananarchiste Member

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    I think I edited too early... (help)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Banananarchiste, Aug 26, 2017.

    Hello,

    I have spent the last five months working on my first novel and have learned many many things throughout the process, but of course I am still learning. I spent pretty much all my time structuring the theme, plot and storyline of the wip.
    Right now I wrote 14k words for a first draft of the first four chapters (out of thirty). But about an hour ago I wanted to come back on a big part of the plot. So I changed the storyline, editing all my outline/structure document for those five chapters.
    Right now I have to rewrite those chapters from base one. It's painful... but I'm alright.

    So now, while I continue (or restart :supercry:) working on the novel, should I stuck with the outline and consider changing it after I'm completely done writing, or was my idea a good move throughout the writing process?

    Thank you very much and have a nice day!
     
  2. Fernando.C

    Fernando.C Contributor Contributor

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    Oh man. I've had a lot of issues with this myself. I've made lot of changes to my novel which has led to me rewrite the first few chapter several times. Not a smart way to go about it. I say try finishing this draft then go back and make all the changes. Write down all the changes you wanna make in a separate document so you don't forget. Then once you've finished this draft you can go back and revise and revise until you satisfied. See, if you go back and rewrite every time you change something it'll take ages to finish your book which can really kill your motivation and take the enjoyment out of writing. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.
     
  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why would you keep following an outline that has already backfired once? That's the trouble with outlines: they don't account for the possibility that some of the things you've outlined won't work. Anything can look good in an outline but it won't help you solve problems. Few battle plans survive contact with the enemy intact. You need to keep your options open and be able to improvise, which you can still do with an outline so long as you don't follow it too religiously. Personally, I never outline anything until the first draft is complete. I don't even know what I'm writing about until I'm finished, so trying to outline that which does not yet exist would be ludicrous. Some writers have great success with outlines--mostly writers who are already great and know what they're doing. If you're still new to fiction you might be more successful working from free-flowing notes instead of a rigid you-must-write-this-scene-here outline. It'll give you a bit more room to learn and experiment without having to worry about shoehorning things that might not work.
     
  4. dragonmint

    dragonmint Member

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    Fernando makes excellent points. The entire purpose of a first draft is to simply write, regardless of any mistakes or mishaps or bumps you come across. I suggest keep writing, and, as Fernando suggested, make notes on which parts you wish to change. Outlines can be helpful, but use them as a way to map your story, not a way to lay the stone of your story.
     
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  5. Banananarchiste

    Banananarchiste Member

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    Thank you very much to you three!

    I realized how upset I was last night, having to restart everything from the start. Now I decided to continue writing the novel from chapter five (because only the beginning was edited, the whole story did not change at all). I'll come back after I'm done with the first draft. Throughout the writing I'll take notes for everything I have to change. This process seems way more simple and fun.

    Thank you guys again for your answers, I feel extremely motivated to continue right now! :)
     
    dragonmint and Fernando.C like this.
  6. Fernando.C

    Fernando.C Contributor Contributor

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    That's awesome, good luck! :)
     
    Banananarchiste likes this.

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