1. MustWrite

    MustWrite Member

    Jan 4, 2013
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    Northland, New zealand

    Pulling it all together

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by MustWrite, Sep 7, 2014.

    I am at the messy nearly-end of my first draft and as I am revising the beginning, [for the 23rd time], I am seeing stuff that I need to put in and a lot I need to cut out. But as I look further into the book I am frankly scared.
    My no-planning/write whatever comes to you technique worked fine with previous [shorter] works but here I am 70'000 words into this fantasy and it is getting pretty chaotic in the middle and I havn't figured the end out properly yet. in the past it all kinda worked out as I went along, but this time round I feel like this book might eat me whole..
    i would plan it all out like a good girl, honestly I would- but i don't actually know enough of a story when I start it to plan anything! So here I am, trying to get the courage up to sift through all the crap and find the book worth keeping in there.
    So, what I'm realy saying is how do those of you who don't plan your books pull it all together at the end when it's a big hot mess?
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    Not a complete answer, but I've often found it useful to start writing my query letter at about that stage of writing. In order to write a good query, you need to have a clear idea of what the main idea of the story is and what the main subplots are. So committing myself to figuring all that out and writing it as clearly as I could often gave me good insight into the structure of the novel itself.
    (This kind of presupposes that you're be seeking traditional publication for the book, I suppose - but even after I got my agent and didn't have to write queries anymore, I would still work on compressing the main points of the book into a smaller form - query, summary, whatever. I think it's a good exercise).

    I've also mapped out different character arcs and plot points with pen and paper. I've tried to use index cards but never had much luck with that approach.

    Overall, I think you need to spend some time analyzing the structure of your story, and then looking at what you've got and seeing how it fits (or doesn't fit) that framework. Fun?
    PensiveQuill likes this.
  3. J.W.Exeter

    J.W.Exeter Member

    Jan 2, 2012
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    Stories like this feel the most realistic to me. Things aren't planned out in life. Events occur, and people respond, creating more events and more responses.

    On the other hand, if you literally created all the setting/plot/characters on-the-fly as you went along, then lots of elements can feel reactionary and contrieved.

    If you feel dissatisfied with your story, maybe what you need is to start over. I guarantee you'll be able to pull everything together then.
  4. PensiveQuill

    PensiveQuill Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2014
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    I start with an end in mind. Not a complete detailed plot but at least the answer to the story question posed in the first few sentences.

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