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A particular scene derailing your entire process

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Zero Angel, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Has anyone had this happen to them?

    That is, the existence of a particular scene, unfinished or finished, that completely derailed your entire writing process.

    This happened to me in my latest novella (and spawned a 3-month delay!!). The scene had been in the set-up from the beginning, it fit, it was not overdone or done just because, it was appropriate for the characters and the story, but writing it spawned endless delays and procrastinations, and as soon as I finished the last sentence of the scene I fled from writing anything else in the novella for weeks on end.

    I cannot describe to you how queer I feel over this, as I usually am not affected like this by, well, anything. But here it is. I am only now getting to the point where I am beginning to re-approach the novella, luckily I had already advanced through several drafts of the rest of it before finishing this scene, so the endless delays of publication are approaching their end.

    Has this happened to you? What did you do besides jump back on the horse?
     
  2. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Augh, my gosh, YES. One scene in Low Road has stalled the entire second draft for me, and I'm only in chapter three! D= I have no idea why it's not coming to me, but nothing I try seems to work.
     
  3. TheokinsJ

    TheokinsJ Troubadour

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    I know that many other writers would say "skip it and move onto the next one", but I don't like jumping around from chapter to chapter, I prefer to do everything in chronological order. I know how you feel in the fact that I have written almost an entire novel but there are two scenes I never finished, two that almost seem to bring down the work. I feel as if they needed to be complete before I could feel happy with the story, they needed to be perfect like some of the other chapters. My advice, rewrite as many times as you need to until you get the scenes feeling the way you want, mix things up, plan the scene step by step.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
    Ireth likes this.
  4. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    It's rough! O_O

    I'm really a jump-around sort of writer, but this one scene has forestalled the entire work, first in its never-finished existence, and then after finishing it worked like a magnet pushing me away from the book. I just do not understand it at all. I've had scenes I wasn't happy with and scenes that desperately needed rewritten, but never scenes that forced me away.
     
  5. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    There are always scenes that give me some trouble, but I push through. I just make sure I know exactly what I want the scene to do, basically how it moves, character, world, and plot along, then write the scene as best as I can. Once I'm done that I move on. I come back to it later and try to improve it then. Sometimes I'll scrap the scene and start over other times it just needs tweaking. When I scrap things it's usually easier to write because I've written what's to follow already, and it's a matter of plucking the old scene out and replacing it with the new because I know exactly the work the scene is supposed to do with the characters, world, and plot.
     
  6. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    I'm experiencing the same problem with one of my WIPs! I just can't stand the last scene I wrote and it tooks weeks of ignoring my book before I finished it. Once I did I felt like I'd run a mental marathon and came in last. I have totally retreated from that book and worked on another just to have a break. But now the break is getting too long and I'm afraid to go back to the other one. And it was fully outlined ages ago but it feels... terrible I guess. I feel your pain but I'm afraid I'm lacking for suggestions of this front.
     
  7. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    Got a derail going on right now...

    It hasn't pushed me away from it fully yet. But has made me look at some of the other POVs I'm writing from. The derailment was something that was always going to happen, but it's happened sooner than I intended, and has a complete unintended wider set of consequences and effects on other characters in the story. So now everything that comes after it is going to be affected and I really don't have a clue in which way it will go. I can foresee some problems in trying to sort it out. It needs explaining, developing, and a lot more thought to the whole plot now. The entire story thread has pretty much altered from its original course.
     
  8. The Unseemly

    The Unseemly Troubadour

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    Ah yes, the cruel reality of the delete key...

    I've experienced this problem before, thought the remedy (though keep in mind that my metal remedies aren't scientifically tested) is simply a good lie down, a drink (though remember Occupational Health and Safety come First), and asking yourself the question: why can't I stand what I wrote? What is derailing? Which part, which character, what element doesn't do what I want it to do? Locate the problem, edit it out, or if nothing comes to you but you know what's supposed to be there and just can't write it, add a <insert text here come back later>. It's like with broken bones. Your whole arm hurts even though it's only one bone that is broken.
     
  9. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    That about sums up the situation with the current rewrite of 'Labyrinth'. I need to revamp about three pages worth of stuff there, almost all trivial, before I can move onto the rest. I might have to add a couple hundred words to flesh it out, but again, thats trivial. Then...well, I believe its mostly minor revising for most of the rest of the story, barring a conversation I need to rewrite as a result of patching plotholes.
     
  10. Tirjasdyn

    Tirjasdyn Scribe

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    I just finished my 1 edit on my current novel. I should have had it done in January but I hit the 3rd chapter from the end that needed a major rewrite and I. Just. Couldn't. Do. It took me four months to get through that chapter. I wrote three vinettes, and a bunch of fluff, outlined several other novels in the meantime. But did I touch that chapter? No.

    I hate when this happens.
     
  11. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    This is crazy it happens to so many! At least I'm not the only one, but it's such an odd experience.
     
  12. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    A few months ago somebody had a link that said it tends to happen at about 30,000 words-- and sure enough, that was where my book stalled for arguably half a year.

    Here's a thought. How often is a tricky scene really about that scene (not strong enough, not justified, plot wanting to go in new directions, etc) but really that it's the point we realize the last few scenes have been slowly slipping and now too much of the tension, clarity, and so on have bled away? For instance, if after you write several unique or action-filled scenes it's the quieter one next that just doesn't work, does it mean the problem is just the latter or could it be the first scene that's slowed down enough to let you notice you've been losing your way?
     
  13. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    T'was I. (I think)

    This Itch of Writing: The Thirty Thousand Doldrums
     
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  14. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    It was only 7000 words in! GAH X_X
     
  15. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Yep...I think my stalling point with Labyrinth is pretty close to 30,000 words in. I'm going to have to motivate myself to press ahead with that sometime. One or two good sessions is all it would take to finish that scene. That leaves just one scene in need of a serious rewrite...and a whole bunch of tedious, boring nitpicking...

    Hmmm...maybe this is a sign I should keep the majority of my future works at UNDER 30,000 words. Most of the old works I thought of as 'novels' and deemed worthy of finishing do look as though they'll check in at about that length when properly rewritten, give or take a few thousand words.
     
  16. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    o_O was finally able to write/revise some more in that story.

    It was slow-going though. In five hours I managed to do some revision and write an extra 1000 words or so.

    That's like, ten times slower than usual, but at least it's SOME progress.
     
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