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Help with current novel?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Darkfantasy, Feb 3, 2019.

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  1. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Sage

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    I don't have much experience and it all sounded a lot easier than what it is. I'm really stuck on my current book. I started with my plot and got about half way through and couldn't seem too think of the next set of events. So I decided to work on my characters a bit.
    I had my main character who I liked and I liked the idea of her story arc. She's a human living with a non-human race, secluded in a forest where they are safe from the outside world. Just imagine having a safe home, with fair rules, good food, a loving mother and a firm belief in right/wrong and morals. Then imagine being homeless, alone, in the outside world you know nothing about or how to survive in a brutal world (this is a bit how I felt changing from a child to an adult). She has to figure this place out. There was an impact character who showed up briefly that would teach my character some skills, then I started to find the character more interesting. So switched characters. Lost of the essence of what I wanted to write about because the other character's personality didn't "fit".
    Went back to main character but decided to introduce impact character as second main character with her own arc. These two characters have a common goal but a different arc with different things to learn.
    Having two main characters just made this more complicated for me to write.

    What would you do? What do you do when a WIP in driving you nuts? I can't just "write it" I have to know where I'm going and I have no clue. Help. Anyone?
     
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    I used to just take cool ideas and run with them. Usually, I ran straight into muddy dead ends like yours.

    Anymore, apart from very short exploratory pieces, I do not begin a story unless I have a good idea of the beginning, middle, and end. Tales larger than a few thousand words get outlines - nothing much, just a list of chapters and short phrases describing the scenes within them. I usually end up revamping the outline two or three times over the rough draft, and two or three more times during the rewrite.

    My suggestion: figure out the 'endgame' for your story, then outline a path to get to that endgame. Quite possibly you will end up cutting a chapter or five.
     
    Darkfantasy and Night Gardener like this.
  3. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    The half way point to a story is a very important milestone in terms of plot. It's either a false victory or a false defeat. A high point or a low one. If it's a false victory. This is where the bad guys regroup and come at your main characters harder. No more playing nice. If it's a false defeat. This is where your main characters regroup and try to dig themselves out of the hole, BUT they'll be doing it wrong, and instead of digging themselves out of trouble, they'll unknowingly be digging themselves deeper into it.

    Basically, make it worse in every way possible. Does your character have food? Take away their food. Does you character have a nice place to sleep? Take that away, too. Are they prepared for the bad guys? Have the bad guys be even more prepared, and show the good guys, why they're a true force to be reckoned with. The good guys didn't defeat the bad guys. They woke a sleeping giant.
     
  4. T B Carter

    T B Carter Dreamer

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    This happened to me, I got half way through my first novel and realised the story wasn't going anywhere and I was trying to cram too much in. In the end I cut 30,000 words (sob) moved a battle scene from the middle of the book to the end and the ending I'd originally planned is now the ending to the sequel.
    The book's still a 115,000 word epic but, damn it, it's awesome.

    You need to go through what you've written as a whole, determine what your ending is and be ruthless. If a scene doesn't get you nearer the ending lose it or rewrite it. If you like writing with two characters you could go with a Game of Thrones style chapter per character.

    No one ever said writing would be easy.
     
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  5. Annoyingkid

    Annoyingkid Banned

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    Literally combine the two arcs.Where they both go through each others arc, but learn different things.
     
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  6. MrBrightsider

    MrBrightsider Scribe

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    Hey there! A really useful tool for plotting the heck out of your stories, especially when you're not sure where to go, is "The Hero's Journey". Although it often gets called out for being overused, it's actually--as far as I can tell--an incredibly deep part of human biology; a format whereby humans confront and overcome the unknown. Even if you just use it as a template, it can be incredibly useful for discovering what actually needs to be in your novel. Humans have been exploring the unknown for hundreds of thousands of years, and we quite enjoy the story in its many renditions--you could do worse than telling that story again in your own unique, brilliant way!
     
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  7. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Sage

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    I've heard of the hero's journey but so far have been using the three act structure. I'll give the hero's journey a try instead.
    Thank you both for the feed back
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Acolyte

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    Yeah i would agree with the comment about continuing with both arcs and also the comment about figuring out the ending. Then just find a way to link the two arcs to the ending and youre away! Nothing wrong with multpile pov
     
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