Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,
Inverarity
inverarity

WHY DO MY PLOTS HAVE TO MAKE SENSE?



So, first of all, I do not know what my problem is lately with distractions, but if I sit at a computer, I cannot spend more than a few minutes doing solid work before I check email, hit the forums, etc. Really, really must do what I used to do, which is go spend all day at a coffee shop or library when I really want to get some uninterrupted writing done. Or just pull the router cable out of the wall.

I told myself I was so close to the end of my novel, I am going to finish it this weekend, dammit! And I put in some pretty respectable word count — almost 10,000 words over three days.

The rough draft now stands at 98,000 words and I am working on the final scene of the final chapter.

And yet, I could not make it to the finish line.

Why? Because to get to that point, I had to keep telling myself: "Write! Write! Just write!" Even though I saw one plot hole after another gaping open before me. Even as certain critical connecting elements in the climax... didn't connect. Even though those wonderful, dramatic, tear-jerking, heroic scenes that I have been writing the entire book to arrive at begin to fall apart as soon as you look at the events that led up them and start asking questions: "Wait a minute, why doesn't she...?" "Why don't they just...?" "But there is no reason why --"

Dammit, it would be so much easier if I could just be one of those authors who hand-waves shit like that and assumes readers won't notice (or that those who do won't care).

As I understand it (I have never done NaNoWriMo) the method that is actually encouraged to get through NaNoWriMo is pretty much "Write!Write!Write!" Don't stop and think about plotting, don't work out details, don't plan, don't outline shit, don't worry about a suspension of disbelief that crashes and burns and falls straight to hell, because you can fix all that in the revisions.

When I write books (speaking only of fan fiction, for the moment), I have had to go back and revise things (obviously). But I am a relentless self-editor, so to be honest, I've rarely had to go back and rip out major parts of a book to be completely rewritten. Like, my nightmare is reaching the end and then realizing that I have to rip out the middle third or so and rewrite it because a major subplot is completely broken, which I believe is what J.K. Rowling said happened to her while she was writing Goblet of Fire. I have a few times deleted or rewritten an entire chapter, and I often move big chunks of text (scenes, subplots, chapters) around, but I've never gotten to the end and then banged my head on the wall realizing "This. Doesn't. Work." I've worried that I will find things that don't work, and of course I pick up lots of things that do need to be fixed (and so do my betas), but so far — no wholesale rewrites.

I also understand it's kind of routine for professional authors to have to chop 40,000 words or so out of a 120,000-word manuscript to get it published. I can't even

So anyway, I am looking at my ending and thinking "This. Doesn't. Work." And I am so frustrated, because I really wanted to be done with this!

(The rough draft, I mean. Plenty of editing and reediting and then betaing yet to do, before I even think about calling it "Ready for submission.")

I am not sure if I should just keep pressing forward, or take a step back and do some more plotting/outlining to work out the ending, or put it on a shelf for a while and work on something else (like AQ5 or HHU or one of the other OF ideas I have had rolling around lately).

I wish OF were ready for betaing, because then I could get someone else's input — are these things I think don't work really a problem, or is it just me?



Poll #1859716 Writing poll

Do you have a WIP you are working on?

Yes
24(96.0%)
No
1(4.0%)

Are you an outliner or a seat-of-the-pantser?

Outliner
3(12.0%)
Pantser
11(44.0%)
A little of both
11(44.0%)

Do you do a lot of revision as you write, or do you just keep going and then go back and fix things?

Revise as I go, try to fix holes when I spot them.
15(60.0%)
Minimal editing in the first draft, making a note of things that need to be worked out in revision.
9(36.0%)
Write like the wind and don't look back, baby! Plot holes are what you fix in the rewrite.
1(4.0%)

How often do you find gaping plot holes in what you are writing?

Rarely - I am a careful planner.
2(8.7%)
Sometimes, but usually nothing major.
15(65.2%)
A lot, but I kind of expect it.
5(21.7%)
My stories are one big plot hole until I go back to put it all together in the rewrite.
1(4.3%)
Tags: i can be real writer?, polls, writing
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