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Writing thoughts

It turns out that the story I am writing is not going according to plan. It is not following the summary that I wrote towards the beginning. The plot bunnies are breeding and running off in all directions other than the one I had originally intended. I guess I should not complain and that I should just be grateful that I am writing but how do people/writers write a book that they have an advance for (based on a plot summary) if the story wants them to tell it differently? Not that that is going to be my problem for a while, I am sure, but I am curious.I am also tempted to rewrite the summary pretty much every day but will try to hold off doing so until the story is written.


/ 30,000 words for IndyWriMo
Chart of my IndyWriMo Progress, 2009

crossposted to natf and natnowrimos



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
The judge for a scriptwriting competition at university gave me probably the best piece of advice I've ever heard: "The script isn't done until you've cut your favorite line." The second best piece of advice is from my costume design teacher who would look at my designs, pick something out and say, "That's a good a piece for another design."

Sometimes you just need exorcise the plot bunnies and then put them away for a while until you know what to do with them.

As for writing on a deadline, it probably becomes easier with practice and if you have plotted out several books in advance. Writing is like any other profession; you should do a set amount each day or else you miss your deadlines. I think most professionals are pretty disciplined about it or are good at pulling all-nighters. If you do a bit each day, you are pretty much assured that you will meet your deadline, even if your final product is crap. Book agents don't care if things are crap if you are a best-seller. People will buy it any way, esp. if you are a pulp fiction writer.
Nov. 14th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
I have yet to try to excise my favourite darling but I am sure I will learn that lesson one day. Also, for NaNo/Indy I am not going to stop any plot bunny that wants to gift me with words! I have just had my second 0-words day this month and need all the bunnieswords I can get!

If I learn nothing else from doing IndyWriMo I hope that it will be the discipline of trying to write a certain amount of words per day. I am also trying to train my family (mum and hubby) that this is now my day-job - even if it is yet to make us any money. I am trying to make this my focus - the rediscovery of a vocation I felt as a child, teen and young adult but had lost along the way during working and dealing with undiagnosed multiple sclerosis vertigo and fatigue.


I can do this. I WILL do this.

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement!
Nov. 13th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Stories are a bit like children, in that sooner or later they get a life of their own... little buggers ;)

Just kidding :)
Nov. 14th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
That is why I am not having kids! Cats are independent enough! ;-p
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
Here's a quotation for you from the Fake AP Styleguide:

"Use the inverted pyramid structure for your story, as this pleases Apophis, the Egyptian god of darkness and chaos."

That should help. :)
Nov. 14th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
Either I am more tired than I realise or am being really dense tonight but that seems to be a very low flying plane whooshing over my head!

In other words, I have no idea what you mean! ;-p
Nov. 14th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
It's a joke. The Fake AP Styleguide has other little gems that I posted on my LJ. :)
Nov. 13th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
read greygirlbeast's or justine_musk's journals for some thoughts on that

from what i've understood many authors i adore have the same problem - the story wants to be told how it wants to be told, and if you force it you'll probably find yourself 50 or more pages further along, and totally stuck to the point that you have to throw those pages out and go back to where you began forcing the story

publishers it seems are perfectly ok with a proposal synopsis that doesn't match the final product as long as the overall theme is consistent (note: i'm talking about already published authors here); and even that can sometimes change when it's an already known author and the final draft works

as to writing on deadline - just keep putting words on the page, the first draft isn't the final draft for anyone - even writers who are as meticulous as greygirlbeast wind up making changes/corrections/additions/deletions to their first draft

and other authors i enjoy including matociquala and cmpriest write first drafts more quickly, then let them "simmer" for a while before writing a second draft that is considerably different than the first draft (or the proposed synopsis)
Nov. 14th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for the recs. I already read matociquala and justine_musk and you make some good points about just writing the first draft. Lets face it, if I was really submitting a first novel to a publisher or even agent I would have written at least the first draft before the summary!

I am discovering that I am a writer that writes a story that her characters tell her when they feel like it rather than the type of writer who plans a plot and works from there. Come to think of it, that is always how I have written, now that I think back for the first time and really remember what my process used to be all those years ago. I would just write down the words that my pen (in those days and keyboard these days) would draw/suck from my mind. I just need to learn editing but not yet!

Edited at 2009-11-14 01:38 am (UTC)
Nov. 17th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
Do you read Charlie Stross's blog? He occasionally has articles on the craft of writing.

Nov. 18th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
Thanks for the link! I do read his LJ but had not wandered over here yet.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


Nat S Ford
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