Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG, I Panicked


Welcome to another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group conceived by illustrious Ninja Captain, Alex J. CavanaughOur Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

So I'm plugging away on my WIP and usually a third of the way through I stop and go through a few helpful "how to" lists I have compiled over the years. I check to make sure I'm hitting the right action beats and leaving the proper amount of threads...just sort of taking the pulse of my novel, as it were.

This normally helps to double check my Type A tendency to need order when sometimes in the midst of writing it can get pretty messy.

However, this time I found that I was missing something essential. A truly high stakes, doorway-of-no-return motivation that sets my heroine in motion. I THOUGHT that I had one. Its in my outline and synopsis...but as I wrote it, truly just let the story unfold, I found that it wasn't enough. It was kind of -- well it was a little blah.

I panicked...


Hopefully I've figured out what I need to do, but it requires ripping the story open at the seams and really scooping some stuff out, wrangling some new stuff in, and tying those pesky threads together again. Well, it all seems so intimidating. I don't really know how to begin. 

So glad this all happened so close to IWSG posting time because just reading about how other authors face similar struggles and triumphs really is a great thing.  And actually, now that its off my chest...I'm feeling a little better already. 

20 comments:

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Raquel, I am in the same situation. I have just realized that my character's stakes are not high enough to engross a reader :(

SA Larsenッ said...

That image just made me laugh so hard! I know, right. I think I've actually looked like that time and again behind my laptop. (Good thing my laptop can't take pics of me on its own.)

myantimatterlife said...

Maybe all how-to-write books need to be required by law to have the words 'don't panic' on the cover.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

You hit one of my concerns today. I have really high stakes in my current WIP, but I'm not entirely sure how my heroine and hero will overcome the obstacle for their HEA.
Susan Says

Karen Jones Gowen said...

That picture is hilarious. I usually have to really get into a manuscript and then it can be the third draft before I know what it is I'm really writing about.

lynnmforrest said...

I definitely laughed out loud at that picture. Awesome choice.

Type A tendencies. I'm the same way! I definitely panic over plot points and character motivations and even setting problems. Sometimes outlining helps, and sometimes it only comes together in the editing/revising stage.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

The fact you recognized that lack of dire motivation is huge! Think how many people don't catch that kind of thing until the end - if at all. You can - and will - fix it! :)

Melissa said...

I agree with Madeline. And that's where CPs and beta readers can help. It helps to bounce ideas of others and brainstorm. Good luck!

IWSG #123 until Alex culls the list again.

Kimberly said...

I love that image! I think it's good that you figured this out now. It'll be a lot of work but I'm sure you'll be able to pull it off and it will be all the better for it. :)

Cherie Reich said...

The great thing is you've found it before you got too far in the book. I usually find that at the 1/4 to 1/3 part that I need to re-evaluate what I've done and what I can do better. Sometimes around that part I realize I've been writing the character wrong or something like that, but it helps to know that near the beginning than at the end. :)

VR Barkowski said...

As I read your post, I actually visualized you wrestling your manuscript to the ground. I think ‘wrangle’ is perfect to describe the writing process. Rounding up words and taking charge is exactly what we do.

Knowing where you need to tweak your WIP is the biggest hurdle, and you’ve already jumped it!

VR Barkowski

Liz Blocker said...

Ugh, I hate it when that happens! I'm such a plotter, and that's in part because I hate the last-minute realization that something is very, very wrong. So I plot and plot to keep that from happening - and yet it still does. Sigh. Good for you for figuring out the problem, AND how to fix it. You're going to be great if you've got those two settled :)

Olga Godim said...

I know what you mean. A scary moment, but you'll do it. You'll get through, and your story will be better for it.

Liz A. said...

Good thing you're seeing this now rather than at the end of the draft. Everything is fixable. And now it's even easier than it would have been if you hadn't taken the time to look at it now.

Jenni Enzor said...

I have done this, but it's usually at the revision stage, because I normally press on to finish a draft. Even though I do plot some ahead of time, I revise the whole story multiple times just for plot. But good for you for realizing it at this stage, because it's easier to revise a big thing while drafting then to go back later.

dolorah said...

cool that you discovered the flaw, and also know how to fix it.

Loni Townsend said...

Hehehe, I know how you feel. I don't think I've had the blah moment, but I did have my beta-readers tell me they hated my characters and the end was anticlimactic. I had to redo a lot. And then I had to redo it again, because I found I lost a few people toward the end. Major character change. I might have freaked out a bit. :)

Best of luck with your revisions! You'll get there, and it'll be great.

Jennifer Hawes said...

That's what revisions are for. If you need to raise the stakes or get your characters motivated, then the second - one hundred drafts are perfect for that! Good luck!

Avadonja said...

Write some goals on flashcard, scatter them on the floor, and whichever one your cat chooses, go with it. :) You're awesome.

TBM said...

At least you realized it now. But it's never fun ripping a story apart, yet I have to do it each and every time.