Tag Archives: plotting

40,000+ words reached. Bring out the plot-doubt monkeys

So, progress on book 2 has been slightly slower than I would’ve liked, but hey, that’s the Christmas holidays for you. I did try and get some writing done but in the end family and good times won out, and rightly so, too.

Anyway, I’m back in the saddle now. I’ve been churning about 1000-1200 words a day out for 5 days a week since Christmas so that Scrivener bar is growing nicely.

Unfortunately though, my evil nemesis the plot-doubt monkeys have made their first appearance. These evil creatures tormented me throughout book 1, challenging the logic of the plot, making me think that the story I was trying to tell was too tricky to pull off at my level of ability. I ploughed on of course, but only managed to finish the book after a good few months off inbetween drafts.

It’s different this time I think. I don’t have the same fears I had before. I know once I get to the end of this draft that I can fix whatever issues I’ve created getting there. That’s the joy of editing after all and to be honest I’m quite looking forward to it.

Instead, I’ve made the mistake of doing too much alternative reading whilst I’ve been ploughing ahead with this draft. Normally this isn’t a problem, but I’ve also been reading books in genres similar to mine.

Big mistake. Big. Huge. (To coin a line from Pretty Woman)

The doubts that come from this are such questions as – “Is my world rich enough compared to X”, or “has this concept been done before?”.

I’ve found myself second guessing more than I would normally do. Previously I didn’t really consider other books like mine, or fear that my story wouldn’t match up to those. But reading a couple now as made me rethink certain story elements that I perhaps wouldn’t have before.

There’s no real way to unthink (that should really be a word) what I’ve pondered reading these books, but going forwards I’ve made a decision not to read in my genre whilst head down in a WIP. It intrudes too much on my own world and makes me actively tweak the story to avoid potential similarities to others. Stupid I know, but there you are.

On the flip side I’m generally happy with where I’m at with book 2. The story is coming along well, and Seb and co have just had a massive WTF moment that I really enjoyed writing. This sets the scene for the second half of the book now that hopefully leads into the gripping conclusion (well, it looks gripping in the outline) I’ve planned.

So…*opens a window*…Away with you, plot-doubt monkeys. Fly, fly away!

monkeys

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25,000 words…

Another milestone reached as Auran Chronicles #2 ploughs on with merrily abandon.

I’ve hit one of those critical “what if”  moments now that always happens and threatens to blow my carefully planned outline to smithereens!  It’s such a cliché but when those characters get formed on your head they really do things that you didn’t plan for!

Annoyance.

So,  on this occasion I’ve decided to follow Cade to see where his way of working takes the story.  So if the novel goes crazy from this point on it’s not me you blame.

It’s the characters…  ☺

 

 

 

 

Novel Structure Cheat Sheets

Hey,

I’ve added this link to my blog roll but also as a post. I found it via a link from reddit a few weeks ago but only really got round to looking at it now. For me and my inherent lack of planning skills I’ve found some of these templates very useful for checking my beats, structure etc. In fact I’m using one right now to go through my current WIP to check I’m on the right lines.

I know there’s no hard and fast rules about plot and story structure, but for me, with this being my first “properly edited” novel, I’ve found adhering, even loosely, to some kind of framework very helpful.

There’s a few here, kudos to Jami (@JamiGold) for doing this 🙂

Mike

The rudderless hero

So, I’m working through the second draft of my current WIP, an urban fantasy that I can only describe as the Matrix meets ancient Celtic mythology (with a bit of quantum physics thrown in), and I’ve got a problem with my protagonist.

Basically, as this world is new to him, he’s spent a lot of his time being purely reactive, either being told this and that or just responding to various scenarios. Conversely, the antagonist, who IS well aware of how this mythical world works, drives her story forwards with gusto.

My fear now is that, until my hero starts to do things himself and acts on his motives, he just comes across as well, dull.

How do others do this? How do you make a protagonist who still has so much to learn be more proactive in the early stages of the story? It’s basically the old Hero’s Journey I know, so a bit of back reading on similar works/journeys is required methinks…