Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 2015 IWSG - Help! I've Written Myself Into a Corner!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.


Happy February. The month of love and, on this fine first Wednesday of the month, insecurity.

Right now, I'm waiting for feedback from beta readers on my third book in my Mechanica Wars series, Iron Warrior. In the meantime, I continued working on a couple other projects. However, in the middle of all that, I had an epiphany about my main protagonist in Iron Warrior.

It was literally like a lightning bolt out of a clear blue sky. I had made a HUGE mistake with a major plot point. It's one of those deals where I completely missed an important element. When I wrote it all out (thank God for Evernote. Love Evernote) on my phone, I felt relieved that I had realized what the missing piece was in this very vital plot point.

So I go back to my manuscript, find the pivotal scene, and begin to write it out and fix it. Except...it's not such a snug fit. I had only partially found that missing piece, but I'm still left with a jacked-up puzzle. In essence, I had written myself into a corner.

To me, this is every writer's Bermuda Triangle. You're chugging along...plot and characters and going great. You eventually finish your 100,000 word masterpiece. And upon the return trip home, your book sinks into the Ocean of Unforgiveness.

Luckily, I don't need to rearrange and completely re-write whole chapters or anything. I guess I'm fortunate in that respect. But now I'm totally stuck. Like my foot is trapped in a dried concrete block kind of stuck. I've got this big gaping hole in my manuscript, waiting for me to tie-off and finish this revelation of writing genius I thought I had found.

I slept on it. Meditated on it. Mulled it in my head while driving home from a short business trip for almost two hours today. And whatta I got?

I gots nuthin'.

I hope lightning strikes twice.

26 comments:

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Maybe try NOT thinking about it? Do something repetitive and easy, like washing dishes, and see what comes when your mind is more of a blank slate. Good luck!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you figured out how to fix the one part.
Share where you are stuck with critique partners. Let them bounce some ideas off you. Even if none of theirs helps, it will probably spur you to come up with your own. (That worked for me before.)

Sarah Foster said...

Oh boy, can I relate to the stuck feeling. Maybe you need to step away from it for a few days and hopefully then the answer will be clearer. And I agree with Alex--sometimes I've had suggestions for an idea that was so horribly, horribly wrong (my fiance tries, bless his heart, but just...no...), but it gets my own brain going to come up with the right answer.

February IWSG Co-host

Jay Noel said...

Madeline: And I've got a bunch of dishes to wash anyway!

Alex: I will probably most definitely need some help.

Sarah: My ideas for tough problems usually hit me like a mack truck. Not so subtle. So I'm hoping for that big idea to fall from the sky.

Crystal Collier said...

Inspiration will come. You totally need a beach day...or whatever you do to relax in your FREEZING corner of the world. =) Once your mind unwinds a little it will give you the answer.

Christine Rains said...

I know that feeling! Inspiration will hit you again. I agree with Alex, try brainstorming with your CPs. That's what I do. They get all my weird ramblings! :) Good luck.

Jay Noel said...

Crystal: Lol. Looks like I might be playing in the snow today.

Christine: I hope so. I'm going to need some help on this one.

meganmorganauthor.com said...

Writing yourself into a corner absolutely sucks. Hopefully you'll find your way out of the tangle soon. Good luck!

Pat Hatt said...

Well at least it was found. Now you just have to turn that corner into a door.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Like Pat said, "...at least it was found". And you can work it out now.

Pat Dilloway said...

I did that a few days ago and had to delete some stuff and then rewrite.

Sandra Almazan said...

Lightning will strike when you least expect it. Maybe one of your beta readers can help.

DEZMOND said...

Hope the betareaders turn in a brilliant report :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have discovered something about the plot or a character like that and had to go back and make major changes.

farawayeyes said...

Been there, done that. In fact I'm kind of there right now. Trying to work out some age discrepancies that I created. It's tedious catching every reference to a characters age, when you've made a big boo boo like that.

Carolyn Brown said...

I know the feeling well. Best of luck filling the hole and thanks for dropping by with encouraging words.

Julie Flanders said...

I can totally relate to this. Here's hoping that lightning strikes again soon.

David P. King said...

Yes, may lightning strike! Let your thoughts mull it over. The puzzle pieces tend to fit the longer I look at them. :)

dolorah said...

yeah, I've done that before. One minor fix and suddenly you're faced with rewriting half the novel.

Loni Townsend said...

I pray for lightning. Maybe it'll strike and give you magical plot seeing powers. Either way, I hope you figure it out. And hey! At least you figured out something needed to change. That's good, right?

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

story of my life lately! I hope it works itself out!

Mr. Shife said...

How's the big gaping hole? I hope it has got filled in by now.

Lexa Cain said...

I'm sure you'll figure it out soon. I let my CPs see every chapter as it comes out because their eyes are fresh and sharp. I'm sure I'd be in a corner without them. Good luck!

Nick Wilford said...

Well, at least it wasn't already published before you saw it...!

I can only back up what's already been said here. Point out the problem to your betas and see what their take on it is. It looks like you got a bit of the way there with the solution... sometimes turning the puzzle around helps us see where the other pieces go. Good luck!

Stephanie Faris said...

Do you have a critique group you can bounce it off? That's definitely one thing I miss about being part of a group like that--if you can get a group of people together who write in the same genre, it could help, but there are a lot of downsides to working with a critique group, as well!

manju satywali said...

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