That Might Work

ROW80LogocopyI completely missed last week’s ROW80 check-in.  I’m surprised I managed to get to this today since Monday was a holiday so I keep forgetting what day it is this week.

I have loads of things going on (that whole buying a house thing really is like another job!), so I haven’t done as much as I wanted to recently with my story.  But I have made progress.

Last week I was ready to give it up.  I’m pretty much done with the read-through, and the verdict was not good.  I had lots of good writing but not much of a story.  I had no real motivation for my protagonist or my antagonist.  And the big finale I was leading up to? No real reason for it, not a big enough reason to make it necessary at any rate.

This was really disappointing because this story was the one I’d been holding in the back of my mind as the one, my really good story idea that was going to be really worth going back to and finishing.  And then it turned out to not be what I thought it was all this time.

I gave myself most of a week off to daydream and ponder and see if I could figure out how to make this into a viable story.  Not much came of it.  Then Saturday I was at my monthly knitting circle (I have the best knitting circle–Ph.D.s and academics and writers–we have the best conversations!).  Talk turned to writing, and I talked about my problem with my story.  Not much progress was made, but it was good to talk about it.  One proposed solution really didn’t work for me, but at least it was something to toy with.  I left still thinking I didn’t have much of a real story to work with.  Then on the ride home my answer came.

It does mean scrapping most of what’s happened in the story so far, but if I do this then it will actually be a story and not just a bunch of pages of interesting locations and dialogue and a few explosions.

Next step: planning and outlining.  I kind of want to get this done by the end of October so I can write the story for NaNoWriMo, but it looks like our closing date (if everything sorts out) is going to be mid-October.  So I’m not sure this is a feasible goal.  I’m going to call it a loose goal and go from there.  At least I have a real story idea now, right?

So what’s up with your writing life?  How’s everything going in your story?  Hope you’re having a great writing time!



6 thoughts on “That Might Work

  1. I’m so glad that your story now has – well – a story! Good for you. I am sure that now that you have that much, you will be able to crank out the whole thing, when the time is right. Whether that is NaNoWriMo or not, you will get it done! Best wishes on your journey and good luck with the house.

    • Thanks, Chris! I think it will be much better now that it’s not just a bunch of interesting stuff in an interesting place. Best wishes to you, too!

  2. Wow, that sounds like every single one of my stories, put together! Lots of decent writing, good scenery, not terrible dialog (I think…), and even things (and people!) bursting into flame, but … yeah, where’s the actual story?

    My sister and brother and I will sometimes get together to discuss our stories and see how we can improve them. I need to get one such session to discuss MY story with them!

    I hope you’re able to close on your house easily and on time! Getting all the plotting and planning out of the way by the end of October might still be doable, taking a few minutes here and there to make planning notes (does your phone have a note app?). I’m sure you’ll be able to plan and plot your way to NaNoWriMo!

    • Tammy, it’s easy to get excited about the cool places and people and individual scenes we want to write, isn’t it? I *am* happy to say that I do better with having actual story happen in my first drafts now. I’ve learned a lot over the seven or eight years since I wrote this one.

      Having someone to brainstorm your stories with is a great thing! Grab your siblings and talk it out. That’s always so helpful.

      Thanks for the good wishes! I will be keeping everyone posted on how the planning goes.

  3. Glad your story problems resolved themselves! Talking things out with someone really helps. I often think that I can work out story tangles on my own, but it rarely works as well as talking to my husband. He’ll say something that won’t be the “right” answer, but it’ll spin my brain in a different way. Yay for your awesome sounding knitting group!

    • Katherine, that’s exactly how it happened. One friend said something that wasn’t quite the thing, but it shook things loose inside my head so the real answer could bubble up!

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