Changing Directions

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This week turned out to be a wonderfully productive week. I wrote 4,429 words in a new story, Bewitched by the Dragon, and wrote a 4,678-word short story, Upon the Witching Hour, a retelling of Cinderella (but with a twist). I also wrote and posted my first Insecure Writers Support Group post, and am finding IWSG to be a supportive community.

I paused a couple chapters into Bewitched by the Dragon, though, because something felt off. I felt like I was going in the wrong direction, and sometimes a couple days of distance and careful thought shows me where I went wrong, and I actually end up further ahead than I would’ve if I’d just charged through. It’s a big lesson I’ve learned on this path.

I realized that the problem was that the story itself is intended to be novella length, and for that to work the hero and heroine need to meet up in chapter one. As it was written, it took them several chapters to even meet—that’s several chapters where there’s no sexual tension, no romance developing. Plot-wise, that just doesn’t work.

Tonight the answer came to me. They need to meet up by the end of chapter one, and I figured out how to do that. There are still a ton of unanswered questions swirling around this story, involving character arcs and backstory and a host of other normal, first-draft issues. And I’m still torn between first and third person POV, as I mentioned in a previous post. But now that I’ve solved this first riddle, I can work on solving the others. Back to the page!

The next couple weeks I have two manuscript critiques to do, so those will be my main focus. I’d like to at least get the first three chapters of Bewitched by the Dragon rewritten, though. Later this month I can move forward with that. I still have to get to the next draft of Fates Entangled as well, but that probably won’t happen until June at the earliest.

What about you? Do you ever need to take a day or two away from a project for some brainstorming?

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12 thoughts on “Changing Directions

  1. There’s a reason I like to have multiple projects. =) If one needs some simmering time, I shift focus to another. Often, that feeds both, and maybe another project or two besides.

    I also do hometending, hang with family, go to interesting places and/or do interesting things, watch documentaries on PBS, or read.

    I’m glad the tangles are starting to unravel for you. =)

    • “Simmering time.” Yep. That’s exactly what Bewitched by the Dragon needed. This week I’ve turned my focus to manuscript critiques as I let that story simmer and figure out where it needs to go. Thanks, Shan!

      • I’ve got a round of critiques on tap, just waiting for me to get caught up with some other things…lots of other things. I’m feeling a bit like I’ve got several balls too many in the air at once – and I’m not a juggler.

        I suspect things will settle out and come together a bit better after this week – Mother’s Day is very tricky for me, and I suspect it always will be.

        Also, I’m still at the level of getting used to my new May goals and schedule…and I’ve added in the homeschool reports which are due next month.

  2. I find myself taking a couple of days off writing on my project so that I can edit objectively. Sometimes, I can be too hard on myself when I edit the following day. I like to still have the story fresh in my mind, but I also realize that the story needs to be. That it will be there when it comes time to edit. In the meantime, while I take the days off writing on my stories, I’ll write in my journals or brainstorm characters and prompts for another story.

    • Journaling is an excellent break from drafting and revising stories, and I find that writing in my journal often yields little phrases, lines, story ideas, etc. that wind up in the pages of my stories. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Glad you were able to figure out what was wrong. Hopefully that will mean even more progress for you. Good job this week and good luck with the next.

  4. Congratulations on your word count! 😀 … I have a main WIP, and others at various stages of preparation, research, notes, backstory/worldbuilding that are chugging away in the background but I’ve found I can only focus, and do justice to, one major project at a time.

    • Like you I tend to focus on one main project at a time. I wasn’t planning on writing a short story last week, but this Cinderella retelling popped up and I ended up writing the first draft in a single night. That was unusual for me, but I went with it. Usually though I like to have one project that gets most of my attention, though I sometimes try working on multiple projects. It helps if I get stuck on one to shift my focus for a while. Short stories are good for that.

  5. Wow, wow, wow Denise!!! That is fabulous! That is some kind of word count girl. The keyboard is smoking! I am so glad you joined the IWSG. AND wrote a post! I joined a while ago, but I was incognito. I never really participated. Which didn’t help much, and was the reason why I joined, to get the help and support. Dah!! So good for you. I haven’t been writing at all. A kind of hiatus of sorts. So much going on in my life and I just moved. Ack! There was no more energy for me and the writing. I am hoping to start writing again soon. Keep up the great work! ((Hugs)) 🙂

    • Thanks, Karen! I hope you’re able to return to IWSG at some point. I’m finding it to be a very helpful and supportive community–like A Round of Words in 80 Days, in which I’m also a participant. Sometimes a writing hiatus is necessary. It can be a period in which we incubate our writing ideas so that they can hatch later. I’ve found such breaks to be vital parts of my writing process. And yes, moving takes a ton of energy, so taking a break sounds wise. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  6. Time is the best distance to get from a piece; still haven’t figured out the best amount of time yet though.
    However like you I have also been torn between 1 and 3 POV. My story has always been 1st but with the perspective changing. I am currently doing an experiment and trying one of the 3rd persons. And that is all I can advice you to do; try them all and see what works best.

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