Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The impasse of rewriting

To my writer friends, I'm asking for your opinion, please!

On my last post "Rewriting!", I was pretty optimist with the new ideas I got on the rewriting process. But here, did I've questioned myself too much? Yet I had nice (new) ideas that seemed to me to grow my story and all, but it seems like I can't put everything together. It's like if I had detached pieces and that I needed a centerpiece for all to join together...

I left it rest, mature, and simmer, everything. Meanwhile (I can now say "publicly" as my close ones  know) ;o) I got pregnant, then there was the 3 years old of my daughter to celebrate, so my mind was busy with other things. I thought more than once that I had to get back to my story, try to put everything in order.

I was able to put my plans up to date with the last ideas.. but somethings are missing! Some of the new ideas don't fit well, like if there's a integration element missing otherwise it would look like a patch-work. Some of the old ideas that are (or were) part of the center line of the plot and that I think no longer fit, or at least they don't make sense without finding a new integrator element? (I try above all to say that if I take them off completely, I have no end! Or at least half of the plot of the third act falls overboard, so ... "removing" is not an easy solution in this case!) I don't know. I'm at the point to question again "What am I trying to say with this story?" ; "What do I want to tell?" The story changed a lot during the last versions; maybe it's prime objective got lost between the cracks of two versions?

In the other hand, I don't feel like abandoning. The parts there please me. I also think that the new ideas are interesting and are worth it... as soon as I find a logical place for them, of course!

So there. I'm looking for advice. To my writer friends, how do you do in this kind of impasse? Should I force it? Should I put it in the corner of a drawer, work on something else for a while and come back to it later? Organize a "Cookies & Tea Party" evening, open the forge and discuss in group about the impasse of the writer and get help to put the ideas back in the right place in the story? Your opinion, please?  =)


  1. Cookies and tea sounds good. Your circumstances have changed, so your outlook has changed - I'd be a bit wary about the new ideas, if they threaten to warp the narrative out of its predestined shape. Maybe some of the new ideas belong to an entirely different tale or time?

    Forcing all the ideas together into one solid lump may seem tempting, but you must be ruthless, too many ideas can just lead to confusion...

  2. Thank you for your comment Custer :)
    One point I forgot to mention: the new ideas were needed because what I had was not "solid"; the plot was weak and some things were not working out, so I had to rethink the whole thing or stay with a "cheap and not well-thought" intrigue, which is not the direction I hope to go to!

    Maybe I didn't explain it. The rewriting process is not only about adding ideas; it's more like a major clean-up, where new ideas replace old ones. Sometimes, there's more ideas removed than new ideas added!

    The new ideas I had are, for some, deepening already existing concept, for others, replacing old ones. Replacing also means recreate. As the story grow in working time, I get to know the characters better and it happens that their personality comes to get off the original scenario; as the characters evolve, so must the story around them, otherwise you get to not fitting plot or characters doing things not fitting their personality. =)

    Every writer I know could tell you the story of how each of their stories were written! ;)

  3. In that case it looks as if you do need to keep working on it, and discussing it with your friends, and having strange dreams about the characters... and hopefully one day everything will fall into place!