Because who doesn't like staring at the ceiling fan?

Unhappily Ever After

Remember that post I made a couple of weeks ago about writer’s block, and how one of the causes can be that something else has my attention?

Yeah. I’ve entertained goals of writing new prose, or revising a different story that badly needs it. Problem is, I never get very far. Why?

Because my werewolves won’t leave me alone. (Beware: spoilers ahead)

I don’t mean that literally, or even in the sense that these characters might have a life of their own inside my head. I know they don’t. But sometimes I get hyper focused, or obsessed, and when that happens with a story I have a really hard time letting those characters go until their story is exactly how I want it. (You all know what a pitfall that can be. Nothing is ever perfect.)

I thought the latest round of revisions meant I was done, at least until an editor could take a look at it and give me some pointers about where to take the story, or what to cut, etc etc. Except I think my subconscious already figured that out and I’m just not listening. I want to work on other things, not revise this one story into the ground. I don’t want to be a one hit wonder! Let me work on other things, already!

But I can’t let this go. I can’t. So I’m going to talk it out, because that’s the only thing I can do right now besides revise an already revised story.

So what’s bothering me about my latest round of revisions? The ending, for one. It’s off. There’s too much “just focus on the fact that you lived.” She doesn’t have a major breakdown, and she really should. I mean, she killed two people. Some others died. One of those personal kills was too high level for her. She wasn’t there yet, emotionally or mentally. Level 60 protagonist, meet the level 85 dungeon villain. I hate to break it to you, but you wouldn’t have killed him. That’s one of the things I need to revise. I just need to go with it. No happy endings here. It all needs to end in disaster… I just need to be brave enough to write it like that.

Second, my main villain is just all over the place. He needs more. Perhaps some conversations with the protagonist. Maybe one where she doesn’t know who he is, and then maybe a couple where she does. He’s not convincing to me, and if he’s not convincing to me, he’s not going to convince the readers.

Third, I think I have too much going on. The dragons just need to be pulled. It’s a minor sub plot insertion because I’m going somewhere major with it in book 2, but I don’t need to drop so much into the story line in book 1. References should be fine without adding a mystery plot that isn’t realized within the one story.

Speaking of unresolved plots (this is the part where you skip if you don’t like spoilers), my protagonist doesn’t ever go full wolf, and that’s never explained. I know when it’s resolved in the character’s timeline, but that timeline extends further than book 1. Which is fine, unless I never have a conversation about it, which I don’t. The question is asked, and no one answers, or even speculates (to be fair, no one has a lot of time to sit around thinking about these things). I’m thinking it really needs to be answered in one way or another, which might mean bumping the rest of the story to hit that part of the timeline.

All of these possibilities mean my story is going to bloat… by at least 10k words. I’m at 90k now. These revisions might take me into the 110k’s. A little bit big for a first novel. Means I’ll be paying more for editing services, and means will have more work to do myself before it gets to the point where I want to send it to an editor.

I think I’m okay with that, though. Never could do anything the easy way. So point for you, werewolves. I’ll get started this week.

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6 responses

  1. Zen

    You could try listing all sort of possibilities for your ending then crossing out the ones that just don’t fit. If anything it will get you thinking and you may accidentally stumble across an idea that will fix your problems. 🙂

    September 5, 2012 at 7:03 am

    • I think I’ll do that, actually. There are a couple of scenarios I have in mind, but writing them out helps turn the wheels.

      September 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm

  2. Sometimes your story just won’t leave you alone, and that’s ok, because that means you’ll work as hard as you can to make it good, even if you want to work on the new shiny (I’ve worked on several new shinys over the years, and still go back to FE all the time because it just won’t quit bugging me!).

    September 5, 2012 at 10:28 am

  3. I like the way you work things through. Interesting.
    Have you read Stephen King’s On Writing? He talks about shelving something you finish writing for a while. I know it’s driving you crazy but I think if you keep ignoring it, it won’t distract you so much eventually. If you haven’t read On Writing, you should shelve your book until you finish reading it 😀

    September 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    • This story was already shelved for 2 years without me looking at it 😉 The recent revisions I spoke of were finished back in June. While I’ve actively tried thinking of other things, the revision bug seems to have bitten me hard. I can’t let this one go just yet.

      (I might after these major changes, though. Something tells me they’ll be exhausting.)

      September 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      • Ahhhh that’s a whole different monster. I think you’re gonna kick ass, you’ve got a solid plan

        September 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

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