Having Doubts On The Story

I have rewritten a book many many times, the moment where I didn’t like where the story was heading. Or it simply didn’t make sense anymore.. Even if I have wasted a lot of time on the first couple of drafts. But I feel it’s a necessity. 

As a horrible story that doesn’t seem to have anywhere for development can be very very difficult. And in such cases, maybe putting it on the side can help. I have a novel like this, which is still lying on the side, I just have no idea where it would go. 

But it was from when I started novels just solely based on an idea, with little plot, or much about characters. And little ability to handle them as well, all the while I scratched my head as to where it was going. 

And if you’re at this stage, try to find a coherent scene of events which is also  logical in the characters viewpoint. If not, maybe go back to the drawing board and rethinking the idea. 

So, if you think your story is going nowhere, think it carefully. What is the plot? How is your characters? Do you think that it’s really heading nowhere? Do you think another perspective would help?

In the mad rush of trying to finish a novel, I ended up wasting a lot of time. On hindsight that novel had not been such a great idea, just about a group being asked to get a book. I mean, could the motive get any worse. There was little agency on the characters itself, apart from some simple motives, I also failed to delve deeper into their mindsets and how it is developed. 

I just wrote everything in the surface and after the book itself had little idea where it would even head next. And that was an issue which I knew was present yet I refused to address, until of course a great idea came down which I planned so I know where it would lead me to next. 

Ultimately, finishing something became an issue. Because I know the story and plot was horrible from around the early middle, yet I almost finished it thinking maybe I could solve all the problems when in careful thought I should have just conserved my time and thought about it.

So, sometimes when you have doubts, listen to them. Try and see what drove you to write that novel, go down deeper into the characters mind. Perhaps you might have just saved some time unlike me. 

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One thought on “Having Doubts On The Story

  1. I’ve been reading Stephen King’s “On Writing” based on a friend’s suggestion. It’s a very nice discussion. Somewhere near the end of it he mentions that it took him 16 months to finish just the first draft of “The Stand,” which is now one of his most popular novels. He describes having writer’s block for weeks on end, going for walks and doing anything to get an idea. Finally the inspiration came to him and he finished it and it became a famous work in the end. He also suggests taking a lot of time between the first draft and revision (he says at least 6 weeks, though that’s a bit much for me). He also suggests working on other projects so that your mind is completely disconnected and everything is fresh when you come back to it. Put all that together and what you have is a clear suggestion that the writing process takes a lot of time. I agree, especially with books and novels. This is something I have had to learn the hard way as I wait to get through the revision process of my first book. Of course you need to be motivated to finish your projects, but I wouldn’t rush it. Hopefully the right idea will come to you in time and it will all come together.

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