avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapters

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mike m.
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avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapters

Postby mike m. » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:18 pm

how do you avoid writing yourself into a dead end canyon, or even a cul de sac
so you dont have to toss a lot of work or at best do significant revisions on it

it can happen to anyone without a complete plan and a beat sheet of scenes to use as a roadmap

it will happen even when you are planning and organising with 3x5 cards
but the rework and lost effort of handling a few cards is much smaller than when you have to discard tonnes of verbiage that was already written

some folks claim to use the headlight method
see just far enough ahead to keep the car going on the road

but how do they know they are on the right road and not taking a meaningless detour
or will run into construction delays and other problems
worst case they follow a road into a dead end that requires a lot of work to backtrack to the main road
leaving a diversion that usually hurts the story if it is not completely thrown away

so what is your trick to avoiding dead ends or diversions that require revision or discarding large amounts of mss content

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ostarella
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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby ostarella » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:25 pm

I think about the story as I write it. Problem solved.
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mike m.
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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby mike m. » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:34 am

[quote="ostarella"]I think about the story as I write it. Problem solved.[/quote]
=====

that makes no sense at all to me
how do you know the future wont be a dead end just cause you think as you write
maybe if you are some sort of einstein you might do that
otherwise most ordinary people will have problems

how do you know you will arrive at any ending at all, and not get stuck en route
let alone get to the best ending

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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby Lbeauchesne » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:46 am

How do you know that the ending you have in your outline is the best ending?
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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby ostarella » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:53 am

[quote="mike m."][quote="ostarella"]I think about the story as I write it. Problem solved.[/quote]
=====

that makes no sense at all to me
how do you know the future wont be a dead end just cause you think as you write
maybe if you are some sort of einstein you might do that
otherwise most ordinary people will have problems

how do you know you will arrive at any ending at all, and not get stuck en route
let alone get to the best ending[/quote]

You don't have to be an Einstein to use your brain. Just because it makes no sense to you doesn't mean it takes a rocket scientist to do it. I mean, do you not think about the story as you write your outline? The story doesn't magically appear as you write out your cards, does it? So I don't see what's so difficult to understand.
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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby mike m. » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:16 pm

[quote="Lbeauchesne"]How do you know that the ending you have in your outline is the best ending?[/quote]
===

because i dont stop planning until it is the best that i can do

and it is far easier to shuffle 3x5 cards on a table top than to rearrange large amounts of text on screen
you can see the whole flow of the story at a glance and be able to understand it easily
it is easier to spot holes and fix sequencing to ensure it flows logically

you can focus your creativity on the story and make improvements before you write
so no more coming up with better ideas after you wrote reams of verbiage that you would have to toss to make that change

then you can focus on making your writing great without distractions of keeping the plot going properly
because you know every scene and what they are going to do for the story, your writing effort can make the best scenes possible as you focus on the writing free of other distractions

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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby ostarella » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:38 pm

I think the problem in a lot of these discussions is that william takes the best case scenarios for his outlining POV and the worst case scenarios for the organic POV.
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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby Lbeauchesne » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:34 pm

[quote="ostarella"]I think the problem in a lot of these discussions is that william takes the best case scenarios for his outlining POV and the worst case scenarios for the organic POV.[/quote]

Perhaps. I planned a story once (we had to for English homework). I hated the planned ending. I hated everything about the story, but others liked it. To make it worse, the teacher then lost my exercise book, and claimed I had never handed the homework in. I had to pay for a new exercise book only for her to find my original one 2 weeks before end of year exams. She then said that what I had written was rubbish (probably the only thing we agreed on that year!)
Mind you, I hated the ghost story I had to write in 4th year for part of the coursework. That wasn't planned, the teacher loved it. I wanted to write it over, but she talked me out of it.
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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby mike m. » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:16 pm

[quote="ostarella"]I think the problem in a lot of these discussions is that william takes the best case scenarios for his outlining POV and the worst case scenarios for the organic POV.[/quote]
=======

i take a realistic POV based on what i see others do or fail to do
and my own personal experience where pantsing was a total fail for fiction and business writing

i abandoned my first attempt at a novel during my time at the uni
i failed at business writing for years until i was forced to find a method that worked
and organising was the key to my being able to write at all

but after i learned that planning and organising were NECESSARY to succeed
i did VERY well at writing and even had a fully writing oriented job for a few years
while all the others always required a significant amount to document what was done technically

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Re: avoiding dead ends that cause revision or tossing chapt

Postby ostarella » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:04 pm

[quote="mike m."]i take a realistic POV based on what i see others do or fail to do
and my own personal experience where pantsing was a total fail for fiction and business writing

i abandoned my first attempt at a novel during my time at the uni
i failed at business writing for years until i was forced to find a method that worked
and organising was the key to my being able to write at all

but after i learned that planning and organising were NECESSARY to succeed
i did VERY well at writing and even had a fully writing oriented job for a few years
while all the others always required a significant amount to document what was done technically[/quote]

Yes - you had to find the method that worked for you. Why are you so dead set against others finding the method that works for them? Why do you insist that others be forced to use a method that will make them fail at writing fiction in the same way you failed at business writing? Because that's exactly what you have been doing from Day One - telling people they must do things your way or they will fail, when, for many, many writers, your way is the way to failure for them. Do you really not see that?
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