Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Finding the end



I'm 20K words into a new book and I'm having some problems.  I like the idea, I like the characters and the world I'm building, but I don’t know where I’m going with this book.

I have lots of ideas for the end, but nothing feels right, I don’t yet know what the end should be. I’m not a plotter. I don’t like to know everything before starting a book, but usually about 10k words in I have a pretty good idea where the story is going. I stop and write the end, then I know what I’m shooting for. All I have to do is figure out how they get there. 

This book isn’t working like that. 

I feel aimless. Part of that is maybe that my character right now is aimless and doesn’t know what she wants. Part of it may be the difficulty I've been having writing due to stress the past year or so. Either way, I need a goal. I need something to shoot for, so I know how to write this thing. 

What do you do with an aimless book? How do you find your goal?

11 comments:

  1. Hi, Sara,

    Take a few deep breathes and concentrate on something else. I know you are having your house built and that HAS TO BE stressful.

    Don't worry about it too much, when you stop stressing about it, that's the an idea will come to you.

    GOOD LUCK and just go with the flow.

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    1. Heh, stop stressing. That's funny. :)

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  2. I agree with Michael. And try to think of your character's purpose so she's not aimless. It would probably tighten the plot. Sometimes a break really helps.

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    1. Well, part of the novel she is aimless, she loses her family, her home, her purpose in life. For awhile survival is her only goal, when she manages that she has to redefine who she is. I try to keep that part short, but she does have to figure out what she wants from life.

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  3. I'll echo Michael, too. Take a deep breath and do some character exercises with the MC. Maybe the ABC's, but anything will do. Let her guide you. Maybe, she wants to go an entirely different path than what your conscious brain is saying now.

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    1. Character exercises might be good. I haven't done the ABC's in a couple books. Maybe I should try that.

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  4. I allow my mind to wander, to immerse myself in the story without trying to think about it. Or sometimes, I just keep writing - my characters have a habit of surprising me.

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  5. I rework my outline or do character journals until I figure it out. A break also helps as I work on other things and the solutions come to me when I'm not trying too hard.

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  6. Good questions. Maybe it would help to table that book for a while, and work on something entirely different so you can loosen things up a bit. Instead of pressuring yourself to deal with those issues right now, let yourself relax, and maybe your subconscious mind will come up the answers you're seeking.

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  7. It's a tricky one isn't it? I tend to dive into a story and fill in the gaps as I go ... I like the surprises! However, I am trying to become better at planning things out as I have been stuck in the middle of stories before. I would say step back from it for a while and maybe try another writing project, it may help you refocus on this one.
    Good luck and happy writing.

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  8. Hmm, good question. Easier said than done for me, but can you keep raising the stakes? What if, though she's now surviving, she has others she has to take care of? Or just when she thinks it's all settled, something worse comes along?

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