Friday, October 10, 2014

Of two minds

As some of you know, I'm currently drafting the sequel to The Heir's Choice. The weird thing about it is that I sorta think it's done.

But I'm not sure.

See, my rough drafts are done as soon as I feel I have enough information mapped out in my head to rewrite the whole thing to my computer. This rewritten draft will be the draft that I edit.

Unfortunately, the completion of my rough drafts always creep up on me. I can't say something like "Only five chapters to go and I'm done." Instead, I'll be writing along happily, only to realize that I don't have to write any more of the story. At least, not yet.

I've been getting a hunch for two days now that I'm at the end of this draft. And today, this hunch crystallized in my brain into "Yup. This is done."

Thing is, this happened much sooner than expected. Almost exactly 20k words in. Okay granted, this is the second time I rough drafted this story. So maybe my brain's feeling like I rehashed some stuff that I can use in the rewrite. Which means that yes, I probably do know everything I need to in order to write out the whole thing.

But therein lies the rub. Probably. 

I have a ton of aspects to the story left unexplored. I know they're there. I know that I haven't really figured out how everything fits together. Which means that there's a very real possibility that I might want to start rewriting early next year, only to discover that no, the story wasn't as done as I thought. Something like that happening could be catastrophic to my plans.

That said, my gut and my muse says that this is done. That I can turn what I have between the two drafts into a plot and (more importantly) a story.

But at the same time, I just can't help wondering if my muse doesn't want to move on just because she's working to a schedule.

Advice? Anyone?

34 comments:

Catherine Stine said...

When I feel this way it's essential to get feedback from my writing group. You say you left some things untold? My hunch is that you may end up opening up those elements... just a hunch. Good luck with polishing the draft.

Misha Gericke said...

Hahaha I write by hand, so I doubt my writing groups will be able to decipher any of it. :-P

I think your hunch is right. There's a lot I want to explore.

That said, I might as well do it later. It's actually nice to be surprised while rewriting. Nothing as terminally boring as rewriting when all the exciting stuff has already been revealed.

Shah Wharton said...

I tend to write the skeleton, then more elements are added, like layers of background, character building, maybe a second plot thread, as I re-write. I always get to the point where I want to throw it in the bin because I've gone through it too much. Or I want to stick at how it is because I lose enthusiasm, but I find a few weeks working on something else (or nothing) helps my imagination spring to life again. I hope you figure it out Misha. X

shahwharton.com

Lexa Cain said...

Trust your Muse. She knows if you have the info you need now. Later might be a different story, but that's what revisions are for. I only first-drafted my current WIP to 40k. Good luck!

Murees Dupé said...

I think you should trust your instincts. I always do. But I know you will figure it out. I tend to make a lot of changes during rewrites, as I always over think things. But do what feels right to you. Wishing you the best.

Misha Gericke said...

I do that too! I'm just shocked at how fast I finished this skeleton, though. :-/

Misha Gericke said...

I'm inclined to agree with you. My muse rarely leads me astray. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

I agree. I'm just out of practice with my writing instincts. So much stuff has gone on this year. :-/

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Trust your gut. Maybe you need a break. Leave it alone for two weeks or more then look at it again with fresh eyes if you're still unsure.

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Different way of writing than I go about. This novel might require a little alteration in your method, but what that would be I'm sorry I don't know. :(

Christine Rains said...

I agree with the folks that say trust your gut. I sometimes have the same problem. Luckily I have very reliable CPs!

Misha Gericke said...

That's a good idea. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

I agree with you. Every project needs its own little adaptations to it's author's method. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

Good CPs are worth their weights in gold.

Michelle Wallace said...

Ask yourself this question...has your gut failed you before?
And from your experience, you'll know what process/method works best for you...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What Michelle said.
I always know where my story will end before anything else, plus I outline and plan it to death, so that's not something I struggle with. (I have other struggles though if you care to try one of them instead!)

Anne said...

Trust your instincts. Let go and everything will fall into place.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Your muse knows best, and probably has no concern about deadlines!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Trust your muse, and if need be, check in with a crit group. I can usually tell when a story is just done too . . . and when I try to push through into some other plot space, I end up having to revise more.

cleemckenzie said...

This is the hardest part for me, so my advice is what I give myself. Don't take it so seriously. Come back to the story with fresh eyes. If you enjoy what you read, write The End with conviction. If there's still something nattering away at you about needing more depth or new twists or another sub-plot, then go for it. Can't tell you how much I relate to this post.

dolorah said...

Wow, what a specific system you have for writing/rewriting. I'm sure sometimes the story just comes together easily in your mind.

Misha Gericke said...

Hahaha true. No it hasn't. :-D

Empty Nest Insider said...

Sounds like you've gotten some excellent advice! I'm sure you're well on your way! Best of luck, Misha!

Julie

Misha Gericke said...

Hahaha yeah I used to do that too. But now my rough drafts are all improvised. That said, I plan all my rewrites based on what I've written, so I guess the real question is if I now have enough info to put a plan together. :-P

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks!

Misha Gericke said...

Hahahaha yeah that she doesn't. If I say: "But the deadline!" she gives me a blank look back.

Misha Gericke said...

I know! The same happens to me. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

So true. Sometimes, I do have a way of becoming way too serious about these things.

Misha Gericke said...

Yeah the story does come together fast once I've written the rough draft. But it can be quite a painful process to get there, though.

Misha Gericke said...

Yep. My blogging friends are awesome advice-givers. ;-)

Shell Flower said...

At least you aren't wasting time overwriting stuff you will just cut later. Just start typing it into the computer and see if you end up adding more to the scenes or story as you copy it over. Then, it will be legible for your critiquers! Congrats on finishing the draft :)

LD Masterson said...

I tend to outline and storyboard to death before I begin my first draft so I don't run into this problem as much. But when my muse goes silent on e, I start bouncing things of my crit partners. Usually something will be said that will be the spark I need.

Misha Gericke said...

Hahaha very true. :-D

Misha Gericke said...

Oh yeah, having a sounding board when working through plot issues and the like is priceless.