Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Manuscript is running away without me.

In other words, How to keep it Simple.

I don't know how to do this well. This morning my secondary opened his mouth and said, "I have a problem with my radios."

I was like, What? What the hell are you talking about? No! No problems with radios!!! Stop it. Just stop it.

Then a friend of mine Inez Kelley said something to me that really helped!

Make the story about One Thing. [not those exact words, but that's what I got from it]

Okay, I can do that. My story is about one thing. Each thread doesn't have to be another story, it just needs to add to the ONE THING.

So I took out my pencil and started writing down all the things that would affect ONE THING. Let me give you an example. I have this ww2 setting...and spies. BUT, my main characters are actually part of a civilian unit that is working to extract refugees from occupied Europe, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland...

So, the point is...

Everything that is highlighted in this story must somehow affect that objective. I'm doing okay... I haven't completely lost my focus. Most of the revision changes will be minor... *cough* of course, i'll probably adding a scene here or there.

OMGosh. this is totally why I'm going to plot my next story.
Also, when do you quit?
I mean, the revisions just keep happening! When do I step away from the keyboard and say, this is a good story, but you're still learning to plot your craft... you might want to take what you've learned and start new, start fresh?

4 comments:

  1. Good luck! I'm still trying to figure it out. My third manuscript I actually created a synopsis first. (I'm a pantser, so it was really a hair-pulling time)
    And then, my story is still running away from me!
    But I like that advice about the one thing. Great advice, I think.

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  2. Right. I think, too... not extremely positive yet, but it did get me focused this morning and that's a bonus. LOL

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  3. I haven't even come close to mastering the concept of sticking to a plot plan or with a basic idea. New ideas and extra junk are always popping into my head even though my story is fine (notice I didn't say good LOL) as is. I think it's completely normal to want to continually improve, but knowing when to say when? Well, I'm clueless. Some of the new ideas are awfully slutty, you know? :) And I don't know that plotting beforehand is the solution, because, as you said, the temptation to add or change still rears its ugly head.

    If you figure out the secret, let me know, 'kay? ;)

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  4. Just poping in to say "hi".

    Janice~

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