Monday, 5 July 2010

Blind alleys


I've recently been trying to resurrect a WIP I put aside a month or so ago, a paranormal mystery I'd been working on since Christmas. To help me past the logjam I'd been reading a few how to books, most notably "Novel Writing" by author and literary agent Evan Marshall. His approach is very formulaic which I'd always fought shy of in the past. But it's a meticulous and painstaking process and in forcing me to sift through the facts it is already firing some new ideas in my head.

I don't know about you, but I find it very easy to write myself into a blind alley and get stuck. I think it's because I'm too impatient to plan properly. Trusting that things will work themselves out is a gamble and on this latest WIP it hasn't paid off. Using the Marshall plan has made me go back to basics, to looking at my characters and my original set-up with a critical eye. I'm beginning to think this book can be saved, but I need to do some radical changes to the whole concept.
The more planning I do the more sold I am on the whole idea. I'm not going to write another word of this WIP until I get a proper outline of the story however long it takes. It may never happen, of course. Some books were never meant to be written. I suppose it's another lesson along the way, discovering which ones to write and which ones to ditch.

Comments (added because the comment function keeps losing them)
Juliet Marillier apparently plans everything in detail before she starts and edits as she goes so that when she finishes the draft it only needs a polish, not a redraft. Sounds like a good idea, but I haven't tried it. I'm a lousy planner. from Kate

Sandra I am the world's worst at planning, and you are not alone in writing yourself into a hole!

Writing short stories without a plan is never a problem for me, but my novel is pretty stuck at the moment and a framework would be very helful. Back to the drawing board, I think! x
from Joanne Fox

2 comments:

Kate said...

Juliet Marillier apparently plans everything in detail before she starts and edits as she goes so that when she finishes the draft it only needs a polish, not a redraft. Sounds like a good idea, but I haven't tried it. I'm a lousy planner.

Joanne Fox said...

Sandra I am the world's worst at planning, and you are not alone in writing yourself into a hole!

Writing short stories without a plan is never a problem for me, but my novel is pretty stuck at the moment and a framework would be very helful. Back to the drawing board, I think! x