Writing

Making My Story Flow Differently

Do you like analogies? I hope the answer is yes, because I’m about to dive into my pit of them to describe how my writing’s going right now.

A story is like a river. Sometimes there are fish. More to the point, it needs to flow properly. When I recently started editing my second draft of The Fractured Isle, I kept that in mind. Using some of the excellent feedback I had received from my beta readers, I wrote out a chapter plan, which is serving as a vague map of what I want/need to change.

I have now started to edit and rewrite. By the time I’m finished, enough will have changed for me to call this a third draft. So I suppose I am currently working on my third draft of The Fractured Isle.

Back to my river analogy. For my story to flow to where it needs to, I have to reroute things. I have to carefully dig alternate channels for events to trickle along in. However, doing this is hard! I change one thing, it makes the next thing not make sense. The river starts trying to flow upwards, and then we’re all in serious trouble.

So I’ve decided that I’m going for two types of editing instead. First, I’m going to get my story to flow again, with the events that they need to include. This pretty much involves dropping giant, horrible looking boulders to reroute the river. There are big splashes, all sorts of mess, but a logical sequence of events will exist at the end of it. Granted I’ll be covered in figurative mud, and drenched in problematic words, but the hard work of digging the route for the story to flow down will be done.

Then, I’ll get to making it look nice with more in depth editing. I’ll look at places where I’ve nicked dialogue from one character who no longer exists and just pasted it into another character’s mouth. I’ll decide whether that’s appropriate to how the character would speak, and change where necessary. I’ll consult my already growing list of potential new plot weaknesses, and hopefully address them. Maybe I’ll add some fish to make this analogy posthumously more relevant.

The result of this is that I have a longer road ahead of me than I thought. I had hoped to finish everything I could do by February next year. I’m already reckoning that this might be a stretch. However, by February 2017, I do want to have the current chapters completely rewritten or edited to make sense in line with the rewritten ones. Then it’ll be time to crack on with the aforementioned making it look nice.

This is more a forecast than a set in stone plan. As mentioned in previous posts, I’ll be working on something entirely separate for NaNoWriMo 2016. I’ll need to dedicate time to planning that come October. However, I’m writing most days, and I have the time to work on both projects. It may be that come December, I put my NaNoWriMo project on a shelf to dry, and come back to it once The Fractured Isle has been sufficiently seen to.

So now you know what I’ve been up to, and maybe even what I’ll be getting up to in the coming months. May your words flow comfortably in the channels you dig for them, and may your literary rivers prove good to float down. Also, keep an eye out for fish.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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