Retracing Your Steps



There several parts of the writing process I enjoy most. Of course, the initial idea is the best part, and I feel, is the most crucial. The story pops into your head and boom off you go to get a few words down so you don’t forget. There’s huge excitement because in your mind this is a great story. You outline, and plot and do all the things you feel have to be done to get the story out. Rarely does the story ever develop the way we envisioned. That’s the work, getting your brain to connect with your fingers so the scene in your head can translate into paper/screen. But sometimes in the excitement of getting it all out, you miss a step or two. I try really hard to write on and edit later because my focus is on the ending, but sometime you can’t help it and the rewriting process starts before half the dang thing if finished. You retrace your steps because at some point in chapter 10 things just don’t fit. Something is off, the sequence of the story took a turn, and you can’t figure out how to get it back on track.

Every story has timelines and sometimes the timelines themselves don’t work well. My current WIP spans almost a year, so there are a lot of blanks that need to be filled. You get point A and B sorted out the way you want it, it’s almost perfect. However somewhere along the way, you completely miss point C and head right to D. This isn’t always a bad thing, but I suppose you have to be willing to explain some things, like what happened between point B and D, there are a lot of unnecessary blanks here now. The reasons should be there, I am after all the one writing the story, I should know. I’m not great and divulging reasons, even in my life I’m not good at excuses. I got stuck, not like writer’s block, this is different, this is much worse because now I don’t know where the story is going. As a writer, I’ve learned that it’s imperative that I have patience. Your state mind has to be in such a place that you allow those creative juices to flow. So with my patience in tow, I went back to the beginning. I reread, rewrote, edited, and moved around paragraphs and added some new ones to make the pieces fit. The gap was just too much and it didn’t make sense to me as I read the chapters I already had. this whole job of trying to get it right was sort of like starting over, which sucks because it’s a major setback, but sometimes you have to retrace your steps to make it all makes sense.



One thought on “Retracing Your Steps

  1. I just barely finished my Nano from last year. I wrote the 50k in November and took a break. Then it was difficult getting back into it. I finally finished it, but filling in those gaps was very hard. I have written three novels now and this one might just be the worst. I blame Nano, laziness, and not having a plan. But…it's done.:)


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