Tag Archives: plot

Characters That Want a Different Ending

Lately, I’ve been really focusing on my writing.  You can see that in my blog.  I’ve been posting more regularly and writing with more freedom, playing with prompts, and really just writing to write.  It’s been exciting for me.

I’ve been suffering though from a long bout of writer’s block.   I had outlined the end of my NaNo book and was happily working toward that end and then one of the characters said, “You can’t write this ending.  It’s rubbish and it’s not what’s supposed to happen to me.”  I looked at it and realized this character was right.  So I outlined again.  And again, that character said, “Tsk, tsk.  Still not the right ending for me.”  And I had to look at it and agree again.  It wasn’t the right end.  Back to the outline again.

This has now happened five times.  I just don’t know what I’m doing.  All of a sudden, this idea that was flowing along so nicely during the month of November is now at a stand-still, being held hostage by a finicky young woman who seems to want something but won’t say just what.


Writer’s Block is one of those things that people either believe in or believe to be a myth.  I am one of the ones who think myth.  I may not have had much progress in getting toward the ending of my book, which makes it hard for me to want to be part of a writing/revision group when I don’t have a completed piece, but that doesn’t mean I have stopped writing altogether.

While I’m waiting for this character to figure out exactly what it is she wants, I am going back and expanding on spots that needed a little more.  I’m editing other sections and removing the non-essential parts.  I’m adding more scenery and other information that helps me get a little closer to getting that ending that is supposed to be matched up with the rest of the story.

Doing this simple act is really a huge help.  I find myself going back and reviewing everything, revisiting characters, conversations, even clothing choices.  All those things help make the ending a little more clear.  I had a pretty good breakthrough last night but it actually made the ending a little less clear because one of those magical things happened.  As I was writing, the character in question said, let’s see what happens if the professor does provide the key ingredient.  Even though it was never in my original outline, it works.  Now, I have a whole new direction to go in and that is exciting!

Writer’s block is more of a mental hurdle we place in front of ourselves.  We can either let it stop us or we can choose to work around it.  Simply writing a journal entry a day is one way to keep the writing going.  Even though it’s not directly related to whatever it is you’re working on at the time, it’s still writing and you may find something in your writing that can help you go back to that story and finish it.  Just keep writing, even if you feel stuck, write something different, like a small essay on the weather that day, a review of a book you recently read, a letter to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Write anything.  Then go back to your story and see what magical things happen!


Filed under Writing

Researching, Accuracy, and Writing

I’ve been making the mad dash lately in an effort to really close my writing gap.  Today is official the mid-point for my 30 day writing project.  I have 15 days to get to that coveted 50,000 word mark.  As it stands today, I would have to 2,180 words per day to finish by 11/30.  Theoretically, it’s doable.  Realistically though, I am beginning to have my doubts.

Today’s challenge has been finding out more about a place I need to describe.  It’s kind of an important thing and I have it stuck in my head that this one place is so integral to the story.  It’s got to be half way around the world.  It’s got to be somewhere where there are ancient ruins of a civilization that had multiple deities.  It has to be somewhere there isn’t a lot of technology.  It’s to got to be somewhere there is the chance that people could be killed and not found for weeks or months or even eaten by wild animals.  In my head that’s somewhere in Western Asia (think India, Nepal, or one of the smaller countries in that region). For some reason, I can’t let this image go.

Something like this…that’s what I’m thinking of and stuck on.

And so begins the research.  I have never been to this part of the globe.  I have only seen it in movies and documentaries.  I have read about it through authors who have been there.  This makes for a romanticized view of this area.  Now, I see this romantic view in two different ways.

My first thought is that it could be somewhat problematic to make it semi-believable since I have no working, personal knowledge of the region or area.  Despite the genre of story I am working on now, I want it to seem somewhat plausible.  I want readers to believe that maybe it could happen or that the world in which these events are occurring is real.   I know as a reader, I love being immersed into a world.  I love believing that what I am reading is real even if the events occurring there are not even close to possible.  It’s just one of those things I like.

The second way to look at it is that maybe a romantic view of this world isn’t that bad.  Maybe since it’s just a setting, albeit an important setting, it’s not going to make or break the main story line.

A more romantic view of this region

I know that this questioning and need for research is  part of this is my inner editor shrieking in her cell, but on some level, I agree with her.  I know that this month is all about just getting the words on paper but I feel like in order to do that and move on, I need to spend time I don’t really have to research something that may or may not in the end have an impact on the overall story.  In the end, after editing, it may not be as important as it is currently is in my head.

As a reader, I know how I feel about things like setting and how accurate it is.  What do you think about setting?  Do you really care, in the end, if the setting is accurate?  Or is it the characters that make you really believe a plot?

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