Monday, February 3, 2014

What Are You Looking For?

My question today is: How have you given purpose to your writing? I'm not talking about a heady, philosophical discussion about your inner being, I'm talking about the drive behind your story. What makes it tick? How do you get your protagonist from point A to point B without muddying the water with extraneous details?

I have been pushing myself to finish a story that continues to baffle me. It still seems like I'm writing in a box and can't find the exit point. I took some time off from the story and finally laid it down for a few months. Now I'm trying to pick it up with fresh eyes. But even after all that, I'm still struggling. Perhaps now it's time to tear the manuscript up and do a complete overhaul on the story.

Has anyone of you had this kind of problem? I'm curious to know if this is just me tearing my hair out over this manuscript and no one has ever had to go through this before, or are we in this together? I feel that writers have a kinship with other writers and any insight would be helpful.


  1. That happened to me once, Karen. I gave up with the novel, partly due to computer problems, but on reflection I had tried to stick to a plot. I find I can only write when the characters are leading me. I don't plot anymore. However, once I'm into the novel I do have a feel of how I'd like it to end, but then it depends on how it all unravels!
    Don't drive yourself crazy with it. Don't be afraid to add, delete, or write notes in upper case to it. I might turn out. You can always start another one.

  2. Fanny: Thanks for your insight. I realize that's what I've been doing. Now I'll start over and write about the characters and let the plot develop from them.

  3. I'll admit that when I first decided to write a novel, I pantsed my whole way through and then tore it apart and then rewrote it about a dozen times. Now, I use a beat sheet, and even though it feels like cheating, it helps me stick to my main theme/goal/purpose behind the story. But mostly my end product is 90% different from my original draft. :)

    1. Marisa: I like to use an outline, which might be similar to your beat sheet. I don't think it's cheating to get the best story possible.