PLOT PROBLEMS + EDITING WOES

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Welcome to Storytime With Katie, where I will proceed to ramble and describe this week's editing events.

Enjoy.


It's hard to love your story.
Sometimes, it's hard to like or even tolerate it, especially when it's basically the very definition of disaster in novel form. I've been there for the past several months. I've pushed through the doubts and the worries and continued to work on my "horrible, terrible, no-good" manuscript. The thought of sending it to beta readers sent me into denial. 

I knew there was some (though it was small) potential in this story, but the potential refused to show on the page. Which then left me despairing each time I tried to attack it with my editing skills. (this problem definitely didn't help with my annoyance for editing xD) I basically turned into gollum and screamed, "WE HATESSS THE PRECIOUSSS," with every attempt at editing.

So, finally, after hours and hours of editing and not seeing much progress... I realized it was time to do something about this catastrophe. Throughout my time in the writing world, I've heard the idea of other writers making a list of reasons why they love their story. Why not give it a try?

I knew that my list might be rather small... but I went for it anyways. (spoiler alert: the list was indeed very small). I mean, why not try to create some love for my novel? But as I sat down to do this exercise, I came up with only three, simple bullet points of love. (and they all had to do with characters or things I already established in the first novel.)

*cries*

BUT THIS WASN'T GOING TO STOP ME. I was going to make this story work.

So I crossed out the tiny list of things I loved about my story, and instead titled a new list: what I hate about my story.

(yes, this was harsh, and looking back I could've alternatively titled it, "what needs to be worked on" or "what I can fix," but I was a frustrated writer and had enough of keeping up the optimism. xD)

These points (unfortunately) came a lot easier to me. At first this only further discouraged me, but as I studied the "list of hate," all the points had one thing in common: they dealt with the plot. The lack of intrigue, weak middle, boring filler scenes...

So I finally understood what the problem was! My plot! It was stupid! Wahoo! I could now edit with freedom! But after my small celebration...

...I realized that fixing these plot problems meant I had to rewrite my entire book. *screams into the endless void forever*

If you've been around this blog for awhile, you may remember me mentioning at one point in time or another, that rewrites are my least favorite type of edits. *shudders* 

It's been tough accepting that I'll have to go through this novel again... but it has also proven to be a good experience for myself. I've learned that even though I'm improving with writing everyday, the obstacles and challenges won't stop coming. I'm never going to write a perfect first draft. I will always need to edit multiple times, and the process of writing is always. going. to. be. tough. It's gonna be a lot easier to accept that and start working hard rather than continually trying to go the "easy route."

I've also learned that in order to move forward and make progress... sometimes its necessary to first take a step back. Though it won't be "fun" rewriting this novel, I can already see how it's going to improve my story for the better. Just... so... much... rewriting... *dies* :P

Also, if you're currently having a hard time with your story... I recommend reading Nadine Brandes' article on "How to Keep Writing Even When You Hate Your Story." It could definitely help pinpoint your problem if you've been struggling with the same thing.

<3,
katie grace

how was your week? did editing/writing go well?
what do you do when you "hate your story?"

54 comments :

  1. I LOVE THIS POST KATIE! Even at the first sentence I was already nodding along.

    Not 'loving my story enough' is the common cause of me ditching my stories halfway through the first draft, or once I've finished drafting.

    And how I hate plot ?! I just needed to mention that plot is the hardest thing on Earth for me to deal with in terms of writing. I can come up with an inciting incident just fine, but everything peters out after. Good luck with your rewrites / writing in general!

    Thank you very very much for the link to Nadine Brandes' post! I'll be reading it in a bit.

    - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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    1. PLOTTING IS SO HARD. Ugh. My plots are always so weak and unoriginal and asjdklf; I hate it. XD

      I hope the post helps you! <3

      Delete
  2. *gives you pizza and hugs* You can do this Katie. <3

    I've been having such fun with my writing at the moment, although a few weeks back I was struggling a heap. 'my word count isn't as high as I want it' 'how can my main character be so lame?' It can be so hard sometimes.
    (Thing is, I was really down about my word count for January, and I'd written 30k so I don't even know why I was depressed??)

    Recently I've just brought in my favourite character, so it's all going super right now. :P

    Yes yes, Nadine's post was epic. Actually, all her posts are epic soo... XD

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Awwwhh. *takes the pizza and hugs*

      Ahh, yeah. I understand. I'm struggling with the word count thing right now... this book keeps coming out shorter than I want!

      Ooh, great. XD

      RIGHT? I look forward to every Wednesday for her posts. <3

      Delete
  3. I feel the same way with the Sand Song
    It's like
    Everything sucks and I don't want to rewrite the 90% that needs to BUT I HAVE TOO
    AND KATIE YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. NOOO BUT IT DOESN'T SUCK BECAUSE I LOVED THE FIRST CHAPTER AND THERE'S SO MUCH POTENTIAL AND I WANT TO READ THE REST OF IT.

      You got this. xD

      Delete
    2. I KNOW
      The plot is the problem
      It's like one moment this person actually has a real arm and the next it's fake
      Then it's real again ugh my brain wand twirling when I wrote half of it
      But it's actually going okay...... itll be good
      Thank you Katie :')

      Delete
  4. So, I've never actually written a novel, but I can imagine how painful it would be to have to rewrite an entire draft.. But, I just wanted to say: you are amazing! I have so much respect and admiration for authors and all the hard work they do. So, keep on keeping on, girl! With Him everything is possible. xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Jessica. Your words are very encouraging. <3

      Delete
  5. I've never actually written an entire novel, but I can relate to hating my own writing sometimes.

    Anyway, good luck on the editing!

    -Jollygirl @ Reflections of a Jolly Girl

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  6. You've got this, editing queen! I cant wait to beta read it, that is if you're opening it up. XD

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    1. THANK YOU. xD
      Well, this is the sequel... :P

      Delete
  7. THIS IS TOO RELATABLE. I'm in the middle of editing (which is a nice word for completely rewriting) my novel now, and ALL of this applies...Some days I'd be hard pressed to find a single thing I Iike about my story, but others I know that it's a work in process and that it potential. Thanks for being so honest and awesome, I really love your blog!

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    Replies
    1. It's a hard struggle. -.-
      Thank you! :D

      Delete
  8. Although you had to write down the things you hated about your story, I'm glad that you were able to figure out what was wrong and that now you know what you have to do. :D Unfortunately, sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do. Good luck with the rewrite. You've got this! :)

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    1. Yes! It ultimately helped me and it was a super good thing for my story. :D
      Thank you!!

      Delete
  9. Ahhh, Katie, I'm sorry you have to rewrite the whole thing. BUT IT'S GOING TO GET BETTER. Every bit of work is something. (and you're a fabulous writer. don't forget that.)

    Gah, but I get it. xP I'm currently struggling with hating my currently-still-unfinished NaNo novel, because I deviated from my outline slightly and that caused a chain reaction of destruction with all the plot nuances at a particularly complicated section of the story. So now everything's a mess. My solution is to skip past that dreadful part to about 5-7 chapters on, where I will continue, even though it's kind of like pulling teeth right now.

    But ick, the story hate feelings aren't fun, are they?

    We can conquer them together. *raises swords* I'm still congregating the bits of information that will have been revealed several chapters on in my own novel (the plot is waaaay too complicated ahhhh), but we should totally get together for some wars sometime!

    This seems super hard, especially since you've already had to rewrite it, but I just want to say that it's SO EXCITING for me as a reader to know that progress is being made so I can one day read this sequel! And that you're making it the best you can be, even if that might take a long time. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That you're making it the best *IT can be. Whoops. :P

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    2. I HOPE IT'S GOING TO GET BETTER. We'll see. It still looks like a mess right now. :P

      Awhh, I hope editing improves for you from here on out! It's always frustrating when things don't very well. -.- *hands you pizza in hope that it helps*

      YES LET'S GET TOGETHER FOR WARS. I'll be gone for this next week or so... but maybe late February we can set something up? :D

      Ahh, bothersome typos. :P Thank you!

      Delete
  10. This too shall pass.
    Painfully, probably, but hey, it'll pass.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's so awful and frustrating, and rewrites are the worst, I'm sorry! Keep going. It's a lot of work, but I'm sure it's worth it. You're awesome, and your story will be too.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I WILL CONQUER THIS THING. Eventually. Maybe. Heh. Heh. Heh... :P

      Delete
  12. Rewriting is the funnest thing about writing... *hides* Really. I like rewriting a lot. And it's the only kind of editing I even know how to do. xP

    ReplyDelete
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    1. FAITH. WHY? YOU ARE SO, SO WRONG. xD
      Feel free to rewrite my novel for me. It would be very much appreciated.

      Delete
  13. Wow. I NEEDED THIS POST TODAY. THANK YOU! I've been rewriting so much lately and yes, it's horrible. It's my worst favorite thing to do, especially when I have to scrap fifty percent of my novel :P But our stories have potential, no matter how much we don't like them at times (I'm going to go make one of those lists. lol)

    This is awesome!

    audrey caylin

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    Replies
    1. AHH YES WE WILL FINISH THIS REWRITING TOGETHER.

      I hope the list went well. xD

      Delete
  14. This was so true. But I guess we all just need to slap ourselves around a little and move on or else we would never write anything ever.

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    1. Yuup. "Just keep writing, just keep writing..."

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  15. I'm currently rewriting my whole novel and it is TEDIOUS. But I'm almost done and I know that it'll be worth it.
    Good luck with rewriting!!

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    Replies
    1. Ack, it's such a bothersome thing, isn't it? BUT YOU CAN DO THIS!! <3

      Delete
  16. I feel the pain . . . guess who else is basically rewriting their book right now? Me. And guess who has two more books that will need near-complete rewrites after this? Also me. We can get through this together. *hi5s* Don't forget to reward yourself with chocolate and books when necessary. Even small victories deserve celebration.

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    1. Eew. So many rewrites in your future. *hands over consolatory cookies* I hope it goes well for you. (and quickly o.o)

      Delete
  17. YOU CAN DO THIS <3 YOU CAN WRITE THE THING. I BELIEVE IN YOU.

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    1. AHHHH THANK YOU PETRA YOU'RE SO SWEET. <3

      Delete
  18. Yeah, I have a story that I struggled with and it didn't come out the way I wanted it and I pretty much hate it. So I decided to re-write. And it's probably the best decision ever, because now I really like it. The process of reworking an entire 80K+ book really stinks though. But you can do it!! The end reward will be greater than the pain and misery of editing/rewrites!! :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. *shudders* Ew, rewriting is horrible. xD

      Yes! I have to keep reminding myself of that. I'll be so thankful that I did this in the end. :D

      Delete
  19. *feels guilty*
    UGHHHH I feel you. I hate the book I was writing for NaNo. I tried continuing but it was too hard, so I gave up. Now I'm feeling like maybe I should try working on it again... and guess what? My problem is plot, too. UGH UGH UGH. I just don't see how I could fix it! *cries*

    I'm currently brainstorming for a new book that I'm pretty excited about! I want to make it into a series/trilogy, but I'm not sure if that can work or not...
    I - uh - am sorta editing? XD I've done it a few times, but I don't know. It's hard. My brain doesn't want to think. O_O XD

    I'm going to try making those lists for my NaNo book...
    ~Jaclynn~

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    1. BOTHERSOME PLOT. Ugh. Yeah, I would try going over some plotting books/re-plotting it on paper, and thinking through all the "what-if" questions. Meh. It's so hard. YOU CAN DO IT, THOUGH. <3

      Delete
  20. I TOTALLY FEEL YOUR PAIN YOU POOR THING. *gives you chocolate* I almost had to completely rewrite my novel too for the same reason but ended up being able to fix enough stuff. Listen though, you can do this, YOU GOT THIS. don't ever ever give up Katie.

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    1. Oooh, I'm glad you got to avoid the huge mess of rewrites! That's awesome.

      Thank you, Hannah. <3

      Delete
  21. dude. I feel you. *pats you* BUT IT'S OKAY BC THIS WILL MAKE YOUR BOOK EVEN MORE EPIC OKAY don't stress out about it. you can do this thing

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  22. I had that exact same problem when I was writing Dragons' Bane! I had actually planned to publish it a year before I did, or that was my goal, and then I was so unhappy with the story and stuck, and I loved the characters but also found out it was the plot messing things up and ended up realizing there was no way I'd get the story done by my goal date, since I had to rewrite the entire thing. But it went so much smoother and more enjoyably once I did!

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    1. Eek, wow. And Dragons' Bane is pretty long, isn't it? o.O At least... I think I remember your first book being long. That would be so intimidating. :P

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    2. Haha, it's actually shorter than The Dragon Within, but yeah, it's pretty involved still. It's 280 pages. I'm very glad I spent another year on it, though, because I'm way happier with how it came out after. :D I used a lot of K.M Weiland's advice to get the plot figured out where it actually made sense, haha. It kinda meandered and had lots of plot holes before I fixed it up. LOL.

      Delete
  23. This is completely me with 'Faithless'! Ugh. I've got the first draft down and will be entering the second at some point or another but I'm really dreading the process cause right now the story sucks and rewriting the whole thing to bring out points of plot that I like is going to be soooo awful. I can feel my brain melting just thinking about it. Sigh.
    But I totally believe in you, and from what I've seen of your writing and work ethic I know you will be able to make something great out of your messy beginning. Keep on keeping on! :D

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    1. Awhh. You're not the only one with melting brains. xD I really hope "Faithless" starts to work out for you! Second drafts are the hardest part of the writing process for me. o.o

      Awh, thanks. <3

      Delete
  24. WOW THIS POST HIT HOME SUPER HARD. Rewriting definitely sucks...and it's kind of what I'm in the middle of doing to this old 30k word manuscript right now. :''') Although the plot is not in total shambles, liTERALLY EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE NEEDS TO BE REWRITTEN and it's just a very tiring and depressing process sometimes.

    So I can totally relate to the frustration of not seeing the potential in your novel. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. But seriously I admire you for your perseverance and will to keep on through the difficulties liKE TEACH ME YOUR WAYS. *awards you many waffles*

    >><<
    abbiee

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    1. UGH I AM SO SORRY THAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH THIS AS WELL. *shudders* That's just the worst thing. I'm lucky that I will be able to keep some scenes. But every. single. word? Gross. XD

      THANK YOU FOR THE WAFFLES THEY ARE MUCH APPRECIATED. <3

      Delete
  25. Ughhhh this is so awful Katie, I'm sorry. I haven't been able to work on my novel lately, and the thought of delving back in this week is mildly terrifying. I'm probably going to end up in the rewriting boat as well XD

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