Friday, March 12, 2010

W-I-P Report

I've had a bitter-sweet breakthrough this week.

Last year, when I was writing the first draft of my WIP, one of my favorite characters died. It wasn't something I'd planned, and I rebelled. I revised her death out of the story almost immediately. And I've been struggling with everything that comes after that point in the story ever since. I've tried all kinds of nonsense (including changing my main character's age), but nothing has worked.

My darling has to die.

Once I accepted her death, the story decided we were on speaking terms again. That doesn't mean it's going to write itself, but I'm making a lot more progress than I was before. The story insists on being darker than I'd like. At the moment, I'm trying to listen and work with what it gives me. I'm learning that writing is a lot like parenting; I don't always win (even when I think I have) by asserting my authority/stubborn streak.

What do you think?


  1. When I was writing a school assignment, I had to kill one of my characters, and it was devastating to me. I changed the story a bit and brought my character back to life, but later, I realized it didn't work out right. In the end, I had to change it again, and kill off my character (this time for sure.) It's kind of hard to explain, but through this experience, I learned that the story kind of leads itself, and though sometimes it frustrates us, we have to trust it enough and know that'll work out right in the end. :)

  2. I'm afraid I can't empathize. When I write, the story really doesn't have much of a say. I'm not sure if this is a good thing, but that's how it goes.

  3. Nonie, that's exactly what happened.

    It's good to have you back, Q.

  4. It is hard the trust the story, but very necessary.

    I am very stoic about it when I have to write scenes that deal with death and such, but then when I re-read them later, I just sob.


  5. How amazing - the story controls you like that. It obviously wants to be told that way and you just have to do it. Neat!

    I'm glad Gwenyth likes the kitties :o)

    The lady who we often buy calves from is called Gwenyth and the last calf we bought off her we called her Gwennie. She's pregnant with her first calf at the moment :o)

  6. I wish I could be stoic, Shelley. Writing sad scenes makes me cry, even when I know they're necessary. I didn't understand why this character's death was necessary until this week.


  7. In my last book, I had to kill my favorite character, who was the mc's best friend. I plotted it from the beginning, so I knew it would happen (it was a turning point for the mc), but when I started writing the story I really got attached to the character. It wasn't hard to kill him, but it was hard to go on without him - I missed him throughout the rest of the book.

  8. Calves are fun, Niki!

    I can imagine, Susan.

  9. Oh I hope I don't have to kill anyone. Don't be giving my subconscious ideas like that. I like all of my characters. The only deaths in my book have already happened.

  10. Yay for progress! I admit to being a compulsive plotter so I hate when the story does not behave the way I want it to. Or the characters.

    I'm glad things are working out for you now. (Remember, you can always write the character back in AFTER the whole first draft is written, once you're revising.) Just go with it for WIP first! :)

  11. I hope this doesn't make me sound morbid, but death scenes are some of my favorite to write. I don't usually get them right the first time (or the second, or the third), but there's always a lot of emotion to feed on.

    Hope everything keeps moving along for you, Myrna.

  12. I think it is a good thing to go with what the story needs. I don't mean to insult Stephanie Meyer (because I love her work, really), but when you don't follow the story where it organically *should* go, you end up with something like the end of BREAKING DAWN, and all but the most die-hard fans/readers feel cheated.

  13. Sorry, Jessie. :)

    Jackee, I AM revising! My control freak plotting didn't work the first time around, but the story is moving along nicely now.

    Thanks, Krista (slayer of scorpions and unsuspecting characters).

    Yes, Abby, I hear ya!