It’s February 2nd, known to people as Groundhog Day. And how can one forget the Bill Murry movie by the same name, where he’s forced to relive the same day over and over again?
That seems a bit like my book, or rather books. I’ve been working on the companion novel, and after last month’s post where I was hopeful… It quickly turned into me rewriting from the beginning again. *sigh* I’d taken my character from petty to ping-pong and while there were some improvements, the general consensus was that I’d failed to achieve my goal.
I started over, this time removing the bright idea I’d added to supposedly increase and define the character’s motivation, and tossed in implications of a nefarious plot that the character herself has no involvement in. That leads to my insecurity this month: What if I’ve lost tension by doing so? What if the beginning is boring now? There’s not a whole lot of urgency from the character’s perspective. Not only that, what if the flow doesn’t work? I’ve had to add a time jump of a few days between chapters 1 and 2 so the other character doesn’t appear to be abandoning his responsibilities the same day he gets them. That’s added to the word count, and I’m worried it’s going to throw off the story structure, making the beginning drag and the rest of it seem unbalanced.
I don’t know. Maybe this story is doomed.
On a happy note, some of my friends have published this last month! We’ve got tragic adventure, inventive mishap, murder mystery, and troublesome romance. Be sure to check out the books and pick up your own copies:
IWSG Question of the Month – Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?
In my writing, most of my support group exists in my critique group (including Dani and the Lamberts, unrelated) or my critique partners (Aldrea being my longest standing one). And as you can see, they’re still around. My group lost a member a few years back, and it was a shock for all of us. Her name was Anne Buzzini, and I’m sad that I’ll never get to read her completed story Blood Music. I remember the way she used to call out cliches in writing, spotting them like a hawk. There were other members who have come and gone, but they’re still alive and available at the other end of an email. Anne is one who left us too soon.
Have you checked out the new releases yet? Do you have anyone you miss? Have you ever struggled with a project you felt was doomed?
About Insecure Writer’s Support Group
You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.
27 thoughts on “Doing It All Over Again #IWSG”
CPs are like family. Sometimes closer, when it comes to our writing.
Congrats to all with the new releases.
I’ve been working on edits on my fantasy novel, and I’m really starting to think that it’s doomed. I don’t know if I’ll be able to change that, but I’m going to try.
Congratulations to your CPs on their shiny, new books!
Sorry you lost Annie.
Just write and see what happens!
Congrats to the authors with new releases AND sorry for your loss of a wonderful supporter.
Take special care.
I did struggle with a doomed project! Really, I didn’t know how to quit–never do–and it became the first of a six-book series, and still growing. That’s my way of saying–don’t give up!
You’re post is so endearing 🙂 I’m sorry about losing your friend. I’m also happy you continue to write and try every day 🙂
I admire your persistence. There have been several times I struggled with a book and just gave up on it, I’ve never been able to stick with something like you have.
Congrats to all your friends and their new books!
It’s funny, but I never think to watch Groundhog Day around now. Hmm, maybe something to remedy?
Good luck with your story!
It’s hard to get the beginning of a story right. If there isn’t enough tension, maybe you’re not starting it in the right place. It could also help to just go on and work on other parts of the manuscript and come back to it. Good luck figuring it out.
Doomed has such finality in it. I have one of those stories that I’ve worried into many versions and still doesn’t work, so I’m there with you in feeling I may have come up with something that will never escape my C Drive.
Let us know if you do figure out what to do.
I say always keep a copy of the earlier work you’re revising, but that more of a safety net to get you through. Trust your instincts. They got you this far.
Fact: if you’ve taken tension out, then you are totally capable of putting tension back in. It just may come from another source. 😉
Anna from elements of emaginette
Your post reminds me of the value of a good critique group. I need to find one for myself.
Don’t give up on your book. There is a possibility that your listen to the others’ critique too much. Trust yourself more, don’t rush to change your story to comply with the other people’s visions. After all, it is your story, your characters, your world.
What is that old saying? Fall down seven times, get up eight. I don’t think your project is doomed. You just haven’t found the right flow of story yet. You will. And when you do, you’ll wonder why it took you so long. Good luck.
Thinking about those who left us before they had finished their work is a reminder that we need to try to complete our own work so we don’t leave it unfinished. I guess we just should keep going like the end is nowhere on the horizon and try to be as productive as we can. No matter what though, like often does seem like “Groundhog Day”.
Tossing It Out
Anne and I both saw what you did there. Well played!
I am the queen of doomed projects, so get back to work and stop trying to horn in on my queendom. 👑 You will prevail!
I always get into the movie Groundhog Day, but that’s because they filmed the ‘town’ scenes in my hometown (in Illinois…you know how you can make anything anywhere in the movies) and the B&B he stayed at was one block down the street from my Grandmother’s house.
As to writing…I’ve got a couple of ideas, stuck in my brain and I don’t know if they are doomed or I just have to ‘gird-up the loins’ and write. I think the problem is I need to ‘kill off’ a character I really like. I can’t see any way around that.
Just keep asking yourself “What if?” as you write it and I’m sure you will ramp up the tension.
Your insecurity this month is a big one but you’ve got this!
Your book isn’t doomed – just takes a bit extra to make it the best it can be! I believe in you!
People come and go, but the important ones will always be around 🙂
I lucked out and have a few friends like Anne. They’re a precious gift. Thanks for sharing.
Congrats to your friends who’ve published! Those are some nice covers 🙂
I imagine you will know if the book now feels boring or not.
Sorry for Anne’s loss. 🙁 It always feels extra sad to me when they have unfinished work because not only is it the loss of them, but of the story that will never be. I had a writing friend, Sue, who was working on three different projects that I was excited for, and invested in the characters. After she passed it was not only coming to terms with losing her, but losing those as well, because now no one else will ever get to meet them.
I have quite a few abandoned drafts because I struggled with them and then a shiny new idea provided the perfect excuse to work on something else. ^^;;
I’m trying not to think my first novel is doomed, but I feel like I’m caught in a cycle of thinking it’s done, getting feedback indicating it needs more work, doing the work, rinse, repeat. I’m making what I really hope is the last pass before querying.
While working on my current story, I swore I’d keep to a simpler plot outline. I started to worry that my stories were losing their focus on character development and the relationships. But then I got bored and murdered a character.
Was it the best route to go? I don’t know. But what I do know is if I’m not having fun writing, then what’s the point of writing at all? Relax a little and have some fun with your stories. You’re a talented writer. Stop stressing muse. 🙂
Writing struggles? I struggle all the time.
You’ve come this far… and you can go all the way!
Keep on writing!
Sorry, you lost Annie! Must’ve been tough.
Keep writing and see what happens.
I had thoughts like that when I rewrote one of my books pretty recently. I thought I was screwing it up, making it worse. My characters didn’t feel like my characters anymore. The story didn’t feel like my story anymore. But in the end, when I kept going, it ended up being better and exactly what it was always meant to be.
Maybe step back for a little bit? Let your mind settle and explore without actively working on your story. You may have an epiphany that way, while focusing on something else for a while.
Wishing you luck.