I’ve just realized that I got lost.
What do I mean? Well, I’m lost in planning my novel. It’s evolved so much since the initial “first” draft of NaNo 2007. I didn’t plan on looking over the earlier part of my first draft until I was completely done. In reality, I’ve had to go back and “redo” the chapters for critique. And that’s where I became completely disoriented with my surroundings.
The last few times I’ve been up for critique, I’ve completely nixed a chapter and wrote one from scratch instead. I saw a better direction for the story. However, because of the new chapters, it’s completely taken me off the previous path. The road is now lost amongst the bramble.
I’m scrapping most of what I’ve written from earlier because as I go through to see what chapter comes next for critique, I realize that it’s evolved from earlier on and doesn’t follow the story that I’ve set up for my group. So, I’m pretty much cranking out second “first draft” chapters.
Frustrating much? Yeah.
Oh and all my chapters are completely out of order numerically, at least in the “master” draft. It’s becoming quite confusing and a bit daunting trying to figure out what comes next, since I’ve really diverged from the initial.
It’s like staring at a map and realizing that instead of driving through Kentucky to get to Florida, you’re now an entire state over in West Virginia. Still traveling to the same place but on a completely different road. And now you’re trying to figure out this new path so you don’t end up in Maine.
(I’m horrible at analogies but that’s the best I could come up with) 😛
There are aspects of the original that I’m still using but I have to search for those, since most of the stuff is new or is being presented differently.
So I’ve figured out I need to re-map the beginning and develop at least a working summary so I’m not spending hours searching for the place I stopped at during critique. Part of me wonders if I should stop submitting for critique, at least temporarily, since this is all being worked on and redone. It stands to reason that if me, the writer, is confused, that will be translated to my group. I don’t want that!
On the postive side, I at least have a slight idea which new route to take. So my first draft is now a “second” first draft. Of sorts. 😛
It’s time to sit down and map out the new path so I’m no longer lost!
Comments on: "Lost Along the Way" (5)
Maybe it’s a NaNo thing. I’ve been having the same problem with the nano draft I’ve been trying to edit. I’ve finally decided to just sit down and write a whole new detailed “scene-by-scene” outline, and then rewrite the chapters based on that. Some of them will even move around or just be cut completely, but at least it will keep me out of Maine, so to speak.
I can’t imagine trying to get my chapters critiqued while going through all this though. I’m planning to wait until this next draft is done before starting to collect crits. It would just be too confusing for me to re-map *and* try to include crit edits at the same time…
Good luck mapping it all out! Sounds like it will help out a lot with the writing.
Yikes! I feel for you. You know, Miss Snark said that if our first novel wasn’t revised at least ten times, then it wasn’t ready. I think you’re on the right track. 😉
Ditto what Jessica said! I’ve done this (and am about to do it again) for my first manuscript. Tenth time? It might very well be.
The thing is, when you’re writing any novel, you improve so much from the beginning to the end. By the time you’re revising, you can see what needs to change and sometimes it’s drastic! But it’s a sign of growth.
It hurts now, but when the changes are in, you’ll feel in your heart that it’s a better story.
Good luck and power on!
Very cool analogy with the driving. I’m getting lost as I’m writing too. My complex plot is driving me nuts. I have many story lines that will eventually collide. In my newer chapters, I’m finding I’ve written in some discrepancies.