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When its Time to Rewrite the Whole Freaking Thing

So, I've been working on revisions the last few days, but you know that nagging thought at the back of my head I mentioned earlier? Yeah, it wouldn't go away. So I had to have another heart to heart with my WIP. It turns out, its a weak little thing that knows it won't make it past a form rejection, and definitely not past a partial.

Alas, I must rewrite the whole thing. From basically scratch. Only three bare boned plot points are staying - the beginning, the climax, and the end. I've been a busy little bee working out how to redo this. I decided it was time I write down every little detail of all my characters, really work on the world building, and do an outline before I get down to actually writing out the scenes.

Problems? Oh, yeah, you know... a BIG one.

Well, it feels big, though I know I know the answer, I just can't yank it out of the ether. Because no matter how gun ho I am about the rewrite, the almost complete change in the flow, the research to ensure my characters and my world are realistic, the PLOT of the last draft still won't DIE. It won't leave me alone! HAUNTING ME! *puts on Evanescence Haunted* I keep trying to fit the last plot in with my current working one. All I've got so far is the first three sentences of the basic outline - as soon as I get past that, it becomes a bastardization of the old plot. Its getting really annoying, I must say.


Why, in the reading of books! I'm taking to reading a bit before bed, and with more influences, I think I may be able to power through this plot pause. In fact, thats how I got the idea for the book to begin with - the meshing of several plots, themes, etc from other books. But I don't mind this terribly, because I still have quite a bit of work to do on the characters and world building. I'm thinking of entering NaNoWriMo this year. Get all the outlining, characters, etc done and then hopefully zoom through the new first draft in November. Here's hoping I actually sign up!

For you writers out there - how do you get through plot holes? Have you ever had to do a major rewrite? How did you get past the old plot and work out a new one?


  1. Chris Ing says:

    Believe in yourself!

    When I started looking at a rewrite, there was a big temptation to go through the thousands of twitter/blog advice entries available, to retailor the story to fit what I thought they wanted.

    Then I snapped out of it!

    Trust your instincts. Planning is good, practicing the craft is good, but in the end, you'll just know whether or not you're doing it right.

  2. Yeah, I know. *rugs to into ground* Kinda scary though, isn't it? I'm glad I got my whiteboard though - figured it out 40 minutes before bedtime! It got a bit crazy though lol.

  3. What I was planning to do upcoming NaNo was a rewrite of something old, redone with fewer "You're kidding, right?" details and less Suck in general.

    Then the other night I had this dream and I may do it instead. :)

    But, yeah, I've foung huge plot holes before. They are filled with sadness. But the good bits will seem all the better with the rest removed, right?

  4. I had several thousand words of my fantasy poem written when I slammed into a wall. I realized the main character would never have taken the actions I described him taking for the reason I ascribed to him.

    He did it, but it took me nine months to figure out why. In the mean time, I was tearing my hair out because I couldn't figure out any way to fix the story, or to keep going with it.

    When I finally figured it out, I had to scrap everything I'd written because the fix introduced a new major plot line. I still thought I was going to keep parts of the old plotline as a subplot, so I wrote new scenes for it. But the story wouldn't hang together with the old plotline in it -- I'm not sure why not, but it had no dramatic force and was hard to follow -- so eventually I chopped it out completely.

    I have some more significant revisions in mind, but they're to do a better job of presenting the current story, rather than to tell a different one. I think the current story works.

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