Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#1
Hi @all,

I'm still fairly new to writing but have gotten a few chapters out recently.
A few days ago, I was writing a chapter and midway through I thought I had such a brilliant idea for the ending.
Well, I wrote the chapter and put it out, very satisfied with myself and proud of my accomplishments.

And then I started to think about the next chapter and I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to get my main character out of the mess I left her in.
peoconfused

Anyone else familiar with that situation?

Almost gave me a sleepless night! In the meantime I have managed to think of the beginnings of a solution for my MC, but I realized I have to become a bit less impulsive in my writing.

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#2
Ah yeah, this may have happened to me a few or... not so few times. Nowadays I try to plot ahead more. I mess that up all the time, ofc, but that's just part of the fun and games. Also why I shifted to an archetypal story structure...
peodead

Ah well, many of the best ideas are birthed from that eldricht creative void of nothing between two ideas lmao

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#3
Sometimes you can leave it ambigous. something like the adrenaline rush making their mind not realize fully whats happening or, as I once saw, skip the whole escape show the mc at like a bar or something being asked how they got out and just going "Yeah that was a whole thing. I don't really wanna talk about it. I will say though that (insert random item. I think in this case it was like bug spray) would be so useful though." you can always think of how it happened and back talk/explain it later XD

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#4

Afrita Wrote: Hi @all,

I'm still fairly new to writing but have gotten a few chapters out recently.
A few days ago, I was writing a chapter and midway through I thought I had such a brilliant idea for the ending.
Well, I wrote the chapter and put it out, very satisfied with myself and proud of my accomplishments.

And then I started to think about the next chapter and I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to get my main character out of the mess I left her in.
peoconfused

Anyone else familiar with that situation?

Almost gave me a sleepless night! In the meantime I have managed to think of the beginnings of a solution for my MC, but I realized I have to become a bit less impulsive in my writing.
Oh boy. You described my everyday struggle as a Dribble Writer.


This was the issue I faced when attempting to write a continuation to Cry Wolfe years ago. Yes, the ending was great, no spoilers, but there was no proper way of adding anything to a subsequent chapter, which killed the idea. Then there was my original Descent work which went nowhere, more because I wrote myself into a figurative trap.

All I can say is maybe look back at the situation and just explore the thoughts of the character for a while before continuing forward.

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#6

Afrita Wrote: Hi @all,

I'm still fairly new to writing but have gotten a few chapters out recently.
A few days ago, I was writing a chapter and midway through I thought I had such a brilliant idea for the ending.
Well, I wrote the chapter and put it out, very satisfied with myself and proud of my accomplishments.

And then I started to think about the next chapter and I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to get my main character out of the mess I left her in.
peoconfused

Anyone else familiar with that situation?

Almost gave me a sleepless night! In the meantime I have managed to think of the beginnings of a solution for my MC, but I realized I have to become a bit less impulsive in my writing.
I never have this issue, since I am constantly thinking ahead. When I am writing, I purposefully create small enough holes to build upon. Not only for the next chapter, but much later down the line. An example I can give, is in the fifth chapter of my second book, two things happen. One of those things reflects into the finale of the second book. The other gets much more expanded on in the fifth chapter of the final book. 

Along each and every step of the way, I have a plan in place. The only thing that causes me some form of anxiety is the speed I write at. I have to write fast, since I constantly think about, “what if I don’t finish this book?” 

I know I will, but ya know, that feeling never goes away until I am done.

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#8
Hi,

thank you for your replies.

I'm relieved to hear that I'm not the only one here who maneuvered herself into a narrative corner.
As to the ones of you who plan out the whole plot meticulously beforehand: Kudos to you!
But I fear that will never be my modus operandi. Guess I am an impulsive person.

In the future I will have to try writing a handful of chapters in advance before posting them. For the time being I will keep up posting as I write them.
It may sound silly, but at the moment I am deathly afraid if I stop posting or wrtiting even for a day or two, I will lose my momentum and never finish the story.

Have fun writing!

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#10

Writing yourself into a corner is a great writerly tradition. As others have said, give yourself space and time in the future so you won't have to scramble for a solution. Some of the best twists and ideas come from "What the f* did I just do?"

Impulsiveness in writing is also an amazing thing you want to leave a little wild. Like a cat that never seens quite tame. It's the space where your characters talk to you and the words flow, so you want to give it room to do its thing and fix it if necessary.

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#11
Two words - Plan Ahead

I've seen a lot of commercially-successful writers out there use this formula of a tiered outline.

First storyboard for a major arc. So for the next few volumes you want to write (or the first arc if you're starting a new story), come up with a list of basic descriptions for what is the over-arcing story each volume. This should be roughly a paragraph long and tell you which characters are involved, what are the major challenges they need to overcome, what are major developments they undergo, etc.

Second, as you tackle each volume, come up with a rough plan of how each chapter is going to flow -- what are the major scenes? What is the main theme/events of the chapter? Who has priority in POV and development? Etc.

Third, as you get closer to each chapter, break it down into scenes -- who are the characters involved in this scene? What is their perspective? How should they react? etc.

This gives you both a solid foundation to long-term planning as well as the flexibility to adapt and make changes as you actually write. Want to move a scene to a different chapter? Want to throw another character into this conflict and see how it might impact the whole flow? All much easier to do with you have a tiered outline.

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#14
There are two tried-and-true methods. 

One is called the Ridge. This name comes from an author who was complaining about how he got his characters up on a ridge and couldn't figure out how to get them out of that predicament. Another author just looked at him and said, "So don't send them up the ridge." In this, you go back to the last point where the story worked, throw out what came after, and start over from there. 

That might not work so well for web novels, if you've already published that chapter. In that case, there's the Impossible Plan. You think to yourself, "Okay, it's impossible; but if it were possible, how would it happen?"

That sounds really trite, but trust me, I've seen it work far more often than "don't send them up the ridge." 

Re: Good ideas and the consequences

#16

Afrita Wrote: Hi @all,

I'm still fairly new to writing but have gotten a few chapters out recently.
A few days ago, I was writing a chapter and midway through I thought I had such a brilliant idea for the ending.
Well, I wrote the chapter and put it out, very satisfied with myself and proud of my accomplishments.

And then I started to think about the next chapter and I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to get my main character out of the mess I left her in.
peoconfused

Anyone else familiar with that situation?

Almost gave me a sleepless night! In the meantime I have managed to think of the beginnings of a solution for my MC, but I realized I have to become a bit less impulsive in my writing.
This is why I like to be many chapters ahead of posted content. It gives me time to mull over the situation and I usually come up with a solution.