Kindle Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is driving me stark raving mad. I am trying to write the scene details but I am struggling to add in the meat! I don't know how to flesh out the scenes without it looking like I threw up all over the page. I already have all the scenes, but now I am stuck because I don't know how to move to the first plot point without going all over the world, when i write the beats they seem so random ugh!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
marissa_lopez said:

What do you mean? Do you mean start the beat the closest to the next scene?
You said you don't know how to move to the first plot point without going all over the world. So can you just jump from where you are now to the next plot point and start writing? Like, if you're on Tuesday, and the next beat is on Thursday, can you just start the next scene on Thursday and go from there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ShayneRutherford said:
You said you don't know how to move to the first plot point without going all over the world. So can you just jump from where you are now to the next plot point and start writing? Like, if you're on Tuesday, and the next beat is on Thursday, can you just start the next scene on Thursday and go from there?
I never thought about doing that, but I will try it. I'm struggling because the First plot point is when she finds out her best friend betrayed her and that the main character's sister died, and my beats for my inciting incident are not progressing towards it, it's just showing that the main character is still talking to her best friend but there is no progression towards the sister's death or anything
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,860 Posts
Without knowing your story and genre it's difficult to offer help. An outline is just that and doesn't have to be set in stone. Clearly, the outline as you imagined it isn't working to get to that all important first plot point.

There are so many things you can try. Here's one of them. If you have all your chapter numbers typed out. Go to the one where you have that first plot point planned and write the chapter in full, even if later you need to move it to another chapter. Now go back to the beginning and you'll have a target and a set of circumstances to aim at. If anything you have written before that throws out the preamble to that 1st plot point, then copy that chapter or chapters to another doc and delete them from your WIP to start again. Maybe use some of it with edits to better fit the progression.

The discovery of her friends betrayal and sisters death will interrupt their friendly banter as  a shock realisation, so you can cut into that friendly stuff whenever as the discovery is made. I assume those earlier chapters foreshadow the betrayal, maybe with titbits of dubious conversations or actions that instill, doubt that maybe she denies to herself?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Decon said:
Without knowing your story and genre it's difficult to offer help. An outline is just that and doesn't have to be set in stone. Clearly, the outline as you imagined it isn't working to get to that all important first plot point.

There are so many things you can try. Here's one of them. If you have all your chapter numbers typed out. Go to the one where you have that first plot point planned and write the chapter in full, even if later you need to move it to another chapter. Now go back to the beginning and you'll have a target and a set of circumstances to aim at. If anything you have written before that throws out the preamble to that 1st plot point, then copy that chapter or chapters to another doc and delete them from your WIP to start again. Maybe use some of it with edits to better fit the progression.

The discovery of her friends betrayal and sisters death will interrupt their friendly banter as a shock realisation, so you can cut into that friendly stuff whenever as the discovery is made. I assume those earlier chapters foreshadow the betrayal, maybe with titbits of dubious conversations or actions that instill, doubt that maybe she denies to herself?
It's a psychological thriller, the earlier chapters are supposed to progress towards the first plot point as well as show the character's normal world right before it's interrupted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
When I first starting writing seriously, if I got stuck, I went to a favorite book of the same sort and reread parts that did what I was having trouble doing. Reading someone who does it well is IMO the best way to learn many things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maura said:
When I first starting writing seriously, if I got stuck, I went to a favorite book of the same sort and reread parts that did what I was having trouble doing. Reading someone who does it well is IMO the best way to learn many things.
I took your advice and started reading a book that I love, as well as helpful scene list created by Larry Brooks(I swear I am not him I just love Story Engineering), and it's helpful, can't wait to apply it to my outline
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,860 Posts
marissa_lopez said:
It's a psychological thriller, the earlier chapters are supposed to progress towards the first plot point as well as show the character's normal world right before it's interrupted
Yeah, I understand that, so you don't need a first chapter inciting incident as you would in a crime thriller. However, if you are showing her normal life by way of introduction, and her relationship with her friend, together with how their characters develop, each chapter leading to the plot point needs increasing suspense through events via foreshadowing. Everyone has their own ideas, but I aim for the first plot point at 20% so as not to bore the pants off the reader.

It sounds like the type of psychological thriller where one person shapes events by using the character traits and intimate knowledge of the victim against them to destroy them. So all you have to do is to show what victim wants and how strange things happen, building in their effect on her life to drag her down and that have her taking a step back, building in suspense as events throw a wrench at her every attempt to achieve what she wants into dissaray to that first plot point. Each chapter needs to have meaning to the plot. Those early chapters could even have her friend throw suspicion at an ex partner to put her off the scent. Or it could be any number of people she suspects, the last being her friend.

All I'm saying is it can't just be her normal life, or it wouldn't be true to the genre.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
715 Posts
If it's your first draft, remember, it doesn't have to be perfect or even good. Its purpose is to tell the story to yourself. You can fix it in revision.

Also, if your outline is impeding writing, maybe your outline format doesn't match your writing style. Maybe check out the "Nutshell technique" if you're interested in simplifying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,306 Posts
I have no clue about your proposed book, but it's possible your plot may be too complicated for a first book.

Have you considered streamlining the plot and book size, and cutting it down to something more manageable?

Writing a book shouldn't be a cakewalk necessarily, but it also shouldn't be so daunting that you feel it's driving you crazy trying to go forward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
jb1111 said:
I have no clue about your proposed book, but it's possible your plot may be too complicated for a first book.

Have you considered streamlining the plot and book size, and cutting it down to something more manageable?

Writing a book shouldn't be a cakewalk necessarily, but it also shouldn't be so daunting that you feel it's driving you crazy trying to go forward.
😭 I already planned to make it a shorter book, that's why I am wondering why it's still hard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Decon said:
Yeah, I understand that, so you don't need a first chapter inciting incident as you would in a crime thriller. However, if you are showing her normal life by way of introduction, and her relationship with her friend, together with how their characters develop, each chapter leading to the plot point needs increasing suspense through events via foreshadowing. Everyone has their own ideas, but I aim for the first plot point at 20% so as not to bore the pants off the reader.

It sounds like the type of psychological thriller where one person shapes events by using the character traits and intimate knowledge of the victim against them to destroy them. So all you have to do is to show what victim wants and how strange things happen, building in their effect on her life to drag her down and that have her taking a step back, building in suspense as events throw a wrench at her every attempt to achieve what she wants into dissaray to that first plot point. Each chapter needs to have meaning to the plot. Those early chapters could even have her friend throw suspicion at an ex partner to put her off the scent. Or it could be any number of people she suspects, the last being her friend.

All I'm saying is it can't just be her normal life, or it wouldn't be true to the genre.
Oh I see. I'm plotting her normal life and it's boring me to oblivion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,860 Posts
marissa_lopez said:
Oh I see. I'm plotting her normal life and it's boring me to oblivion
Exactly, if it bores you, then it will bore the reader. There are hundreds of situations you can have on way to that first plot point while intermingling her normal life and closeness with her friend

Here are some examples but they are not definitive to build suspense chapter by chapter, but in an order that grows in seriousness.

She turns up for a job interview only for someone to have canceled her appointment by phone.

Hairdressers appointment cancelled.
Police have search Warrent after a phone call saying she's dealing drugs and has unlicensed fireams

Her cat or dog goes missing

Comes home to her house ransacked but nothing is missing.

Someone scratches her car, and so on and so on. All the time her friend is offering commiserations, and trying to help her discover who is doing it to her while she s gradually losing it, until the plot point where she has to take control and get her act together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,654 Posts
why it's still hard
Who said it's going to get easier?

You have to accept that you have to learn to tell stories, that it's a continuing process, that you'll have to keep practicing, and that it's likely never going to get "easy". Some people, writing is like pulling teeth with no anesthetic. Always. Every little bit of it. Some people, they reach a point where they "get it", and it might come a little easier. Rare, but it does happen. But for the most part, it's hard work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
unkownwriter said:
Who said it's going to get easier?

You have to accept that you have to learn to tell stories, that it's a continuing process, that you'll have to keep practicing, and that it's likely never going to get "easy". Some people, writing is like pulling teeth with no anesthetic. Always. Every little bit of it. Some people, they reach a point where they "get it", and it might come a little easier. Rare, but it does happen. But for the most part, it's hard work.
Might just be me, but that seems a little overly harsh. I feel like writing absolutely gets easier with some time. There is a degree of learning your particular process, and that's something that takes some practice. Does it make writing hard? Yeah, but it also makes it learnable. Spending time to learn how you do your best writing and how to get your style the way you want it is important. But it is tough, but it does get better.

I spent about five years on my first book, just beating my head against the thing, and in the end it didn't turn out how I wanted it at all. That could be really depressing, but I always just tried to look at it as good practice. After that I finished a book in two years and I liked it. Now I finish a book a year and they are almost exactly how I want them to be. So, it's been a trip, but without that first slog I wouldn't be making what I like. Better or worse, it's what I like.

And, one thing I always try to keep in mind is that when all of my favorite authors were writing books, they were taking risks, trying new things, and making or having a style of their own. No one can teach you how to create something that's unique, and no one can teach you to be exactly the author that you are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
OP, the basic mistake you are doing is attempting to CONFORM as you move from one pre-planned scene to another. So, the fleshing out process which puts forward really good dialogues and descriptions gets discarded. You need to take these NEW END POINTS you attain from time to time as the NEW NEXT SCENE. Hopefully, you can try to weave your way to the pre-planned NEXT SCENE, but if that's not possible, simply move it further down the WAITING LIST of scenes and keep writing whatever comes to your mind.

Attempting to CONFORM only makes you to panic more. As I said in one of your previous threads, the creative process cannot be mechanized. A novel or even a flash fiction is like a puzzle. You need to hover around incessantly until you connect the dots.

Alternatively, try writing a different story in a new genre.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top