Just Write: Starting over


Anna and her story of retribution will not leave me in peace.  In my last entry, I finally acknowledged her incessant chatter as something that will not cease until I’ve made good on my promise to give her the story she deserves.

Yesterday, I dusted off the binder that holds Retribution’s character sketches, rough outline and 154 pages of completed scenes and chapters.  At the suggestion of my friend over at Word Flows, I set about to figure out what worked and what didn’t.  Within minutes, I had my answer  –  the inciting incident in Anna’s childhood, the timing and manner of her father’s death, the impact that these events have on her motivation and the timeline of the story doesn’t work.  In short, its entire foundation is faulty.

On the surface, it really does appear that this story is a lost cause and deserving of the recycling bin.  However, Anna is a character that has evolved from a two-dimensional idea on paper into this larger than life presence that is my constant companion.  Anna is more tangible than ever to me, and I find that abandoning her would be like walking away from my child.   I guess, in a sense, she is my child.  I have given birth to her, nurtured her, molded her.  How can I possibly walk away now?

I can’t.

So, with that established and the problem identified, the question now is what to do about it?

I think the answer is quite simple.

I must start over.

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Author: Peggy Isaacs

This is me. Is that you?

14 thoughts on “Just Write: Starting over”

  1. Wow, that sounds exactly like the time I told you about when I had to start over. Same problem, faulty foundation. I’m starting to think we need to kick the foundations of our stories a few times before we start writing to try to get these things out of the way without all that work on something we throw out.

    A further bit of advice, since apparently the last bit worked for you. Take what doesn’t work and turn it around, turn it over, figure out what would work instead. You might find the rest of the story falls into place around it if you can do that. But I know what you mean about being unable to walk away from your characters. Fay and Tavis are not the kind to let go. Ever. I’m still worried what will happen when I finish their trilogy… 🙂

    And thanks for the shout out!

    1. Yes. Lots and lots of kicking. I am resisting the urge to jump in and start writing again. I’m trying to get it right this time. We shall see. I have identified the one element that is the biggest offender. I have an inciting incident that in the original story occurred 15 years prior to the onset of the action. That gap in time didn’t work. So I am bringing that incident forward, taking out the time gap. So I guess in a sense I am turning it around? I feel confident that this will help the rest of the story click (with some help).

      And you’re welcome. Thank YOU for the advice.

  2. Ideas:
    -Kill her and make her a vampire
    -A large tattoo – maybe a dragon?
    -A story involving a tiger, a warlock, and a closet
    -“It was all a dream”
    -A battle for survival in a distopian future – she can wear a pin with a pigeon on it
    -She has to throw the magic necklace into a volcano
    -Quest to kill the great green whale

  3. I’ve started over with my story a few times now, and will be doing it again soon, but I’ve found that every time I do it turns out better than before. Hold on to your character, then drop her in a new story for her to live in into eternity! Good luck 🙂

  4. I understand being emotionally invested in a character, I’m still mad that Julian slept with the other girl. Do you know how crazy I feel about that?

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