Friday, March 13, 2009

Fixing Story Holes

This last week I was getting really worried about a few holes in my story. I wasn't able to smooth them out. In the end, what I did was write down a summary of the story like I was telling it to a friend.  I know this sounds basic. I had done outlines, chapter by chapter overviews, summaries of what I had in the story, and other exercises as ways to fix what was missing from the plot lines without much success. For whatever reason, this recounting of the story, as if to a friend, made a world of difference for me. I was able to resolve what wasn't working. Apparently, this procedure works along with the way my brain processes. If your mind works like mine (I'm so sorry. We'll have to mourn together sometime over it.), this might help you, so I thought I'd share.

20 comments:

Captain Hook said...

I would comment on your post, but there's nothing there but the title. That does sound interesting though :)

giddymomof6 said...

LOL! I can see the post! LOL! and what a cool idea.. it sounds like you wrote a synopsis! And if you are a talented synopsis writing then, I bow down to you. I found synopsises the most hardest thing I've ever done. (Synopsises.. is that a word?) LOL! Oh! and i'm giving away an antique book on my blog today! Jenni

Captain Hook said...

Now I can see it.

Yes, sometimes you just need to go back to the basics to find out where you've gone wrong. Glad it helped you.

lotusgirl said...

Sarah. I'm glad it came up for you. Yeah, sometimes we just have to go back to the basics.

Jenni, In the synopses that I have done in the past, I was telling what I had written. In this one I was telling the story. That was the difference for me. That's what made it work.

Lady Glamis said...

I think my mind works like yours. It's a great place to be. And from what I've read so far, this technique has worked brilliantly for the reworkings of your story! Keep going so I can read more. :)

lotusgirl said...

Glam. No, no. My mind is a very scary place to be. I'm glad you're liking how it's working. I've been amazed. I never would have thought it would make this kind of difference. It's not like I hadn't done summaries of it. It's so weird how it has helped.

Litgirl01 said...

Clever! I actually have a friend who always wants me to tell her what's happening in my book. It's like our little soap opera! LOL She's always like..."what has Kate done now?" :-)

Cindy said...

That's a great tip. I find myself in that position sometimes so I think that's a wonderful suggestion to help other writers. Thanks!

lotusgirl said...

Litgirl, I'm sure that helps your story.

Cindy, Thanks! I'm glad to have you stop by.

Suzanne Casamento said...

It's a good idea. Acting like you're telling a friend would definitely help fill holes. Maybe even go further and actually tell a friend and have them ask questions, see if you can answer all the "why's" or if you're missing serious details. Thanks for the idea!

Alexa said...

Interesting idea. I'll have to try it out.

lotusgirl said...

Suzanne, excellent idea. Way to take it one step farther.

Alexa, I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

T. Anne said...

That sounds like a good way to write yourself out of a hole. I've been in that situation and it makes you wonder if your losing your story. Thanks for the tip!

lotusgirl said...

T. Anne, Love your icon! Glad you stopped by.

Kasie West said...

Cool. I should try that. I'm working on edits right now. And you're right, we do have a lot of friends in common. We should be friends. :)

JDS said...

This is a fascinating idea. I'll have to try it, as I'm struggling with the focus of one of my stories right now.

lotusgirl said...

Kasie, Nice to have you stop by. Edits, edits, edits. They never seem to end.

JDS, Good luck with your story. Thanks for stopping by.

Crimogenic said...

LotusGirl,

That sounds like an interesting way to fix holes in your story. I'm not sure if all my holes are fixed, but I've got a great writing group who pointed out every tiny crack, which helped me to see what I may not have noticed before.

C

JaneyV said...

I'm having exactly the same problem at the moment - except I have great gaping gaps instead of holes. Just yesterday I sat down to write a chapter by chapter "plot map" so at least I've got a roadsign of how I want to get from point A to B. I decided to do this bacause I tried to verbally outline my story to Hubby and it was so long, involved and totally overplotted I realised that I need to prune down my plot - just to get it written.

Writing isn't easy. I have so much to learn.

lotusgirl said...

Crimey, Writing groups can help so much.

Janey, Best of luck patching up those holes. Your hubby's awfully nice to sit there and be your sounding board.