teyla: Mary Morstan from Sherlock giving a thumbs-up. (Default)
teyla ([personal profile] teyla) wrote2017-04-11 09:26 pm

That Jamie/Malcolm Fic

Oh God.

Turns out I was wrong in my last post. I wasn't past the midpoint in my fic; I am now, and the slump is a BAD ONE. Also I passed the midpoint at ~17k words, which means the fic will not be a reasonable ~20k, but more a very UNREASONABLE 35k to 40k. WHY.

I wish I were better at outlining. My structure/ pacing usually works once my fic is done, but I cannot outline for the life of me. If I try, I will inevitably veer off the outline on plot point one at the very latest. And then I end up writing whatever feels right, until I hit the midpoint, and then I flail and cringe and force myself to keep writing, until I hit plot point two. I know I will eventually, and then it'll get easier again, but it's so hard to get through that middle part. Especially when you don't know if you're on the right track. I don't know what plot point two is going to be, so I don't know a) if I'm writing the right thing to get there, and b) how much I have left to write until I hit it. It's so exhausting.

Of course, this would be made easier if I knew what my second plot point were, and what needs to happen between it and the midpoint. It doesn't seem like it should be that hard to figure out, but for some reason, my brain just goes blank if I try to plot it out. It's as if part of me is convinced that I can't know until I've written everything leading up to it. This makes no sense, brain. Stop being difficult.

How does it work for you guys? Do you outline? Do you then stick to your outline/ abandon it? Do you just write whatever feels right? Do you have to fix a lot of pacing in your editing?

Inquiring minds want to know.
tinny: (Default)

[personal profile] tinny 2017-04-11 08:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Ha, and all is right with the world. :D

I hate plotting out the ending. That may make me a bad writer, but I can't help it. If I know where I'm going, I lose interest immediately. Writing it has to be surprising, it has to hold my own interest. And it can't do that if everything is completely fixed from the start.

So, yeah, I see your problem, but I don't know how to write any differently either. People tell me that it's okay to write like that. All I know is that if I knew how to plot and how to STICK to said plot, I wouldn't be writing at all.
topaz_eyes: (ship's not sinking)

[personal profile] topaz_eyes 2017-04-11 08:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Someone has to write the definitive Jamie/Malcolm novel!

Considering I'm side-eyeing my own problem child atm... I don't write down an outline per se. I've found if I do, a part of my brain thinks "oh, you've written it already!" so I don't finish it. I do keep a vague outline in my head. (This is probably why I stick to short pieces.)

I have to have 3 definite things early on in writing to finish a fic: the beginning, the ending, and the title. In between, I flit back and forth, write scenes out of order as they come, then I go back again to write the little connecting bits. Which is where, if I'm going to flounder, I flounder badly. I've jettisoned so many fics that way...

Your brain is still trying to process something important, so maybe a "put 2nd plot point here" placeholder might help? If you know what you want to write after the 2nd plot point. Sometimes a scene just isn't going to fit with the rest, but you won't know it until after the fact. It turns out you have to write it though, because something about it spurs the scene that needs to be there. If that makes sense.
topaz_eyes: (Captain Jack-salute)

[personal profile] topaz_eyes 2017-04-11 11:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm trying to remember if there was a time I wrote linearly. I think when I started out, I did. If I know I need a scene, but haven't gotten to it yet, I'll leave a blank space, or sometimes start with a couple sentences to elaborate later.

Covering 20 years in 8000 words... I see what you mean. Are there any particular canon or historical events in that span that might be necessary or useful for your fic? 8000 words is about 16-20 pages.

I'll beta, with the caveat that I have never watched the show, so I can't help at all with characterization. If you're okay with that, I'm good.
topaz_eyes: (Captain Jack-salute)

[personal profile] topaz_eyes 2017-04-14 04:51 am (UTC)(link)
Sorry if I misled you--I pick up a fair bit by fandom osmosis. Whenever you're ready with your draft, just drop me a line and I'll look at it. If you need to bounce things off me, I'm around, too.
topaz_eyes: (brain storm)

[personal profile] topaz_eyes 2017-04-11 11:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't always keep the initial title. "Larks Still Bravely Singing" began life as "Epistolary". "(A Promise Of) Goodbye" was initially "Where The River Used To Be." And my current problem child's working title is literally "The Sequel to 'Last Night In Paris' That Nobody Asked For!" For me a title is like an anchor, to keep me focused, but it's not always writ in stone.

If a title works, run with it! There's usually a good reason for it.
rusty_armour: (marysue)

[personal profile] rusty_armour 2017-04-13 05:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I have to confess that I fall into the plotting camp. I don't have every single moment of a story plotted out, but I often plot out the beginning of a scene or a part of a scene I want to remember later on because I've just come up with a bunch of ideas for it. I think having an outline of some kind is my anchor and/or security blanket. I feel better going forward if I have some kind of road map, even if that road map might not lead me in the right direction at first.

I should point out that I don't stick religiously to my outlines. Things will often change during the actual writing process, especially if I've plotted out a scene well in advance of writing it. I will abandon my original outline for something if it doesn't work anymore.

It's a lesson I'm still learning, so I have to keep reminding myself that a rough draft is called a "rough draft" for a reason. Like an outline, it can be revised and edited. It's not written in stone.