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Jedi Knight Muse

Question of a Day #58: Story Falling Apart

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This question was suggested by @TwistedRiver!

What do you do when the logic of your story falls apart? Tear your hair out, ignore it and have nightmares about it, or fix it, somehow?

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All three, in exactly the order you listed them and with varying emphasis. I usually linger on the "tear your hair out" and "fix it, somehow" stages. The "ignore it" lasts about long enough for me to have a hot chocolate. Fixing it isn't easy and sometimes I abandon the project for a little while to give myself time to think, but when I care about the project I really want to fix the plot holes and broken logic.

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throw it out.

if i can't abandon it completely, then I guess it's rewrite time.

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Sulk, stare at the blank page for a day, then get to work.

I start by identifying the problems. Did I contradict myself? Is there an unintended consequence from something I did earlier?

Then I see if they are fixable, or if the thing needs to be totally rewritten.

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All of the above :D

To ellaborate: after a couple of days of sulking and sighing and combating inferiority complex, I usually move on to a different WIP or WIPs, since I always have several going on anyway, and try to distance myself from the one that's falling apart. After a while, I come back to it, re-read everything I've got— both the story itself and the worldbuilding notes and stuff—and dissect it mentally to get to the route of the problem. Once I know where it started falling apart, I can come up with a strategy to fix it. Which often involves throwing out a lot of what I've written and starting again from the point where it all went wrong. 

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It's actually kinda nice to see that more people "struggle" with this. Not that I wish this upon people, but shared suffering, I guess? P: I have a project that I've been trying to work on for a long time and I just can't get the thing to make sense. I am very fond of the characters and what they are, but making it all come together in a logical way is difficuuult. I'm starting to figure out an approach to the "origins" of my mc these days, but it's so far away from how I imagined things to actually be, that I feel like I failed the character and the story a little x)

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47 minutes ago, TwistedRiver said:

It's actually kinda nice to see that more people "struggle" with this. Not that I wish this upon people, but shared suffering, I guess? P:

I get this. It's like, if you're the only person visibly struggling with something, it's easy to think of it as personal failure rather than something that's overall difficult. Knowing other people go through it also opens avenues to ask others how they get past it (just like this thread, lol).

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Right now, the approach I am taking with my main WIP is simply to continue working on the first draft. Putting everything back together is for draft #2 and later. If I were to abandon a story every time it "fell apart", I'd never get anything done!

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