Monday, September 24, 2012

What's the Point?

I recently stumbled upon many lists and articles about how to write better stories, characters, etc. and they made me question my own novel.
More specifically, what's the point?
I've noticed that while writing my novel, as much fun as it has been, I've not been completely sure of what the point of it is. Yes I know who it revolves around and what happens, but I don't know what its focus is.
Even more alarming is that it's becoming very obvious that the novel that I'm having so much fun writing is not one that I could ever see myself picking up and reading for fun. It's simply not my style or preferred genre, yet I have thoroughly loved writing it.
Then comes the fact that, with the revisions I've been making in my rewrite, the original plot's conclusion makes less and less sense with every page I type.

Let's put it this way; the story is about persons X, Y, and Z. Person Y is the only of the three to carry the Y chromosome. Persons X, Y, and Z form a love triangle throughout the book, and person Y ends up with person X in the original draft. Except the more I write out their characters, it doesn't make any sense that persons X and Y would end up together.

I had no idea how to deal with this for the longest time, then I suddenly had an epiphany whilst watching a football game that person Y should end up with person Z, given certain events. I quickly ran the sequence of how that would happen and what the result would be in my head to find that it made perfect sense! It wouldn't even require me to change around certain later scenes too much, and in fact would make them even more dramatically interesting!
This slight change even completely shifts the focus of the novel, and more importantly, gives it one that's much more my style. All I would have to do is rewrite a few parts and continue on with the new plan!

Ryan's Brain enters the scene.

Ryan's Brain: Wait, but can I really make the entire thing work with just a few changes? With the new shift in focus, shouldn't there also be a brand new rewrite so that the new focus stays persistent throughout the entire novel? Maybe I should even shift the perspective the entire story is told in ... but then that would be undoing all the progress I've made in practicing with the current perspective I've chosen as well as the character development that goes hand-in-hand with the exact way I've written the story currently and---

Ryan's Brain melts onstage.

Yes. This complicates things quite a bit. While this little idea theoretically fixes all the issues I've been having, it opens the novel up to a barrel full of new problems. The fact of the matter is that I see no other choices than to either start everything over from scratch again (with a story that I still consider as practice and not representative of my best ideas), continue onward with the current style and see where it takes me (it is practice, after all), or drop the entire thing and move on to some other project that is more my style (and I have lists full of those ideas).
I just don't see a hybrid mash-up of original story and new ideas working.

Give me some advice by commenting on this post, or just tell me which option to take.
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1 comment:

JMatt said...

Sounds like this is 'practice' for you, so you're not really happy. If this was the 'big game', you'd be dedicated to it, dedicated to making it work.

I would say, start over with the new direction that you've developed. If that means a new perspective and a more dramatic story, then that's the direction the new story needs to take. And hey, who doesn't like drama?

As to whether or not this story is your 'style' of what you want to read. Is your style obscure or does it fit with what a lot of people enjoy. It really comes down to the end goal, what do you want to achieve through writing? If it's personal satisfaction with what you publish, then you will likely need to write something that you want to pick up and read. If not, then you have to appease a large population and write for the average person in that audience.