I went to LTUE and found out my novel is broken. In the second panel I attended, discussing outlining and pre-writing, it dawned on me. I outlined my novel to death. But what killed it exactly? Here’s the list that occurred to me:
- In mapping out my sub-plots I became confused as to which was the main plot.
- I didn’t really think through what I thought was the main plot. After nearly a year it has occurred to me that it’s a really dumb way of choosing a country’s leader. Watery tarts in ponds distributing weaponry would be a better idea than what I had.
- My outline was too detailed. I think I may have become bored writing the novel because I instinctively felt I had already written it.
- I let a concept lock me into going a particular direction when it was not necessary.
- I had too many subplots, and too much happening “off screen”.
- I avoided conflict when I should have been focusing in on it.
So, what do I plan to do about it? Well, unfortunately the damage is done, and changing all the elements I believe need to be changed makes much of what I have already written obsolete. I believe it’s time to plug all the world-building holes I’ve identified and start over again. And it will be much better for it, I’m certain.
It goes against everything I’ve been told, but I really think it would be a waste of time to press forward and finish at this point. Yes, I’d gain the confidence of knowing I finished. But knowing it’s so broken would make it take for ever to finish. It would be better if I started over, as I’d be more excited and more motivated. I’m pretty sure I’ve identified the problems, and that I have a good idea as to how to fix them. I only wish It wouldn’t have taken me so long to figure it out.
But had it not been for LTUE I might still be beating my head against the tree, trying to chop it down.