What do you do when your conflict doesn’t work?

Ugh!  I am working off a very loose outline for my book ASHES IN THE SKY, the sequel to FIRE IN THE WOODS that releases September 23, 2014.

Here I am, cruising along with about 100 pages written, and the bad guy starts discussing the reason for being bad.   Ugh_Back_to_the_drawing_board

It totally fell flat.  I mean, the whole idea sounded great in my head. He had a perfectly good reason for doing what he was about to do. I even sympathized with him… until I wrote it all out and read it on the page.

It just seemed… I don’t know… STUPID.

Now I don’t know WHAT to do.

After stewing over it for quite a while, I just skipped to the end of the scene, and kept writing.  Hopefully I will work it all out.

I really HATE doing that, because I find my writing is much more fluid if I write chronologically.  Now, I will need to go back a rewrite that chapter from scratch.

I’m NOT feeling good about it.

Has this ever happened to you… and idea tat sounded great in your head just didn’t work once you wrote it and read it back to yourself?



17 responses to “What do you do when your conflict doesn’t work?

  1. Gwen Stephens

    It’s definitely happened to me, Jennifer – in my current WiP! When I outlined, I wasn’t sure how the first portion of the second act was going to unfold. I struggled with it for a day or so, then just wrote something I knew was bad, just so I could keep going! Like you, I prefer to write chronologically, so I resolved to go back and fix the problem area after I finish the draft!

    • Gah! Did you go back and edit yet? My mind keeps drifting back to my original idea. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m pushing forward.

      • Gwen Stephens

        I haven’t gone back to edit yet. I want to finish the manuscript, and then tackle revisions as a whole. I don’t have the time pressures you do though, so I can write at my leisure. Sorry, I know this doesn’t help.

        If your mind keeps returning to your original idea, why not just use it for now, especially since you’ve already written the end of the scene? It’s just a first draft, right? Worry about fixing/deleting with revisions. Wasn’t it Hemingway who said, “The first draft of anything is ****”

  2. Unfortunately, yes, Jennifer. It happened recently with a longer fiction piece that I’ve put away until I find time and concentration to complete it. Good thing you could move on, though. That’s another beauty to computers. You can just click where you want to work on. Good luck! ~Victoria Marie Lees

  3. I write chronologically as well but if I hit a bump, I leave open lines or go to the next page and continue. Sometimes I think of questions while I’m working forward. I add them to the space in case I forget them. I admire you for working under such a tight deadline. 🙂

  4. Sometimes you have to skip then write backwards. Your brain is still mulling over possibilities and hasn’t shared the final results yet. It’ll work – but you can’t force it until it’s ready. Hang in there

  5. This happens to me all the time. Thank goodness I’m not a chronilogical writer or I’d never get anything done. Sometimes for me, writing ahead spurs the idea for what is lacking. It’s almost as if a lightbulb goes off in my head and I have that “duh” moment where everything suddenly makes sense, and I can fill in the missing puzzle piece. I hope that happens to you.

  6. Happens to me all the time. Keep going or backtrack. Do what feels right— right now.

  7. In the middle of that right now! Good luck with that, I bet it’s much harder with a deadline!

    • Yeah–I think that’s part of the problem. Normally I would have had this all figured out beforehand. I think I started writing before my muse was actually ready.

  8. Yes, that does happen. Just keep thinking about it over the weeks it takes you to finish the rest of the novel. Chances are by the end you’ll have hit on a stronger motivation for your baddie.

  9. It might just be that when you come back to it a few days/weeks from now, you’ll see it from a different point of view. I often find motivation while i’m writing, perhaps you two will find a stronger motivation via an action or a sentence that will fit this scene perfectly.