Monday, July 7, 2008

Okay. I'm writing a book. At least I think I am.

I had this book 3/4 done when I decided to change the voice. I was writing third person past tense and changed it to first person present tense. So I basically started over.

I had a very clear vision of the story. A very clear understanding of what was happening to who. What the theme of the book was about. So what happened?

I'm not sure.

Suddenly I found myself changing the plot. Drastically. The I found myself wanting to change the hero's role. I made a few excited calls to Missy. "I think it'll work better if I do this." "I think changing the hero to this will make the book stronger."

Meanwhile, during all my struggling with what to do and what not to do, the manuscript finals in a contest. Great. Nice. I'm still struggling.

Then it finals in another contest just last week. So I print out the copy of the manuscript I had sent to the contests. Hmmmm. I get my entries back Saturday from one of the contests because there is a chance to revise before it goes to the editor. I read the comments from the judges. Hmmmm.

"Great conflict. Great characters. Like the heroine."

I'm not printing those comments in a bragging way. I'm printing them so I can read them and wonder what exactly made me want to change so much of the story? Why do I try to complicate things? If I look back on my original story, the original idea, I think I have it pulled together. Not saying the writing or the book or the concept is exactly right on, but it takes comments from a stranger to reinforce the fact that I might have been on track from the beginning.

Why do I let myself get off track so easily? Why do I want to keep changing the plot? Why am I not comfortable in my own decisions?

I'm not sure, but I'm going to learn from this experience.

Are there any aspects of writing or any parts of life that you think you have a handle on, then falter, then realize you may have been okay to begin with?

And a side note. Our F.A.I.T.H. girl Angie is competing in the Mrs. Montanta competition and I believe it starts this week. If not, sorry Ang, but we'll start praying for you now. More prayers are better than no prayers. Good luck, girl!! We're cheering you on. You are beautiful inside and out. I hope the judges see what we see.


  1. Lindi,

    I feel your pain. I've just started revising another manuscript that needs to be lengthened. In order to do that, I've gone back to the first chapter and strengthened the heroine's goals and motivations, which is significantly altering the story. I entered it into a contest and the response was a 100 from a published judge saying it's ready to go, and a 70 from another published judge with comments that contradict the other judge. The third judge was unpublished and gave me a score in the mid-80's. I thought I knew where I was going with it and what I needed to do. Now I'm not so sure. I'm going to reread it and stick to my new plan unless God reveals something else to me. In the meantime, I've signed up for a critique at the ACFW Conference and I plan to resend it to my critique partners. I might try another contest just to see what reaction I get. I'll do some more praying on it as well.

  2. I'm right there with you, Lindi. I've recently gone back to a motivation concept I had a long time ago. Of course, at the time, it didn't work. Now it does. Go figure. Ain't writing grand? I always tell people that my desk is positioned close to the wall so I don't have to go far to bang my head. After all, it feels so good when I stop :-P

  3. Jenn,

    Great move getting an ACFW critique. I know face to face is so revealing. Plus you can ask questions.

    And you've listed the number one discerner...Prayer.

  4. Mindy,
    Love the head banging concept. Hmmm...that may be why my desk is so close to the wall.