Picking Up The Pieces

Sometimes life can imitate the very structure that many writers choose to use for their own novels. Each event that happens to us, good or bad, has to end eventually. So those are the little stories that happen in our lives. That’s what makes storytelling easier for most of us. The structure we tend to use is already baked in, so to speak. Perhaps that’s even why so many of us choose to write. Instinctively, we use it to set up the story and keep it progressing until the end. Here’s the catch…we do it subconsciously.

There’s a problem with that. When we begin writing, we start on day one, right? I mean we have to start somewhere. Day two, we’re still on the same path and day three and so on and so forth. Here’s where it gets a bit troublesome. Say you’re on day thirty, maybe even day one hundred thirty, we still live our lives, watch movies or television, hear personal stories from our friends, and dream. No matter what you think or how many times you want to say it, your story will invariably change.

So will our structure.

The nice, neat, organized story we had in our heads has changed. Usually for the better, I would hope. It’s not bad, it happens to everyone including the Planner who meticulously gathers his/her story together and plans for every scene (I am one of those). Many times what we originally planned doesn’t really work like we originally thought. Things change. They always do. Just like the structure of our story, you, the hero/heroine must combat the forces of evil to finish your novel.

The evils that can invade your creativity are varied and many. Video games, blogs, social media, movies, books, other people, and procrastination are but a few. Your job as a writer is to figure out how to combat these evil entities. And just like your novel’s structure, there comes a point when everything falls apart (That’s the Second Plot Point, if you subscribe to the Three Act structure).

Take heart, fearless writer! That’s beginning of the third act. You’re on your way to the finish. You just have to pick up the pieces, gather your forces–if you will–and fight the big battle. You have all the information to finish. You’ve written most of our already. Now just put them in the right order and give it your best.

Many of my coworkers have accused me of leaving some of my characters stranded in mid-air waiting for me to finish their story. That keeps me motivated to finish, I think. I can just see them in my head standing around bored out of their minds or worse frozen in time until I make them move. Poor characters. So I like to finish their stories.

I hope this helps someone who, like me, is struggling to finish, have hit that point in the second act when everything falls apart moving me into the third act waiting for me to pick up the pieces and finish.

Thanks again for reading and, as always, happy writing!

Lee

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