Reverse Analysis

I’m okay!  That’s what I feel like saying after what I would call a panic attack.  It wasn’t truly one, but I did feel overwhelmed for a bit when I thought that my story was broken and irreparable.  I just had to take a step back and start from the beginning.  By that I mean starting from the end and piecing together the story in reverse.

Do this helps me figure out what I need to have in order for the story to make sense and still flow correctly.  Since I already know exactly how the story ends after the first draft, now I could start from the end and work backwards.  Doing this helps me remember what things the protagonist needed to figure out or have in order to solve the story’s problem.

For me, this resolved several problems at once.  The first was that I hoped to find exactly what seemed to be missing.  I really didn’t find anything out of the ordinary.  Nothing tangible, I admit, but what that did for me was give me confidence that my story is flowing the way I want it.  The second thing that it did for me was help me to realize that I misjudged scene placement within the 3-Act structure.

I found that a whole section was in the wrong act altogether.  Once I saw that glaring issue, I realized that everything else was falling in line neatly.  Where I thought I was weak in Act 3, I found I was weak in the second half of Act 2.  What’s cool about that is I thought I had to rush to get some scenes through before the end of Act 2, but I found that I still have more time to build up toward the end.  Before I figured that out, I felt rushed and that I didn’t have enough story time to blaze the trail for the climax.

Now that I have more Act 2 to play with, I can add some scenes that I originally wrote and fit them in where I need more words.  Of course, I can’t just make them to make them.  That would be useless filler.  I need to make all my scenes count for something, if I can’t then I should throw them out.

So now I feel much better about everything.  I guess all it took was just a few days to mull it over and realize that I might know what I am talking about.  I just have to stop second guessing myself and keep on keeping on.

So, here’s to getting myself back on the right track to the finish line.

Happy Writing!

Lee

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