Wednesday 6 March 2013

IWSG: Starting Over

I didn't think I'd be able to post today but jumping on briefly for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Check of Alex Cavanaugh's blog for more info and the linky list.

I have recently completed an R&R and therefore am temporarily paused on the WIP I've been working on for... oooh forever. I have a rough draft of another novel I want to return to but I am having trouble getting going on it.

Yes, I might just need a brain break to read and watch TV and that's fine, I won't beat myself up about that.

But I really want to work on this piece. I love the idea. I know I can make it better. I have a list of changes to do. But I somehow can't find a way to get started on them.

It's not like I am drafting from scratch - I have something to work with. Maybe that's the trouble, that I have been editing for a while and a new draft may help.

Overall, it feels like starting over. Back to the start of the edits. Which is fine. But I'm having trouble getting going.

Do you ever have this? Any tips?


  1. I've never completely restarted a story, but I have one I've been sitting on for ... six years? ... that I keep meaning to rework. I think the scary part is the fear that I'm going to lose the good bits I've already written along with the stinky bits (you know, throw the baby out with the bathwater). Perhaps it would be good to make a list of the ideas you really love from your original draft and want to incorporate into the new idea.

  2. That has happened to me and I don't want to let it go. I already have 54K words. It helped me to add another character to spice things up. Even if you delete him/her at the end, it got the thing moving for me. =) Good luck!

  3. I hear ya! I'm in the same boat. My only advice is don't rush it. Take it one page at a time and just like when you are walking over a deep crevice, don't look down (or in our case at how far you still have to go).

  4. I've been there, at times you need to let your mind relax so that you can focus on later on. It's okay to take a break :)

  5. One thing at a time. One word at a time. That's the most helpful thought I can get when I'm in your situation.

  6. Hi Vik! Yes, I know exactly what you are saying. Sometimes, its just not there. The idea is fabulous and the characters are awesome. But the inspiration just isn't there. But don't give up. Let it rest. It will come back to you. And if it doesn't, then that story just wasn't meant to be. Or the timing just isn't right:)

  7. I've been going through this recently, and what I've discovered is that I'm trying so hard to force the old parts of the story into the new version, I'm forgetting that I'm trying to freshen it up. I'm trying to force the old, rubbish voice into my shiny updated version. So, I guess my advice would be to take a break and refresh, then go back at it and stay focused on what you want to do, not what you've already done. If that makes sense lol.

  8. I'm with Ink and Kyra. Those are good suggestions. And maybe if you walk away a bit and look at the ms. later you'll see the way to go.

    Good luck. Been there . . . a lot!

  9. When all else fails, I think a brain break and a reading retreat are the best remedies. :)

  10. It definitely is hard to switch gears that way. it took me months to go from promotion to writing. But now I'm in the groove and it's all I want to do. I think it's best to stick with one project and follow it all the way through. Do one thing and do it well, right? I do, however, take TV breaks to rest my weary brain. It really helps!

  11. A brain break sounds like a good idea! As others have said, maybe it is because you have evolved as a writer so much since you worked on this project that you are struggling to merge the old voice with the new. I don't know what the answer is (sorry!) but if it is something you feel passionate about I'm sure you will find a way through. Best of luck, Vik :)

  12. It sounds to me like your brain is working in overdrive. Take a break! That works for me, at least. Sometimes I'll go a couple of days without writing if I have to. Try a hobby you like aside from writing or go enjoy nature, anything to switch gears for even a little while. I think if you give yourself and your brain that chance to breathe you'll come back refreshed and ready to go!

  13. Nickie - that's a great idea, to make a list of what I love about it. Maybe then I'll feel more yeah and I must keep these good lovely bits!

    E. - ooh great suggestion, to add a character, I'll have a think, thank you!

    Jenn - it's so difficult isn't it. *moves over to make room in the boat* You are right, one step at a time is probably the best way!

    J. A. - true it might just be that brain wise I need a wee break!

    Al - one word at a time, good advice thanks. I'm writing that somewhere large for me to see.

    Ink - yes! For some reason the inspiration Just. Is. Not. There. I like the story. I know what I have to do. And yet. Perhaps I need to rest it for a bit.

    Kyra - take a break and refresh is good advice and I like the idea of focussing on what I am going to do, not what I've done, thank you!

    C. Lee - glad I am not the only one! Thank you for your thoughts.

    Nicole - ah well I always like reading time that's true :)

    Nancy - a TV Break might just be in order!! Thanks for your thoughts.

    Suzanne - thank you for the advice I do appreciate it!

  14. Maybe just jumping somewhere in the middle and just start reading? That might get you excited again.

  15. Oh man! I think this is the story of my life! LOL. I wish I had some great advice, but I don't. Just think of how amazing it will be when you get through the next draft! And you can totally do it! You'll WOW everyone!

  16. (((((Hugs))))) honey, and I know exactly how you feel :(

    I wish I could wave a magic wand, for both of us!


  17. I always find that it's hardest to get started, but once you've started it's much easier to keep going. Starting something is the hardest part, for me.

  18. suggestion, instead of tackling the whole ms, grab a notebook and talk to your characters. one at a time, ask them what they want, what is standing in their way and what they are willing to do to get it. or put them in a crazy situation and see what they do, like they just won a trip or a million dollars, what would they do?

    good luck and happy, stress free writing to you!

  19. I go through this ALL the time and I'm absolutely worthless when it comes to tips on tackling it! Good luck and happy writing!

  20. Alex - thank you, good suggestion, maybe the middle will help!

    Leigh - thank you for the encouragement! I will try! I mean, I CAN do it!

    Vikki - HUGS to you, me too!

    Laura - maybe it is just the getting going on it!

    Tara - ooh I like the idea of putting them in a separate situation! thank you hon!

    Kimberly - it's so difficult isn't it!

    Thanks for the comments all!


Please comment, I'd love to know what you think! :)