Playing with Words

a journey into the world of writing for young readers


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Chasing the end in a first draft
michele on trike
mcorriel
As I approach the end of my first draft I find myself floundering a bit. I had this great new plot worksheet I made up using Freytag's plot layout and then inventing a seat of my pants way to get through it. I thought I had it all figured out.
And then I put a few twists and turns in there I wasn't expecting and the ending got further and further away from me.
But I kept on writing, hoping I'd find it somewhere along the way.
So far I've gone an extra three chapters from where I thought it would end.
I've "outlined" the next three chapters and I feel like I'm almost there. That's an extra six chapters.
I guess the key is to be flexible. If your characters still need to do a few more things before they're done with their parts -- let them! You can always cut it later.
At this point it feels like I'm running a race and every time I get near the yellow finish line someone moves it another mile.
But I also feel that the story is richer for it.
If I'd just followed my original outline I'm not sure the story would be as good as it's getting now.
I've already gone back once and rewrote the first ten chapters in present tense to see if changed the voice of the main character.
And by doing that I've learned how fluid the piece is. I think the work was worth it.
I've also come to know the characters better. All of them.
By the time I'm at the end I know I'll be ready to start at page one for the rewrite.
And who knows. I may end up with a different ending all together.

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