Direction Drives Me Crazy

Writing is hard. The hardest part for me is maintain direction. My focus often goes off track and I find myself stepping away for long periods to redefine the direction things should go. For several weeks, I’ve struggled to figure out how to organize Malachim with respects to the POVs I am using. Suffice it to say, I lost my direction with the manuscript. My original notes included eight POVS, which I would bounce back and forth between. This presented quite a challenge. How would I show all these perspectives running parallel? How would I avoid rehashing the backstory ad nauseum? It stumped me to no end and after several failed attempts to solve the conundrum myself, I called on a good friend of mine. She happens to be an amazing writer in her own right.

Making Use of a Lifeline

It took me seven years to finish Betera’s Factor. I certainly don’t want to take seven years to finish its sequel. In addition, I’d like to improve my ability to problem solve and I find that’s easier when talking something out. We talked through the difficulties and somewhere along the line; we stumbled upon the idea of splitting the narrative into three parts, which would focus on one character’s experience at a time. Each of the sections are happening parallel to the other. The arrangement would give me the ability to concentrate on the pertinent aspects of each person’s dilemma as they relate to the entire plot. But, I still had to figure out how the characters would all converge.

It All Falls Into Place

This is where my friend came to the rescue. Again. She suggested the narrative could follow a sort of domino effect. One character’s story would naturally bleed into another, beginning with part one. Part 2 would initially focus on the next character and then pivot to a point when the protagonist from part one, enters part two. Consequently, these characters move forth to intersect with the third main character in part three.

Eureka!

I was elated at the possibilities I had in front of me. Not only would I be able to stop the agonizing cycle of juggling all the POVs, but I would also be able to focus on each characters development, though nothing happens in a vacuum. The relationships these three main characters build before their lives intersect are integral to the outcome of the story. More importantly, each has something to contribute from what they have learned on their own.

This revelation has me excited to return to the pages of Malachim. I have stars in my eyes again and I owe my friend a heap of thanks. Don’t worry, I’ve already sung her praises today. I’m confident this is right direction. Let’s see how my newfound wisdom shakes out.

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