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Behind the Scenes of a Novel-Day 19

Updated on October 7, 2012

Making Connections

connecting the rails
connecting the rails

That Awkward Moment

You have to merge your former characters with the new ones. How do you make it work? How do you get through it so it makes sense to the reader?

I chose for Dani and Brad to run into Macy and Eli on their way into a restaurant. It made sense for the two couples to have dinner together. The women had a chance to renew their old friendship and the men had a chance to size each other up while spending time with the women they love. It was not too awkward.

Awkward came when the two couples went their separate ways afterward. How do I work in the conversation Brad and Dani have and the conversation Macy and Eli have? It took some work. Then it took rework. Finally I think I have the transition without being awkward.

Then there are the good-nights between each couple. While romance is in the air, the story line has to go forward. Dani and Brad have had conversation about Dani's pet project. Something Brad has misgivings about. As of yet, Macy and Eli are in the dark about it. It will come soon.

I sometimes have to let my characters find their way. Other times I have to work as the guide. This was one of those times when I was not sure which way I was supposed to go. I had to work it out in my head before I could let them work it out. The conversations the couples had are their own. The way they unfold I helped with. We tackled our awkward moment successfully.

What Happens When You Are Stuck?

I take time to rewrite scenes if they don't feel right. I also have a wonderful group of back up authors, friends, and family members I can bounce ideas off. They can usually help me over the hump if I cannot work it out on my own.

There are times when I have to walk away. Which is exactly what I have done for about ten days. It was making me nuts. I put it away, dealt with the things life was throwing at me, and then I was able to look at it with new eyes.

It doesn't always work. Sometimes I need outside assistance. I have writer friends I bounce ideas off from. I send them my work and tell them to slice it and dice it so it will make sense. I have learned their criticism and comments make my writing better. They can see what I don't. Asking for help is not a bad thing. Nor does it say that I am not able to write. It says, I know my own shortcomings and when something doesn't work I find ways to fix it.

I have enough confidence in my abilities, that asking for help is not life threatening. It usually improves my writing. It allows me to see the work from the reader's point of view. I can fill in things I've skipped over.

Stuck on a scene? Ask for help. Get someone you trust to give you feedback. If you are part of a writer's group you are already ahead of most people. Don't be afraid to walk away for a bit. It's not going anywhere.


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    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image

      Rebecka Vigus 5 years ago from Johns Island, SC

      Very true. The work has to be mine not someone else's. I usually am able to work through it. And yes, group assistance can be counter-productive if you let them take over.

      I am careful. I've learned to weed through the swamp and wrestle the alligators.

      Thanks for your input.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Sounds a bit like 'writing by committee', when you get input from others. That's the only 'but' I can put in, on the other hand it's useful getting other people's 'angles' on a tricky dilemma.

      Sometimes it can be counter-productive though, if your outside help doesn't understand 'where you're coming from'. There might be an effect you're trying to achieve, when you've just got to hammer it out by yourself, that way you've got your hand on the controls. Try the end result out on them, though. See what the reaction is and go back to the drawing board if you get too many 'wrinkled noses'. It's when their mouths open, then close without anything coming out that you have to watch it. It could spell genius or disaster - at least you'll know where the minefields are!

    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image

      Rebecka Vigus 5 years ago from Johns Island, SC

      Thank you.

    • norbertmercado profile image

      Norbert L. Mercado 5 years ago

      "I have learned their criticism and comments make my writing better. They can see what I don't." - So true. My family has always helped me through the editing process. Nice hub!

    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image

      Rebecka Vigus 5 years ago from Johns Island, SC

      So, glad you found this useful. I keep hoping it will encourage someone to do what they've always wanted or finish that novel in the drawer.

    • ZofiaLotus profile image

      ZofiaLotus 5 years ago from Oregon

      I love hearing about other people's writing processes and how to get through scenes and plotlines when you can't quite figure out how your characters are getting along. Thank you for the tips and encouragements. :) Write on! :)