How Long Did You Spend on a Plot Point?


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Thread: How Long Did You Spend on a Plot Point?

  1. #1
    Member 20oz's Avatar
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    How Long Did You Spend on a Plot Point?

    You have a vision. You know exactly how it's going to end. Except the pieces don't fit together.

    I've been trying to write WHY Ellie becomes the antagonist. It took me two years to finally figure it out. I looked at her lineage, at her grandparents, and found my answer there.

    I also found a way to save her which was not part of the ending I wanted.

    So, how much time did you spend on a plot point? Do you think two years is too long to have spent on a plot point or do you think I should have just went with whatever changes I needed to adapt to?
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  2. #2
    Member DaBlaRR's Avatar
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    I think that you should have spent as much time as it took to come up with the best possible plot point you could, whether it took 2 days or 2 years. "Just going with whatever" would be settling for something that wasn't your best.
    disclaimer: I type to ask quuuesstions... if for wutever reeeson i mistake a their with there, or a two with to... or anything of the sort... forums is where i can lazeee tipe and not put effort in... i am not a professional...

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  3. #3
    Two years is far too long. Very simply, no planning process should last that long. If you haven't completed the novel after two years, you may want to prioritize your writing time better. Yes, I know... there are masterpiece out there that took years upon years to write; but those are rare. Spending that much time on a single piece of work, let alone a plot point, is stagnation. As a writer you must write constantly to grow, and practice. I'm not saying there's a magic number of how long it should take to write a novel. I've had some that take six months, some that take forty days. But either way, they get finished in the fastest I can, while making them the best I can. I write daily and maintain a pace, and hold myself accountable for it. And I never just sit and let the story stew while I wait for some form of inspiration that will likely never come.
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  4. #4
    Depends on what you're writing for. If it's just a hobby for personal satisfaction, who cares how long you take. But if you ever get expecting fans or need that paycheck, if you must, obviously spending that long is a once in a career thing. I spent two years on my protagonist's design. So I'm not one to talk. But I have no intention of ever doing that again. When it comes to plot points, at most a couple of days. If it's difficult.

  5. #5
    WF Veteran voltigeur's Avatar
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    God I hate questions that make me sound like a panster! But here it goes:

    With my WIP I spent 2 years on my story line before I ever wrote a scene. I think I'm a special case since I write historical thrillers and work very hard to stay with the historical time line that the book is about. So I had to break history in to phases that gave me a strong beginning middle and end and fit a literary story line to that that had a strong beginning middle and end. So there was some extra work there.

    That being said I have to confess that while my story line is basically set it still gets adjusted. (either from new research or to new approach to the original idea.) So I am writing my novel still researching and still tweeking.

    My point is: at some point in time you have to quit futzing over the details and write the damn book!
    Last edited by voltigeur; April 5th, 2016 at 01:35 AM.
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  6. #6
    Write it whichever way will help you finish it. Once it's done and you're in the editing stage, obsess over making it "perfect" all you want.

    "Life is a risk; so is writing. You have to love it." ~ Richard Matheson

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