A Writing Journey

Lately I have been thinking of ways that I can make Quest for Salvation a better story. I have a rewrite planned for the first few chapters and I’m thinking the middle needs to be reworked again, but beyond that I am stumped. And then I came a cross this little beauty from quotebites.com :

Remember Murphy's Law for writers: If something can go wrong, it should.

In Quest for Salvation, a lot of things go wrong, but I fix them too quickly. The adventure that is supposed to come from those “wrong things” is left an unfulfilled possibility. As I pick up work again, this is something that I will have to work on.

This quote is important for all writers. An adventure, no matter the genre, cannot happen until something goes wrong. It’s the whole “inciting incident.” But things must continue to go wrong for the adventure to be interesting. Think about it: Frodo didn’t have a memorable story because his journey was easy. It was filled with things going wrong.

Don’t be afraid to throw some hurdles at your characters! Don’t be afraid to explore the outcomes, sometimes leaving the problem unresolved for a while. Let things go wrong, and let your characters have an adventure because of it.

Take care, fellow travelers.

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Comments on: "Friday Inspiration: Let Things go Wrong" (10)

  1. I think I may have the opposite problem! All I seem to do is let things go wrong. Sometimes I wonder why I let myself love these characters when all I do is destroy them, but I think in the end they’ll find their way through to the other end. πŸ™‚

    • I’m glad you think the characters will make it in the end!
      I suppose I should have mentioned in the post that going too far and just letting everything go wrong all the time can destroy the plot as much as not letting things go wrong in the first place. There does need to be balance, which can be hard to achieve. But that’s what practice is for!
      Good luck to you!

      • Thanks! I think I had to write a lot of horrible things before I could figure out the balance. There’s a lot of stuff I cut from my first draft because it just wasn’t needed. πŸ™‚

        • That’s always the case with first drafts! Writing horrible things teaches a valuable lesson though – what not to write. Once we’ve learned it, we can focus on what we should write. πŸ™‚

          • Hahaha… I have a character who has some anxiety issues and also one who has rage problems. By the end of the first draft, I was like “ugh, if I write one more panic attack or violent rage scene, I’m going to stab myself in the eye.”

            Some of the horrible things are staying (but being revised) in the second draft, because I meant more that the situation was horrible than the writing (although a lot of the writing was, too, definitely).

            Second drafts are so much harder than first ones. πŸ™‚

          • I understand about writing the panic attacks – one of my characters is the same and it gets frustrating to write them all the time. That’s where creativity comes in and we get to write them in different ways πŸ™‚

          • Yes, my creativity with them has slowly grown as I learn to “hear” this character more clearly. Also, some of those scenes just weren’t needed. We get it, dude. You have panic attacks. πŸ™‚

          • Absolutely. I read an article once about not overstating what’s going on (I wish I could remember where I found it). I’ve really taken that to heart. The first couple of times my character has panic attacks, it’s detailed so we know what’s going on, but after that it is much more simplified. I have to trust that people who read it will understand what is going on. πŸ™‚

  2. This is exactly the advice I need right now! I got stuck because there wasn’t enough conflict in my story, so I scrapped it and started again. This time, my characters wanted action. Instead of watching something go wrong, they wanted to narrowly avoid being crushed by a giant cage holding a heavy beast. So I let them and they had a blast! Now I’ll remember to do this more often – don’t help the characters with their problems too much. Got it! Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m so glad it was helpful! And it sounds like your characters got a lot out of that near miss! I know how hard it can be to remember this advice – I have scrapped stories because of very similar reasons. Good luck as you continue writing.

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