Saturday, July 21, 2018

New Beginnings (Third Time's the Charm)

Hi, guys. We are three weeks into NaNoWriMo, and I started my novel over again.

Last time on Adventures with Abbey, I decided to focus on characters rather than plot and write from Varina's point-of-view. 
Something was still wrong, though. I started in medias res, which means in the middle of things, but this didn't give any context to my characters, their goals, or their motivations. I didn't feel any connection to Varina because I didn't have time to develop her before I threw her into a plane crashI felt even less connection to Daniel because I wasn't writing from his point-of-view. 
Even though I am trying to write a character driven story, I didn't feel like there was enough of a plot to support the characters. Daniel and Varina were on their way to a conference when their plane crashes. Varina decides to kidnap Daniel when she learns that he is the son of the man whom her father used to work for because she thinks that Daniel has information about her father's death.
By starting here in the storyline, I felt like I couldn't go anywhere. 

So I started over.


I rearranged the events of the story, such as the conference and the plane crash, so that the novel begins earlier in the storyline. This allows the audience to meet, and become comfortable with, Daniel and Varina before they are thrown into a dangerous situation. I also switched back to third person.
They say third time's the charm, and I can agree: this new beginning is going the smoothest of the three. I know my characters better, and I know where they are going in the plot. 

The moral of the story is that sometimes the pacing of your story is off. Sometimes you need to restart. Twice. Sometimes in medias res does not work and you have to start earlier in the timeline. And that's okay. 

Has this every happened to you guys? Have you ever had to start a project over and over and over again until you finally found the right beginning? Let me know! 


  1. Sweetheart, rewriting the opening ten thousand times is part of my process. Indeed, I usually rewrite the whole story at least once. I never get it right the first time, much as I wish otherwise.

    1. That's good to hear. I think there's a stereotype around writers where we get everything right the first time, which isn't true. It does take lots of re-writing and editing and starting over to get a book to the best that it can be, and that's okay. That's where the hard work comes in. It would be nice if we could get it right the first time, like you said, but that's not reality.

  2. I believe I've written my beginning about 7+ times, and I'm still not entirely happy with it. So, you're totally not alone. :)

    1. Wow! Yeah, beginnings are hard because you want to engage the reader but also give them information about the characters and the plot without being boring. It's a hard balance to find.