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I realized what was wrong with my NaNo novel. Sadly, it was the… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
I realized what was wrong with my NaNo novel.

Sadly, it was the plot. I put in a man vs. man plot because I was desperate for a sequence of clear events and a big conflict when the situation really was more of a man vs. nature thing. This produced a really dumb villain, because villains whose whole schtick boils down to a situation specific version of, "Yay, go volcano!" are dumb and overblown.

I think I'm going to pull out some disaster flicks, get the form in my head, and start again. 'Cause I still like my guys, which is something, I guess.
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mmeubiquitous From: mmeubiquitous Date: March 15th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

I brought a few chapters of my nano into my writing class and got *reamed*. The instructor actually told me that I wasn't ready to write a novel yet.


Funny enough, the main criticism was that it was too wordy (heh). And you know, he was right. I still love my story, my characters...but that baby is a short story, not a novel.

In another month or so, once the sting of being slapped down by someone I respect fades, I'm gonna go after the thing with a big red marker...
alkari From: alkari Date: March 15th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, are disaster flicks really going to be much help with a man vs man plot in a book? In movies, they get away with Absence of Character / Plot by having great Specal Effects - which are rather hard to do on the printed page, LOL. I'm trying to think of a disaster flick that actually 'had' characterisation ... and so far failing dismally. It's always a case of "Go volcano / earthquake / nuclear disaster / whatever".
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 15th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but that's usually on the audience's part.

There are disaster books as well--Alas, Babylon comes to mind, and any number of books set on the Titanic. I'm mostly thinking of getting act structure into my head more clearly.
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: March 15th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's an article in the most recent issue of Writer's Digest on that--I actually haven't read it yet, so I can't tell you what it said or whether it was helpful, but it was essentially about using the act structure of a play to shape your plots. Doesn't look like that article's on their website, but you might be able to hunt it down in your library if you haven't seen it yet.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 15th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
To some extent, I always use an act structure. It's just the particular tropes of the disaster form that I need to get into my head. (Especially since the story starts partway into the disaster, though they don't realize yet that it's disastrous.)
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: March 15th, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to hear you're tackling it again!
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