What to Do When Your Plot is Wrong

So, you’ve outlined, you’ve written, you’ve conquered. Now what?

Now is the time to edit, and when you’re editing, guess what happens?

That’s right, you fucking cry because your manuscript is a mess and a half. Unless you’re me- then it’s 3.75 messes. No regrets.

I was rewriting one of my action scenes, glibly minding my own business when WHAM! An intrusive Fuckicus you bee comes buzzing into my head, making some very nasty comments about my plot. Namely, it raised doubts about the logic of my protagonist Jays’s actions after he realises that he’s been kidnapped and forced to partake in a series of games to the death. He’s smart as hell, so if he’s in here, and he’s as arrogant as I think he is, why would he stay? Even if he is suicidal, why in the name of our lord and master The Bookstore would he ignore the intriguing possibility of escape to live a life of countless other, smarter ways to die?

Answer: he wouldn’t.

Another discrepancy: if this is a book about people dying in mazes and other creative, relatively morbid games, why is it written like a story about a fight against mental illness? Ella, are you stupid?

So, now I have to go back and insert about a dozen more super long scenes portraying Jay’s escape attempts, and all the shit that is going to happen from there. Which is also going to fuck up my original plot, so I’m going to have to go back and rewrite a bunch of other scenes which were perfectly fine before. Thank you, Fuckicus you bee. Your non-consensual penetration of my ear will always be remembered with fondness.

The moral of the story: if you’re outlining, you should also think through the logic of your story as you’re outlining. Don’t just go, “oh, this is my character, this is my plot, badaboom badabing, I’m a fucking writer”. Learn from my mistakes.

So, let me know about your plotting mistakes. Have you ever created a story, written the story, and then realised that something is deeply wrong with it?

In the meantime, excuse me while I go introduce my bug spray to that bee. Forgive me father, for I am about to sin. 

Don’t look at me like that- murder is justified in this case.

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