When You No Longer Like Your Plot, But Your Characters Own Your Heart

Hello my name is Michelle and I have a problem. I hate the plot of one of my WIPs, but I can’t let go

I really wish this was me, but alas

Once upon a time, when I was 13 (or 12??), I came up with the most original plot of ever, namely two teenagers DESTINED. FATED. CHOSEN. to prevent the devil from returning to earth and fighting demons. BASICALLY IT WAS A BUFFY THE VAMPIRE RIP OFF. Instead of Watchers and the Watchers Council it had Guardians and the Council of Guardians/Guardians Council whatever. The Watcher Guardian that looked over my main two characters (who were called ‘The Chosen Ones’. So clever. So unique. Much originality) was basically a Rupert Giles rip off (to the point that I  pictured Anthony Head as the character lmao). Oh and he was the librarian at the school (if you’re not familiar with Buffy: Giles was the librarian at the school as well lmao) for no apparent reason?? When I rewrote it he just worked at the Council, which actually made sense, but still.

It started out as a rip off. I’m not saying everything was exactly like Buffy, but the similarities were there, which I didn’t notice when I first wrote it because I was young and naive and unknowingly inspired by which was back then my favourite tv show of ever.

I finished the book when I was about 14 I think? Or maybe still 13? I have terrible memory

And started to work on the second one, which I never finished because at some point I decided to rewrite the first one, since I wasn’t too happy with it. In the end, I wasn’t happy with that rewrite either, and started to rethink everything. Character backgrounds, plot points, overal plot, relationships… Everything.

And now I look at the mess I made when I was 13 (because it wasn’t just a rip off, it was also full with plot holes and tropes I absolutely loathe now and just… ugh) and I just no longer like it.

Except. I really love the characters. I love their backgrounds, their relationships with each other, the development I was going to make them go through… I am really attached.

I’m ready to let go of the plot, but not of these characters

So now what?

Because I have no clue

have thought of coming up with a new plot, and keeping these characters, but what kind of plot? Should I stick to (urban) fantasy? Or choose a different genre? And then what? Will they still be the same characters? Because a different plot (and possibly a different genre) means changes to their background stories and the development I had planned. I AM LOST.

If any of you thought this was going to be a helpful post full with tips on how to deal with this I am truly sorry. Instead this is me getting this of my chest, crying for help and hoping I’m not the only one.

Anyone been/going through this? Any advice? Or should we all start a support group together where we cry and eat ice cream? Let me know in the comments! 

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Studying Journalism With an Anxiety Disorder

This past school year I’ve been really struggling about whether or not I had made the right choice. I really loved my first year, and I had good grades. For the most part I continued to get good grades, and I had gotten positive feedback on my writing, but I still really, really worried if journalism was for me after all.

Studying itself gives me a lot of stress and anxiety, but on top of that having to call people, arrange interviews, doing the interviews themselves etc. I’ve gotten used to it, sort of, but the anxiety I feel before calling people and before the interviews themselves, has never gone away. And I feared that it never will.

My main character from my current WIP also has anxiety and is considering studying journalism, but is afraid his anxiety will get in the way. While I wondered this as well before making my decision, I wasn’t struggling with it as much as Yong-sun is in his senior year. I’m struggling with it now, at the brink of my third year. While this also gave me anxiety, it also really, really helped me. Because I decided to google ‘anxiety and journalism’. Which I could’ve done without writing about Yong-sun, but I didn’t think of it. I didn’t think of looking up journalists who also have an anxiety-disorder. Reading articles from journalists who face the same problems I do, really, really helped me. Am I still scared? You bet ya

But if other journalists can do it, then maybe I can do it too

Are you worried that your anxiety will get in the way of your goals? Has your writing/characters ever helped you in a moment like this? Let me know in the comments!

Introducing My Characters

Since I suck at summarising my Camp NaNo WIP (which I really need to get better at woops) I decided to instead show some aesthetics and talk about my characters, because I can talk about my children all day. Plus I always struggle with whether or not I really know my characters or not, so I’d figure this would be a helpful exercise. And hopefully at the same time this will be fun for you guys to read? I hope? LET’S GO

THE WIP

Okay so if you’re new/never read any of my previous posts on this WIP/forgot, what is this about? I suck at summarising it, but in an earlier post I explained my WIP as the following:

‘Friendship, banter, food, karaoke, The Gay™, Dora the Explorer Discourse (I’m not even joking I really hope people will find this very very long scene as hilarious as I do lmao)’

Anyway it’s very light and fluffy though it tackles some more serious issues like anxiety, bullying and abusive parents too.

Here’s a general aesthetic of the WIP to hopefully make it less vague?

It doesn’t take place in Rome. Okay, it partially does, because they go there on a schooltrip, but it mostly takes place in a fictional town in The Netherlands which I still need to name (my antagonist is also still called [antagonist] hahaha rip)

THE CHARACTERS

Yong-sun An

💛 Is a blue cow
💛 Very organised
💛 Needs to plan everything
💛 Confused lil bean
💛 Wants to be a journalist but is scared his anxiety will get in the way
💛 Keeps a diary
💛 Prefers to write down his feelings rather than talk
💛 Will think about the worst possible scenario
💛 Tried to hide under a bed once but there was no room rip
💛 Is immune to Drew’s puppy eyes
💛 Loyal friend
💛 Worries about his grades all the time, no matter how well he did
💛 Blows everyone away with his vocals
💛 Boots from Dora the Explorer was his favourite
💛 Hides in bathrooms
💛 Is tired of All I Want For Christmas – there are other Christmas songs
💛 Is not best friends with Drew (except he is)
💛 Completely clueless: ‘He felt an odd sensation at reading the message, probably a new level of annoyance.’ ‘There was also a weird feeling in his stomach. Annoyance, he decided.’ Yeah, ANNOYANCE
💛 Has no idea what flirting even is

Andrew ‘Drew’ Lewis

💛 Don’t call him Andrew
💛 Is a lil shit but everyone loves him anyway
💛 Will come up with the stupidest ideas
💛 Thinks he’s cool
💛 But he’s not
💛 Wants to see the world and get away from his past
💛 His flirting is very uneffective pls help him
💛 Is not subtle at all
💛 Always hungry
💛 Takes food very seriously
💛 Sleeps with a bunny sleeping mask on his face
💛 Feelings haha what are those
💛 Original Mom Friend™
💛 ‘I’m gonna wing it’
💛 Will fight you
💛 Asks deep questions about pigeons
💛 Just because he can’t sing doesn’t mean he won’t sing
💛 He’s a growing boy
💛 Believes ‘please’ is an actual magic word
💛 Hates Boots from Dora the Explorer

Reyna Vélez

💛 Former student council president
💛 Loved by pretty much the entire school because she stands up for everyone and is genuinely friendly
💛 Wants to become a succesful director
💛 Vlogger
💛 Will fight you
💛 ‘Do it for the vine’
💛 Netherlands is not Germany dammit
💛 Ships her friends
💛 Will not accept help
💛 Actual Queen
💛 Will drag you out of your bed in the middle of the night for karaoke
💛 ‘Like my picture’
💛 Has a youtube channel where she covers social issues and movies, tv shows, documentaries etc and posts cute vlogs about her friends
💛 Will never make you do something you don’t want
💛 Always looks good in pictures
💛 Can’t stop, won’t stop
💛 Will throw you out of the group chat
💛 Doesn’t like showing people her weaknesses
💛 Changes the group chat’s name all the time
💛 Will make you take awkward pictures (but won’t post them if you don’t want her to)
💛 Would jump out of a plane without a parachute
💛 Most likely to embarrass you with her speech at your wedding

Hye-su Seung

💛 Too pure for this world
💛 Shy lil bean
💛  Unless you’re close to her
💛  Very observant
💛  Looks like a cinnamon roll but could actually kill you
💛  Can’t even hurt a fly tho
💛  Forgives pretty easily
💛  Art hoe
💛  Doesn’t know what she wants to study because she wants to do all the art/theater things as long as it doesn’t put her in the spotlight
💛 Plays with her sleeves
💛 Don’t disrespect the Colosseum
💛 Will hit you if you disrespect the Art
💛 Second Mom Friend™
💛 Will pet a rock
💛 Always has good advice
💛 Paint. Paint everywhere. Behind nails, ears, eyelids, walls, windows. Everywhere
💛 Good listener
💛 Knows when you need a hug
💛 Biggest procrastinator of them all
💛 Stereotypical Hufflepuff
💛 Is sick of anxiety dictating her life

So that’s a short summary (meme??) of my kids! Turns out I know them pretty well, but I wonder if all of this is even in the WIP?? I know that Reyna being the previous student council president isn’t, because I came up with that not too long ago. But the other stuff?? I DON’T KNOW. I NEED TO EDIT. EXCEPT I WANT TO FINISH IT FIRST #writerproblems.

I hope that was interesting/fun to read? And hopefully that made my WIP less vague, at least a little bit haha. Can you relate to any of these characters? If you were to describe your characters in this way/as memes, how would you describe them? TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR KIDS

Snippets: How To Flirt 101 by Andrew Lewis and Yong-sun is a Blue Cow

As I mentioned in my last weekly wrap up, I won Camp NaNo! And what better way to celebrate than sharing some snippets? i dunno Michelle maybe actually writing

Without further ado, let’s get started

I promise that by now I’ve changed *finger guns* to a proper sentence

rip Andrew Lewis

Also his flirting isn’t exactly working so maybe don’t follow his class

I can hear you guys think: ‘ghosts? But Michelle, I thought this was a regular contemporary?’ Yeah, there aren’t any real ghosts. Just two silly boys playing a prank  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Honestly this is my favourite scene in the entire book (for those of you not familiar, this is the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, or at least part of it)

Acceptance is the last step Yong-sun, I’m proud of you

Shout out to whoever’s guess as to what this is about is closest to the real thing

So Drew is getting war flashbacks from this horrible restaurant they went to in Rome and honestly, same. I mean, that scene was based on my own experience when I was there with school. I will never forget that pizza that looked like the disgusting cafeteria food from Ned’s Declassified Guide

So those are my snippets! I might post something else about my WIP next week, but I’m not sure yet. If you saw a typo or something in one of the snippets, please let me know!

How did you do on Camp NaNo? How is your writing going in general? Are you a blue cow? Let me know in the comments!

The Writer’s Tag | Where I Talk About My WIP (Sort Of – I Tried)

Since it’s NaNoWriMo (and this blog technically is also a writing blog) I’ve been on the lookout for some fun writing tags. Thus I found The Writer’s Tag on Head in the Clouds.

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

Mostly fantasy, though my current WIP (like the one I’m trying to focus on instead of all the others) is a contemporary. I’m also planning a detective series though.

I’ve found that I often focus a lot on friendship, no matter the genre. I just have a soft spot for friendship and definitely prefer it to romance (though I do love my ships). Some other topics I often write about are anxiety, loss, grief, PTSD, family, corruption and discovering yourself. There’s probably more but my mind is drawing a blank haha.

How long have you been writing?

This may sound cliché but it’s true: as long as I can remember. I can’t pinpoint an exact moment when I started writing, nor do I remember what my first story was. I’ve just been making up stories and characters as long as I remember.

Why do you write?

Because I can

Because I love how I can immerse myself in all these exciting worlds and do whatever I want.

Because I can express myself and my feelings throughout my stories and characters.

Because I’ve always had trouble expressing myself through speech, so I feel so free when I can write my words down

Because I love it

When is the best time to write?

Whenever I can, and when I say can when my mind is in the right place and I’m not too exhausted. School can drain all of my creativity out of me which makes it hard to write during the school year. Other than that, time of day doesn’t really matter.

What parts of writing do you love and hate?

I love the excitment when you come up with a fun new idea, when everything comes together and you can picture your world and characters, when you reach that stage where you feel like you know your characters in and out, when you figure out how to fix an annoying plot hole, when inspiration (finally) strikes and how the world seems to fall away when you’re writing.

I hate that my mind keeps coming up with new exciting ideas when I still need to finish other stories, I hate when I come up with great ideas/scenes/lines/etc when I’m lying in my bed trying to sleep, I hate how school and life in general can get in the way of writing and just suck all of your creativity out of you and obviously I hate writer’s block (related to the previous one, but I can still get writer’s block when school and life aren’t getting in the way of course).

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I probably don’t? I usually get writing’s block during the school year and I have no idea what to do. I’m so stressed and exhausted that I can’t get myself to write, even though there are times that I want to (and actually have the time). So sorry no wise advice from me haha

Are you working on something at the moment?

I am! I’m working on my contemporary WIP that was my Camp NaNo project last year and this year as well. I’m having a lot of trouble summarising/explaining it without giving too much away so here’s my summary on my NaNo page: ‘Friendship, banter, food, karaoke, The Gay™, Dora the Explorer Discourse (I’m not even joking I really hope people will find this very very long scene as hilarious as I do lmao)’

Yes there’s is Dora the Explorer Discourse. And it takes up several pages. I should be ashamed of that shouldn’t I

I’m not thoughAnyway it’s very light and fluffy though it tackles some more serious issues like anxiety, bullying and abusive parents too.

Other than that I’m always planning and thinking of other stories. Like just two days ago I started planning a new novel (*whispers* send help). Like I mentioned before I’m planning a detective series, there’s still my urban fantasy series The Chosen Ones that I’m planning all over again because I’m not satisfied with it at all), a superheroes story (might be a series) and a retelling (standalone contemporary). And about a million other ideas floating around in my head

What are your writing goals this year?

Just write more in general. But also finish my Camp NaNo project. Not necessarily this month (that’s definitely not going to happen with the way my month is going), but I really want to finally finish it so I can start working on other projects

I TAG

Whoever wants to do this!

What are you currently working on? And what are your goals? Also any tips on how to deal with writer’s block? Let me know in the comments!

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Sharing 7 Lines From the WIP

Back in 2015 I did the 777 Challenge. Though I wasn’t tagged in it this time, I thought I’d bring it back because 1) I barely talk about writing on here anymore and this blog needs to live up to its name and 2) it’s NaNoWriMo so what better time than to share some lines!

In this challenge you have to share seven lines from the seventh page of (one of) your WIP(s) and then tag 7 bloggers. This year I’m working on the same contemporary novel as last year, as school got in the way and I never got around to working on it. I really hope that this year I’ll be able to finish it. Fingers crossed!

Wow I forgot that the reason it’s called 777 challenge because you have to share seven lines from the seventh page of your WIP. I just chose some lines  I liked woops haha. While I would’ve liked to share that snippet, I’m going to stick to the rules so here are seven lines from the seventh page:

 

I don’t know about you but besides the Drew one this list is really me. Then again Yong Sun, the protagonist, is a lot like me.

I tag:

May | Kat | Eve | Charlotte | Holly | Marie | YOU!

If I tagged you don’t feel obligated to do this!

Are you participating in Camp NaNo? How’s it going? If you’re not participating, how’s the writing going anyway? Let me know in the comments!

Goals for 2017 (Which I’ll Probably Fail At *cue maniacal laughter*)

Welp look at that negativity. I like to see it as realism though. Looking at the goals I set for myself in 2015 and 2016 and how many I failed at… Oh well, I still think it’s fun to set myself goals and it means I can make lists!!

As I’ve said in my December wrap up I’m no longer setting any reading goals for myself except for the Goodreads one (I’m once again aiming for 100 books), because at some point I forget about them anyway and it put too much pressure on me. Of course there’s a high chance that somewhere during the year I change my mind when I find a fun challenge to join haha.

So what goals am I setting for myself?

Writing 

  • Like last year, I’m setting up the goal of: just write 
  • Work on my grandfather’s biography
  • Work on all my outlines
  • Finish at least one of my WIPs
  • Maybe start the Young Writers Chat again

Blogging

  • Change my layout – I don’t think I’ll change my theme and I’m happy with my graphics, but I want my blog to be more colourful
  • Try to blog regularly again
  • Catch up on reviews
  • Catch up on tags
  • Become the Scheduling Queen™ I used to be again
  • Catch up on blogposts I need to read
  • Follow more blogs
  • Become more active in the blogging community again

I’ll probably come up with more goals throughout the year (though I hope not since I might not even complete these haha). So uh wish me luck?

What are your goals for this year? Are you setting yourself any reading goals? Let me know in the comments!

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