I'm never satisfied with this chapter?

Question: I've spent about a year writing, outlining, and researching for my novel. Everything was going fine... until Chapter Twenty Four. I've rewritten the whole thing about five times now, and I'm never happy with it. I've tried stopping, leaving it, and continuing after a three day break, but upon seeing my (bad) work I just lose all interest in the story. Do you have any tips on how to continue?

(My story is a science fiction novel, set in the future, and the chapter that I'm working on involves the main characters sneaking into a government party).

Answer: If you know generally what must happen in chapter 24, you could skip it for now and move on to chapter 25. By the time you finish the rest of the manuscript, you may have a better sense of what needs to happen in chapter 24 and what seems to be holding you up.

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Mar 15, 2013
Vainglorious Perfectionism At The Expense Of Your Story Is Unnecessary Overkill
by: Todd Rogers

In storytelling, there IS such a thing as too much of a good thing.

So, just imagine for a minute the idea that too much thinking not only is detrimental to your story, but unnecessary overkill that serves no purpose but to fill pages between one story element that worked and another.

I believe that detail, for its own sake, can make the chapter subject matter or current story throughline take on an overly dramatic or self serving quality that might look to the reader as you trying to show off for your benefit, and that can be all it takes to lose a reader.

Sometimes we, as writers, have to commit to a story plot line that we worry will either develop our characters too much or not enough.

My take on this is...if you're having trouble with infiltrating a government party, take some elements from movies that have people infiltrating high visibility parties....I would recommend, The Dark Knight, Mission Impossible, True Lies (Arnold Schwarzeneggar) and movies or TV shows like Covert Affairs to get tips and tricks on how to get in to that party.

Like Glenn said, if you're having that much difficulty, move on to the next chapter or next story throughline until you settle on an acceptable course of events.

Some questions to ask yourself:

1) What kind of government is this party for?
2) Where is the party taking place? If a private residence, is the security more visible in the way of personal bodies in suits and dark sunglasses (or blaster cannons) or invisible with stealth technology disabling sensor apparatuses that compliment physical security forces?

If a government building, is security a coordinated effort between the hosts' guard and the details of the visiting dignitaries?

3) Regardless, is there a way to replace a guard with one of your story's good guys? Is there a crack in the proverbial armor to exploit?

4) What is the goal of the party? This question hearkens back to Question 1 but demands a different set of criteria to meet the answer here.

Whatever it is you do, the opulence of the party from the foods to the flasks or flutes that hold the expensive centuries old spirits that are being imbibed, or the noticeable LACK of opulence perhaps, can give us, the readership, an idea as to how such a party could be crashed BELIEVEABLY.

And that is my point here.

Whatever you decide to do, make a decision, commit to it, write it out from beginning to end, and then see if the aftermath of your decisions, both good and bad, can be lived with in the context of story that comes after the party.

Just make it believable!

If you can accomplish believability, then your readers can forgive a lack of usual poetic genius you would otherwise be noted for.

Good luck to you!

Nov 13, 2013
A couple ideas
by: Anonymous

You want to be able to write a good novel, and it's worked up until chapter 24. The question is, is it just chapter 24, or the way the previous chapters lead up to chapter 24? if it is just chapter 24, and you know what will happen, than skip 24, and come back to 25. By the time you finish all the other chapters, or even just 25, maybe you'll be able to write it. If it is the previous chapters, too, make changes in the previous chapters to make it so that it leads up to 24 better.

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