New Ideas Shouldn’t Erase Your Old Plans

I felt it was easy to start writing out chapter one for my latest murder novel because I thought I had the plans figured out. The story was going to start with a couple of parents unsettled with the murder of their son. This was relatively easy to write. You could imagine how any parent would act if their child was murdered. You close your eyes and the images of their expected actions play out like the beginning of a crime show on TV. The images were easy for me to see so I was super excited. Writing out the expected actions of upset parents was a breeze. The true struggle was presented when it was time to type out what my investigatior would do to start solving the tough case. 

Once again, I had to stop writing and step away for a little while to think through my original plan. My story would call for all the questions to be pulled forward right away. Who? What? Where? When? Why? My readers would be asking the questions right along with the investigator looking into the case. It would bring forward the excitement and lock my readers into the story. With my block appearing once again I felt truly heartbroken. 

I thought my only solution was to erase it all and start over with a new direction…

I was beginning to think it would be a lot easier for me to write the story from another character’s point of view. This other character is a female professor. It would be easier to write from her POV because I could sort out different matters she takes on with my husband. He knows what it’s like to be on college (he’s been in the college setting for many years now) and how a professor acts. His mind holds all the knowledge I need on the matter and I could pick at it any time I need help. 

It was a great solution but no matter how many times I tried I couldn’t find the will to erase what was written from the investigator’s side. His starting story was written so well and it made me so proud to be able to say I wrote those words. 

Another plan hit me and I’m so excited.

I have saved the start of my original plan in my computer as “Version 1.” I titled it this way so I can place my original plans on hold and start working on “Version 2.” I don’t think it’s a very good idea to work on two stories at once, but I’m not going to progress each one at the same speed. I’m going to start typing “Version 2” only to see if it is easier for me to start the mystery with a different path. Whichever way feels the best is the way I will choose to continue writing. I won’t let any of my ideas go until I know for a fact I have found the correct answer. I think this is a decent plan to figure out how I want this tale to come to life.

Do you start over from a blank page if you want to change your idea? Or do you save all your ideas?

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