Oct 14, 2008


This is an update post on the story that I am writing with a partner. We started our story, wrote a few scenes then hit a road block. Taking a few days off, we came back at it, still stymied. Took a few more days off (RL takes up a lot of time, ha), came back and didn't like what we had written but felt it was necessary background information. A setup to the main plot.

Suddenly, I had a flash of brilliance. So I IM'ed the new idea, she liked it. I wrote it up. Then something happened. She thought it was the next scene, I thought we were starting over with a better "hook." So we argued about that until we decided to call it quits for the night.

Having never married or had children, I never really had to compromise much except at work. So this whole concept of compromise is alien to me to begin with, and I must say I don't like it. I couldn't see her POV, she couldn't see mine. We signed off both feeling a bit angry at each other and frustrated with our story.

After exchanging emails, we decided to keep the new scene and see if it fits into the story. Ok, that's what I told her. But the truth is, I don't like what we've written before, it's boring.

Am I suppose to compromise here and hope she comes around to my POV or take my stand on this hill? Any ideas out there?

BTW, I'm super excited about our online chapter and can't wait to get started. Thanks ANWA for coming up with a great idea for those of us who are far away from active chapters. The timing was perfect for the two of us here on the Gulf Coast.


  1. Hi Terri,

    Since you asked for opinions (and mine is no more than that!), since I'm presuming you're still working with an early (as opposed to final) draft of your story, I'd just let the argument go for now. Keep the new scene and see where the rest of the story goes. Maybe when you have a full draft finished, your partner will have a new perspective "on the whole" and agree that some of the early stuff should be chopped out.

    Most writing advice I've read says that the first chapter you write rarely ends up being your first chapter in the final version. Most writers recognize in the end that the "original" first chapter wasn't actually the "starting point" of the story, and hence cut it out. But it often takes that first/early writing just to get the story going, so it's not a loss in effort, even if you cut it out afterwards.

    If I'm understanding the situation correctly (i.e., that your working on a 1st or early draft), I wouldn't make an issue out of it for now. 1st drafts are supposed to be messy, as you figure out where the story is going. So I'd wait to take your stand (if still necessary) after you and your partner finish a completed draft.

    My 2 cents, which were certainly worth more a few weeks ago than they are with the current market today!

  2. Terri ~

    I'd just let it be for now, but something to consider is how many valiant and unbelievably strong (and opinionated) men came together to create our great nation. Without compromise, it never would have happened. Sometimes, giving a little, yields a lot ~ just one viewpoint, for what it's worth!!

  3. I'm currently in a writing course titled "Crafting the Character-based Novel" with several other LDS women taught by Pamela Goodfellow. He approach is different than any other writing course I've taken - which were all plot based. Anyway she doesn't have us write from the beginning to the end, but rather scenes. Each scene requires a set up - and a follow-up. According to her it takes around 100 scenes to create a novel. so - I'd focus on scenes - don't worry about the beginning - the end until you get at least 75% written. Then lay things out and look at where you need to add, subtract, rearrange for dramatic effect and so forth.
    Hope that helps,

  4. Which would you rather do -- write with a partner and compromise? or write on your own? There's always at least two sides to choose from.

    I'm also in Margaret's class, and agree she gave good advice. Also, as the Primary song says, "Search, ponder and pray," to which I'd add, "And keep writing."


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