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Writing Books/Trouble finishing what I start


Hi!  I have been writing fiction stories for the last ten years now.  I have so many because I get partway in and decide to switch over to another idea... then I think that same character would go good with this other one, that leads to another story, and so on.  All of them are dark/vampire romance-based but have an in depth story to boot. I intend for the characters to be well developed and keep the story from being a typical "wham bam" romance novel.  I just can't see it to the end for some reason.  I get distracted by other ideas and end up with 10 versions of the same general idea.  After doing this for a decade, I really want to stick to one and get it published.  The more I read of the romance that is out there, the more I think "Hey, I can do that!" but, after the first 15k words into a story, that idea fades away.

Thanks in advance!  ~Elly

Hi Elly,

Your dilemma is a very common one. Not to worry, don't distress but rejoice in it... it means you are absolutely creative, thinking well in advance, organized, and ingenious.
Bravo and kuddos to you!

Now, let's harness all that and put it to work for us and plan. The old cliche; "plan your work and work your plan" comes to mind and applies to you (and every writer).

Start by keeping a spiral notebook next to you, and any where you go IF (and you probably do) think of things at odd times and places....

Jot those ideas down... maybe section the notebook into categories, with the main character being one category, chapter another, plot, sub plots, other characters categorized, twists, possibilities (the "what ifs") and general ideas... there is no limit on the categories you can create for ONE book.

You can write a book and create so many different aspects that it's easy to be fooled into thinking it's another story entirely, when in fact, it's your character telling you what he wants in his development and evolution! Yes, it's true.

You see, that character is YOU, he/she is inside you, another part of your own personality, even if fictional-- he/she is you. That creative part of your brain and personality that no one knows except you and your character that's speaking to you.

Once you go off on another tangent and direction, stop. Yes, just stop the writing and concentrate on your ideas, jotting them down, playing them out in your creative imagination.

Then, see how they can be utilized in the story, or creating it into a sub plot within the story, and write those ideas in to it or in the following chapter-- even adding it in to a previous chapter that leads up to one of the "ideas."

Rejoice your mind's distractions because it isn't a "distraction" but bright, new, and creative sub plots!

See if that doesn't help you and let me know. I have confidence it will.

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Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

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I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

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