Plodding or plotting along?

As I sit here munching on a homemade Ceasar salad complete with aged Parmesan Reggiano and anchovies I’m at 19 pgs done and counting for the week. Hmmm. Eating and typing. Hey! I can multi-task after all.

Okay, so I’m not Speedy Gonzales when it comes to writing, (for those of you old enough to know who I’m talking about) but I’m plodding along pretty steadily. Unfortunately, my plotting board and my WIP don’t jive. Remember that board?

I had it all worked out. Pink stickies for Claire’s scenes, blue ones for Travis. Dark blue peeking out underneath certain scenes for the secret baby subplot. Lime green for the cancer subplot It’s kinda pretty, you know? I even figured out how to drop in a secondary romance with an older couple that parallels the primary one. After all, I still have yellow and mint green stickies unused.

I’m feeling pretty good about this and I’ve got about 5 chapters plotted out with more scenes scattered throughout the other chapters. I know my characters and have the basic plotting done.

Then I started writing.

1st chapter done – great! Matches the board.

2nd chapter done – okay, so I had to move one scene up. There’ll probably be stuff that crops up to fill the slot nicely. I’m nothing if not optimistic. Ask my CP Linda–my glass is always 1/2 full.

3rd chapter 2/3 done. Crap! My scenes shrank. Steph, has this ever happened to you? I’m on pg. 15 and Scene 6. Ack! I just lost all of the scenes planned for Ch. 4.

Now I’m wishing I didn’t have that lovely visual up on my wall, screaming at me of my incompetence, my complete inability to “see” how the book will be once it’s written. What’s the matter with me? I’m a visual person and even a planner. I make lists for everything, planning ahead, making lists of things to do, things to include in the book, future books to write, goals for the year, etc. etc. etc.

I used to make my own clothes. I could buy a pattern, look at the fabric and know just how the outfit would look, down to buttons and trim, even with modifications. But my books only appear in detail as I’m writing them. I rarely know what’s going to come out of my character’s mouths, let alone know exactly where they’ll be and how they’ll be reacting in a week or month.

It’s driving me crazy, but I feel like the conductor of a runaway train or a passenger on one of those speeding bullet roller coasters–helpless to stop it. All I can do is hang on and see what happens. BTW, did I ever mention how much I HATE roller-coasters?

About Annie Rayburn/Carol Burnside

As an author of sizzling romance, Annie takes contemporary settings. and incorporates twists with sci-fi and paranormal elements.
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One Response to Plodding or plotting along?

  1. Steph T. says:

    >My scenes shrink all the time – I’m one of those – struggle for word count – writers. But see, I write the scenes first and then I make the sticky notes to see if I’m balancing out everything correctly, or if I need to move stuff around. But I also write out of order too – so I might not be the best example *g* The salad sounds good…

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