>A few weeks ago (months?) I mentioned working on a method of writing called First Draft In 30 Days (FDi30D). Suffice it to say that this re-write has taken me much longer than 30 days.
Why? Because I’m a pantster, and there are times when being a pantster is a pain in the ass. I can plot and plan only so much before starting to write, or the story loses it’s luster for me. I’m a trifle slow, but my process is finally starting to solidify–I think. Unless my process is that every book has a different process. No. I won’t even go there. The possibility makes me ill.
I can delve into the characters, and enjoy doing so. I develop backgrounds for them, find pictures of them. I can get the basic plot and subplot lines in my head. Sometimes, I even see some of the story arcs. But the discovery part for me, the ah-ha! moments and the joy of writing comes when I get what the character is feeling and it opens up a clear path ahead. It may only be a few scenes ahead, or a couple chapters, but those lightbulb moments are worth the journey. The writer’s journey.
What brought this on, you say?
Despite the sense of urgency over getting a requested full onto an editor’s desk, I’ve been “tweaking” a couple scenes for as many weeks. I haven’t updated the progress meter on revisions of A Suitable Wife because I kept expecting I’d get it just right any day and bust out of the gate. It didn’t happen.
I won’t go into all the boring distractions that have been mine around the house lately. Suffice it to say, there have been plenty. With my scatterbrained approach, can we spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r and f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-i-o-n?
Finally, in a huff (or in desperation) last night, I pulled out my notebook and pen and began making notes.
What is my focus for this scene?
What is his goal or belief at the beginning?
What will prove him wrong?
And then I realized…he’s MALE! Of course he’ll believe he’s proven himself correct. He’ll see what he wants to because of his background. But this will be a case of the character getting what he wants, only to discover it wasn’t what he wanted at all–a hollow victory, the result of which will set the next disaster in play.
Wonderful! I’m off to write.
A minor epiphany for me and the character. Yay!
>Don’t you love those lightbulb moments? I don’t think the process ever gets any easier. I’m dealing with revisions on a requested full too, and they’ve taken me far longer than I ever anticipated. Of course I had a master’s thesis to finish during that time, and some other life stuff that derailed me too. I take a step forward, two back, three forward, four back, etc. Sometimes I think I’m running in place. 🙂
>I love those aha-moments. Take it and run. 🙂
>Lynn,Ah, yes, life. THAT’s what got in the way! LOL. Hey, I heard you’re moving – where to? Drop me a line, will ya?Eli,I’m trying! I’m trying.
>A fellow panster! I find being a panster totally frustrating! But the AHA! moment can make up for it:-)Morag