Sunday, October 20, 2013

Make Her Stop!

Am I bored, or am I just doing this wrong?

That is the question that is flicking my ear as I write this. It is half-six AM, and I have been writing and plotting Book 2 all nightmorn. To kickstart the work, I'm trying a new technique that is essentially a fat version of cork-boarding. I have little digicards with chapter titles and rough descriptions, and then a thoroughly condensed page or two for each digicard that will, in time, be edited into proper chapters of the actual manuscript.

I've never really done it this way. Book 1 was written with more of a shotgun style--I had a cool scene in my head, I wrote it, and then I worked my way through the whole book with a fine toothed comb. Some awesome scenes ended up getting the boot as a result, but it meant I was always working, because I was always indulging whatever inspiration I was feeling.

That's less of an option this time, because I have people actually waiting to read what I've got. Y'know, in order.

A side effect of this is that I have been plagued with doubt nuggets, as I briefly mentioned in yesterday's post. I'm not sure I'm starting this book in the right place, but if I skip forward to the bits I'm really, really excited about, then there are some very key happenings that will just sort of...not happen. Things that really, really have to happen in order for...anything else to happen.

Part of the problem lies in the way Book 1 ended (no spoilers!). Book 2 starts by resolving a lot of the things that were left over to plague our sweet morbid protaganista--or at least acknowledging them. Some loose strings have to be knotted together before we can move forward to the real action.

I just worry that this will get boring for readers. But I also realize that it might just be boring for me because I've spent SO MUCH time in this scenario. I am committed to writing out at least a rough version of all of these shenanigans, because I will be able to make sense of it all if it is out of my head. But even with what I have, I'm still just not sure.

So I suppose the question I have to ask myself is this: am I writing the first three pages of any given Animorph book (verbatim identical to previous renditions) or am I writing the Dursley Summer section of any given Harry Potter book (awesome and completely necessary)?

Does it bug me because I'm bored, or because I'm doing it wrong?

The kicker is, I will not have a proper answer. Possibly ever. Certainly not until this section is all finished and I get real-life reader's opinions on it. And this is pretty much my mental state for every good thing I've ever written. My favorite ME WRITE GOOD story is, and perhaps always will be, the fact that I hated Book 1 when I first started working on it. I didn't want to go past the first two chapters. I wrote them out of desperation, to show that I still knew how to work a keyboard, and because I needed to have something to awkwardly shove at my writer's group. They lurved it, and forced me to write more. That turned out okay, I guess.

So, this blog is complaining me.


I'm going to clock in one more digicard rough chapter and then possibly go to bed for a few hours. Then I will probably have some coffee, and get back to work.

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