I have 3 book ideas taking up space in my head, along with a plethora of essays, and several short stories. I’ve wanted to dive into my new book for a while. But querying and life got the best of me, I slipped into a deep funk, and am finally appreciating the sunshine promising me warmth at the end of my dark tunnel.
A year ago I wrote the outline for my next book. It doesn’t have a title. I felt really good about the outline. If I ever write that story it’ll be cool.
But the story has matured, risen you could say if comparing it to dough, and the outline doesn’t apply.
I wrote a few pages with 2 new characters. One male. One Female. Dueling perspectives and I fell in love with them. Both of them are complex and interesting and I can’t wait to hang out with them, make them suffer, fail, and fall in love. Then I’ll probably destroy trust and find a way back to reconciliation.
I’d tell you the mash-up except I’m superstitious and I don’t want anyone stealing my idea. People do that sunconsciously sometimes, they don’t mean to hijack an idea, but they read something and forget they read it and the idea becomes theirs.
Anyway, I’ve been rereading the pages I wrote, and looking at the monitor and thinking, Well, what are waiting for? Get cracking.
NOTHING CRACKED. NO WORDS MAGICALLY TYPED. NO STORY DEVELOPED.
I grew sadder. My story was neglected and the voices in my head grew silent.
This pissed me off. I’m a goal oriented woman. So last night I wrote a few trusted writing friends and told them I wanted to complete a first draft by the end of summer. I counted the days, subtracted the weekends, and came up with this scary fact:
I have to write 1,000 words per day for the next 65 days.
Then I spent today feeling buried by the idea. I wrote emails and calculated the words thinking – do they count?
No, they don’t.
So this is what I realized. I don’t know my main characters well enough. I haven’t explored their flaws or fears. Their desires, wants or needs. I haven’t sunk into them. I don’t knowhow they define themselves verse how the world does.
I need to fix the problem. I began working on back story, character development and trigger points. I’m exploring the female’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing her to introduce herself to me. Fully forming her before I get deep into the story. It feels really good and I believe will help me crank out the draft in a much more meaningful way.
I wrote 1110 words- about her- about her trigger points, and made notes about which of her issues will make good plot points, highlighted what will make good conflict. I’m sinking into her skin so I can write about her and make her real to anyone reading her story.
It’s a good beginning.