Welcome Friday! Casey here.
I’ve been deep in the writer’s cave plotting my next two books. Doing the usual things.Thinking about my new characters. Asking the burning questions like: What do they want? What is holding them back?
I’ve also been asking – what happens next? What can I do to make their journey as difficult as possible? Not so much “how” will those things happen. I save that part for when I do the actual writing. Then the characters become real and their actions are driven by the barriers I toss in their paths.
Just thinking about the word “plotting” brings to mind a different word – scheming. Muwhahaha! Like a hand-wringing, moustache-twirling villain. Okay, minus the moustache. But I think you get my point.
As a writer, you really are contriving an entire story out of thin air – creating a whole new world that didn’t previously exist. Totally cool and frightening at the same time. And once the story is published, then that world is shared with your readers. They bring their own expectations and realities. Your world isn’t only in your head anymore.
It’s a big responsibility, which is why I spend more time on plotting, character creation, etc. than I do writing. I’ve learned the hard way that planning ahead works best for me.
But with planning comes the ability to know when to stop, put a stake in the ground and
say, “this is what the story will be.”
Again, also a scary step. That means committment to the ideas you’ve set forth and implementing them.
Yes, it means that you need to let go of all the “what ifs” and move ahead with the story you’ve concocted in your head. To not become distracted (or perhaps, seduced) by those nagging plot bunnies.
Have no fear! I know I am not the only Scribe who has started a book (or even written the whole thing) and scrapped it later. That is not a bad thing. It can make you a stronger writer and the book better (as long as you know when to let it go – but that is a different blog post).
But, in order to get there, you have to start writing and finish that first draft. You just do. Not to go all “Mom”, but if you want to be a published author, you have to know when to let go of the idea phase and move to the writing phase.
What has your experience been? How do you know when to start writing? Have you ever started too soon and ended up in a corner later? How did you get out?