When at first you don’t succeed

2013/05/13 § Leave a comment

Arrrgh!

Yeah, you heard me. Aaaeearrrggghh!

I suck. One week in and I’m already behind…

Not entirely. I gave myself two weeks to plan before starting to write for real, but this is not going as well as I would’ve hoped. It’s my eternal problem. I have all these disparate ideas, a portion of a setting, a piece of a message, a shadow of a character. They just don’t coalesce into anything writable.

I think my problem is impatience. I’m keeping everything in my head, and it doesn’t work there, but it’s as if I’m expecting for the words to pop out fully assembled into neat sentences and paragraphs and chapters.

I need to be more systematic. Put things on paper. Good planning is the key to smooth writing, as the very talented Rachel Aaron has said.

I like her 5-step method, but I’ve tried it a little bit and I’m not sure it’s the right fit. A similar approach that I think might suit me best is the Snowflake Method. Again, haven’t tried it fully, but at first brush it seems an interesting concept: first, write a sentence; then, write five, building around the first; and so on, with the plot and the characters, etc. It calls to the systemacist in me (hurrah for made-up words!).

I’ve been searching for the One-Sentence Summary of my story. Finding the “right” one is haaaaaaaaard…

I have a setting, and a general idea of the context, but the specific characters, the plot, remain elusive. What I have to ask myself is, what is my story about? What’s my Big Idea? What characters are best placed to incarnate that idea? Who would I enjoy telling stories about? What gets me engaged when reading?

Not sure yet, but getting there. I promise I’ll let you know.

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