Typically I’m the sort of writer who, if I try to nail the plot down before I write the first draft, I get bored with the story. I’m also write more-or-less chronologically and, when I get halfway done, the story collapses like a house of cards, only to come back better and stronger and awesome.
For the soon to be current WiP (after Seditember), I’m going to have to do things differently. Why?
This one started as a short story a number of years ago. I loved it, but I saw the potential for bigger and better and awesome. And then, I became bogged down in too many details with it. Decided I was bored with it. Went on to write Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte and Other Tales. Couldn’t decide on a direction (YA? Paranormal suspense? Paranormal romance?) Couldn’t decide what Cool and Awesome and Riddled with Strife and Angst story to tell. Bogged it down. Switched main characters. Gave up. Got the germ of another idea for an unrelated story. Woke up talking to the MC in the story that would not give up . . . you know how it goes.
Because this MC is coming at me with so much stuff I knew right away MC was talking serial. And, I admit it. I baulked. Dug my feet in. It’s what I do. Ask Beth.
This is why I know I need to, at the least, do chapter summaries for myself. Because, I need to keep myself focused. There’s too much cool and awesome stuff to explore with this MC, and it can’t happen all in the first book, and I need to remember that. (Yes. First book. I’ve got a pretty good idea of books 1-3 and the beginning of 4 already in mind). So, I’m going to break out a notebook and do chapter summaries in between editing moments during this, Seditember. (Such a spazz! “I’m going to edit and when I need a break from editing I’m going to plot!”) I dunno how it’ll go. I’m hoping it’ll keep me engaged and not bore me. I hope it won’t backfire and make me bored with the story. I think this one isn’t going to let me go until I write it, so . . .
Starting in October my goal is 25k words a month. Reasonable goals when I get most of my writing done on the weekend, and by the end of December I should have 75k. (We’ll ignore the part about writing wherein you can write thousands upon thousands of words in a sitting and end up only a few hundred ahead, or, heh, with a negative count. That’s not part of my plan and thus it does not factor in. Sssh)
What’s your preferred approach to writing, in terms of working out the plot?