Saturday, 26 January 2013

It's All In the Mind...

Well my characters and plots are in my mind. In fact there will always be one or two of them wanting attention to reveal a snippet of vital information, or a sentence of dialogue that tells me something important- but they are usually the characters who are in a different story to the one I'm currently writing!

(Jago, from my Dorset novel, popped in this morning and mentioned something that told me a little more about how his sister's death effected him, in a similar way to his step-brother- my hero, Marcus.)

Since I've started my minimum words a week target I've noticed a change in my mind-set with how I approach my writing.

Previously I tried to do longer writing sessions with the plan that I would do more of a chapter. But in fact it was the reverse, I actually got less done...

Now that I'm not worrying about it, I'm actually writing more. While I'm completing scenes in the current chapter, it's actually giving me time to think about the next bit for when I start writing again.

I looked at my chapter outlines the other day (written earlier last year) and realised that the scene I'm currently working on hadn't been mentioned in the outline.

It came about because I realised that I needed to bring Hugh and Sarah back into contact, after a short chapter apart, and there was an opportunity to do so just by developing the end of the planned scene.

As I see it, this is just my writing style developing a little further.

Twelve years ago, I would have said I didn't like planning. I needed a start and end point, then a few points I knew I needed along the way, so I'd make it up as I went along.

But now I couldn't work that way...

I know my story and my characters, and as before I have certain points that I need to include- but these are more detailed than previously; but now I see the elements that can be expanded upon to reinforce my plot, or my characters' development- a skill I didn't have before.

Also, I see where I need to concentrate on areas in Chapter 2 and 3 when I get to the revision process.

Basically I'm no longer looking at the story as a scary 50,000+ words that I need to get written, just the next 500 words of the scene, or linking scene- small bits at a time...

Now my mind says it can be done. I just have to do it.

This week's total: 1,007 words.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hope this continues to works well for you, Carol!

Patsy said...

I'm the same re planning. I didn't use to like the idea, but for longer pieces I now consider it an important step.

liz young said...

My plans are always sketchy now because I know they will change dramatically as the story develops. If I tried to stick to a rigid plan I'd never manage. we're all different, thank gods!

Carolb said...

Thanks, Rosemary.:-)

Everything is on a bigger scale in a novel than in a short story.

I've never tried the planning out with a short story, Patsy- perhaps that's what I need to try next time. :-)

Some writers do work better your way, Lizy. You have to find what works for you. :-)