Thursday, 21 May 2015

Yes, I Need a Plan..

I've been thinking- seriously...
The past few weeks have been a struggle with my writing.

It's not that I've lost my enthusiasm, or lack ideas- still too many to get through- but I've realised that I'm a flexible planner; just writing the story as I go along doesn't work for me. I need thinking time...

While the current work in progress (the contemporary romance) has been evolving, I've learnt more about my characters, but they're still a bit too two dimensional at times.

It's okay when they're having an emotional scene, they come alive, but between times they flatten out because I don't know enough about them. While they talk to me I know they're holding important information back, and it's that deep down stuff I need to get to to round them out.

Also secondary characters and incidental ones have turned up as part of the plot, and while it's not essential I know a lot about the latter, I do need to know a bit more about the former.

At the moment I feel like bits of the border of the jigsaw puzzle are missing, and it's making it harder to complete the whole picture.

I also know there are important areas of research I need to clarify.

Usually I research as much as I feel I need to start with, based on the characters and my general plot outline, before I begin writing. But because I only had a few basics to start with, and a lot more questions have arisen as I've gone along, and I've had to note in the manuscript that info is needed on x.

Yes, I need to find out other information as I go along on my planned stories, but never in as much depth as I need with this current story.

I roughly know where I'm going with it, but I need a better plan, and more thorough character bios than I have at the minute.

And my historical novella is demanding attention too, the second draft has been on hold too long and I need to get back to it.

So I've decided that I'm going to spend the next week creating those detailed bios, and chapter outlines- they're not set in stone, elements can be moved around if need-be. And the really important research items will help.

I feel certain that once those are done I will make better progress, and hopefully get the first draft completed.

I now know the writing system that works for me. I just need to build on it to get the most words out of it.

Nothing is wasted, because the story will get written...

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at www.freedigitalphotos,net


liz young said...

I like the jigsaw analogy - it sums the dilemma up well.

Patsy said...

I never know quite what it is that turns my characters into people for me. I start writing having to remind myself that X is the one who does that and Y does this and then I find I know them. I suppose it's very much the same when we meet anyone new.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hope your plan works for you, Carol. I still can't create character profile or any detailed plot lines as I'm sure I'd not write the book! Wish I could plan a bit more but I usually let my characters take shape as they go along and keep everything else in my head (thought that might not work for much longer!).

Carolb said...

It was the only thing that made sense when I looked at what was wrong, Lizy.

Carolb said...

Good point, Patsy. I've learnt over the years that different things work for different writers, and in the end you just have to find what works for you personally.

Carolb said...

I'm much more hopeful, Rosemary.

I do keep a lot of the plot and characters in my head, but find that it makes it difficult to recognise why a character isn't working, or doing something out of character. I find writing my character profiles down helps me develop the individual- as well as clear my mind.

Maxi said...

Good luck with the plan, Carol. I sketch details of my main characters but I think I might start doing a little more in depth, just as an experiment, to see if I find as to whether it makes any difference to me as I write.

Carolb said...

Thanks, Maxi. I've found it helps me clear my head, and I then have a better idea of how my characters will react to certain events, plus I pick up on their subtle clues much quicker.:-)

Good luck with your experiment.

Wendy's Writing said...

You could be describing my own novel, Carol. I'm now seeing the flaw in my 'let's just see where it takes me' approach.

Carolb said...

A novel is a new adventure for you, Wendy, so of course you'll not have discovered what works for you yet.

You might find it helpful to write down what you do know now, as sometimes that can help you see possibilities that you hadn't thought of before, and can trigger other bits of the plot or subplot.

Good luck with it, Wendy. :-)