Revelations in Writing: The truth is I’ve always struggled with choosing topics and narrowing the scope of my ideas for any written work. All through grade school and even in college I had too many ideas for papers, essays and reports. It’s just something I’ve had to work with for as long as I’ve been writing.
As you know, gentle reader, I’ve been struggling with War In Flesh almost since the day I started it. I wrote a gorgeous outline. I had grand ideas about sending my characters to even stranger new lands than I had in the first book: In The Flesh. I dreamed up this entirely new monster to be an unwitting harbinger of destruction. It seemed like such a grand story to tell. I was very well pleased with this monster that has no place in the book.
Because I realized that therein lies the problem. It was too much. It was too grand and too far to go. The monster was fabulously, deliciously horrible but required far too much background and setup. The entire journey was too far, too much, too slow. The past few weeks I’ve been rethinking the whole thing. I scrapped the outline and went back to my original idea for a scene in the book. This is important too—always go with your gut.
When I was working on getting my engineering degree I learned that my first answer in Calculus, in Thermodynamics, in any of the higher math classes was far and away the correct one. Now I’ve had to learn that lesson about my writing too. Likely I’ll forget because I’m a bit stubborn and sometimes a complete doofus but eventually it’ll sink in.
After several weeks of thinking about the story and the characters, and beating myself up for not getting more actual writing done on the project I dreamed up a plotline that I believe will be just right. It has a lot more dramatic elements from the get-go, rather than a lot of travel and scene setting. I feel it is considerably more dynamic too. The proof of the pudding though is that last night, for the first time in weeks, I had to stop writing before I was ready to.
I look forward to picking up where I left off last night and writing even more. I know it seems odd, it seems actually counterintuitive but I know when what I’m writing is right because it feels right. When I’m writing something good it just flows from me. When I try to follow the “rules” of writing we were all taught in school it turns a joyous process into drudgery and I feel that comes through in the finished work.
Stephen King is right, at least in my experience, it has to flow organically. The plot has to go wherever it takes me, the characters, when I’m really writing them, tell me what they will do and sometimes it is nothing like what I intended them to do.
Also, I know I posted this yesterday but the print copies of my book are gorgeous. They make the weeks of formatting and cussing like a sailor all worth it. As always I will keep you updated and I do hope you enjoy reading what I’ve written. K.