Writing and fun

Writing is not always fun. Sometimes, it’s all you can do just to plunk yourself into your chair and force out the words. It really sort of depends on where you are in the process, and what ideas you have brewing in your mind. A blank page can be hard if you don’t have good ideas or don’t know how to express them. Or it can be fun if you have a great idea–planned out or not–and you’re not afraid of sucking, so you dive right in.

The middle can bog you down if you suddenly realize you don’t have any idea where this thing you’ve been writing is going. Or you can not even notice you’re in the middle because you’re too busy getting words on the page.

An almost-finished manuscript can be fun if you have this Awesome Climax to the story in mind and can’t wait to write it. Or you can be like me lately, dragging myself to the finish line because I need to get this draft done, even if my head is already fifty miles down the road imagining the second draft.

I have noted in here before that I am somewhat of a Pantser, which makes the first draft of the story basically a really long, complicated, meandery “outline,” the primal goo out of which the “real” story will emerge in later drafts. I am a Pantser because no matter how much I try to outline upfront before I start, 90% of all that hard work will evaporate in a puff of smoke when I start actually writing and learn who my characters Really Are and What They Want, and what the Story is Really About.

I’m eager to get past the really long prose narrative outline I call the “first draft” and start planning out the actual story now. But I have, I am figuring, about four chapters to go. So I am forcing it out, because I won’t have a good idea how the story ought to end unless I make at least one attempt to write an ending.

My second draft process is going to have some upfront work before I start writing. I want to do a little Plot Whisperer analysis and some big-picture planning of what I am determined is going to be a book series. I hope all that left-brainedness doesn’t suck my enthusiasm dry. There will be right-brainy stuff to take the story to the next level, to pull the novel–and the series–out of that deep, hidden part of my brain where it’s hiding.

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