Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Life As A Plotter--Progress Report

Along with forgetting what my goals are, I don’t keep track of my writing progress. If it weren’t for my blog, I wouldn’t even know when I started my latest WIP, and I don’t have a clue how fast or slow I’m progressing. Which is a shame, because it would be nice to know whether my efforts at plotting beforehand are bearing fruit. Something tells me they are.

I’m here to say I’ve witnessed one advantage right off the bat. Usually when I finish a scene (let alone a chapter), there’s this huge writing lull afterward while I flounder around figuring out what should happen next. By contrast, I closed chapter four yesterday and wrote two-and-a-half pages of chapter five today, so there’s a good sign, right?

On the other hand, I ran into a highly dramatic scene in chapter four, and since I usually write stuff that’s pretty light and fluffy, that slowed me down. Still, I’m kinda jazzed that a difficult scene comes so early in the book—maybe another good sign that I’ve got more tension going on than usual.

Some writers don’t like to plot beforehand—they say it ruins the surprises along the way, and that if they know where they’re going, they get bored by the journey. Not me. What I can’t stand is finishing page thirty-five, seeing that vast gaping hole between me and the finish line, and wondering how the hell I’m gonna fill up 350 more pages.

Which brings me to the current WIP. Remember I wrote an outline that I liked? So far, it’s working. And, rather than getting bored by knowing what happens, I’m anxious to tell the story. Another good sign, n’est-ce pas?

Plus, I’m at that point in writing manuscripts (3 down and counting) that I’m far less worried about whether what I’m working on is marketable, aligned with the rules, or anything else. I like the story, period.

Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself. ‘Cuz that’s when you sell for sure, right?

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