Last week, I really struggled with process. So much of me wants to do this revision differently, to create a process where my approach is wide-angled in view and scope. I want to know at the outset that what I’m doing will be different and more effective than what I’ve done before. But every time I sat down to write, I wanted to dive into the writing instead of deciding/working on process. I tried to fight the urge to dive into the revisions and instead work on process until the frustration really began to pile up. I realized that my desire to change my process was getting in the way of my ability to work on the story. Once I realized that, I stopped fighting myself and started working. I marked the places where there are some big gaping holes that need immediate attention and then made a list of chapters that were really lagging in word count. That naturally led me to begin reading through the second chapter of the story on the paper copy (the first chapter needs a few paragraphs added, so I decided to save that to be done on the computer) and through the revision and reading began to familiarize myself with the world and the places in it again.
I will work on my process and I will grow my ability to break down and build a story differently, but I can’t let that stop me when the writing is begging to be done. It’s not an easy thing to decide, because I don’t like thinking that I’m not growing my skills, but the writing and the story are the end goal. If it’s begging my attention, I need to listen until I get on the page what needs to be put on the page. Then I need to work on process. I also think I’m going to use the opportunity to work on process for the stories that are only partially written. That will be a great way to test and work through different methods, I think. I also took the time last week to clear off my plot board so it is ready for any notes and for plotting out the story as I work on MS:SB. Then, I had to take a break from the writing. As we sift through the beginning conversations of what the fall will look like with our girls and schooling and things continue to get cancelled, emotions and tensions are high. We’re continuing to social distance and do what needs to be done to keep ourselves and others safe, and will continue to do so for as long as it takes, and the realization of that lasting into 2021 is becoming more of a reality. So, Netflix and chocolate and games were the plans for the end of the week.
This week I am itching to finish the half-written chapter in MS:L and continue making notes and doing the work that MS:SB is demanding. I’m going to use the time I take to work on MS:L to also work on process, to play with plotting and planning techniques that I’m not entirely comfortable with. Since that manuscript is new it is a better story to figure out process with. I think, anyway. We shall see. 😳
What are some of your favorite resources for plotting and novel writing process? How’s the work on your current work-in-progress going? Remember, you are more than enough.