Writing Journey – pack sufficiently to weather storms

Inside my head

As soon as I am meant to work on one project, my mind picks up and says ‘oh hello –lets immediately do something else!’ So here we are, exactly one day after I wrote about how I’d be focusing on a different blog on behalf of my cousin and what’s happened? Well, I had a bit of a brainwave last night and realised I had something to say about writing this morning.

What do I want to discuss? Well head space really.

I had an evening of re thinking some main points of the manuscript. My protagonist was throwing up some issues and then I realised that her parents needed developing as well.

I also had to find a new name for my protagonist but I’ll write more about this another time.

So…re-thinking re-imagining and getting back into the world. It was really difficult.

But I managed to do it. I sat down, forced myself to ignore distractions and turn off the laptop. Working with pen and paper I started with a list of things I wanted to achieve in the next few days. Not necessarily just what I wanted to write about, but the odd things that were fizzing around me head.

Then I started to fill in a rough character sheet. Name, age, gender, family, friends etc.  Having been a part of online writing community’s and a few play by post forums I loathe character sheets. I detest the pretentious nature of the ‘moderator’s and their demand that I spend hours of my rare free time detailing the minute of a character. I’m a writer. I find out who he or she is by writing them! Not by writing 15,000 words of back history and working out on what day is their great great grandparents birthday!  Sorry…it all just makes me a bit cross. But I decided I needed to do a loose version for my protagonist yesterday.

It worked! Well sort of. I managed to get many details fleshed out and even delve into the backstory and develop the characters of her parents. The thoughts were flying around and I felt a bit spacey – off in a different world. Pinning those thoughts to paper was easier than expected and resulted in a short chunk of prose that might be helpful as I start tackling the beginning of my manuscript, again.

Then – I decided to talk it all over with a friend and I learnt that some of my amazing ideas weren’t actually very good. I think I deflated like a balloon. But they were comments that I needed to hear. I had managed to develop and round out some characters, but I’d taken one or two off in a different and illogical past. I created some brand new shiny plot holes.  MASSIVE plot holes where there hadn’t been holes before; darn it!

Where do I go from here?  I was so pleased that I’d managed to neaten everything up. My thoughts about my protagonist and her crazy family were like clothes.  I felt that I’d managed to fold them up and pack them into a suitcase.  But then, I realised that maybe I hadn’t picked the right outfits for the trip. They wouldn’t be warm enough to weather the storm of writing. Suddenly, my neatly packed suitcase was in disarray! Everything had been pulled out and crumpled.  I need to re-pack. Work out a few more details, a few accessories for the trip and change what I thought I’d be taking.  Once the packing is complete and my thoughts are back in order I’ll close the suitcase and get back to writing. I’ll set out on my journey happy in the knowledge that I’m bringing all the right things along with me.

Now, to find time to re-pack…

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