For those of you who missed my Saturday post, I will recap.
I scrapped the book I was working on and started another one. Yep. It was painful, but necessary.
Yesterday I wrote most of the day, and have a sizable word count for the story: 11, 7oo words. I am happy with my progress, but now I have reached the point where I am not sure what happens next.
After so many failed starts on books this year, I did some light pre-writing planning on this WIP for a couple of days, and just dived into writing. At this point, I just want to write a book. I missing writing a book, and it was very depressing each time something derailed the others. So I have started this book while the premise and few events I have in mind are still white hot in my mind.
This has lead to a hybrid between pantsing (writing by the seat of my pants) and plotting. I haven't quite plotting enough for me to consider the book "plotted." I have a rough idea for the beginnning, and a rough idea for the end, and one or two scene ideas in the middle, but that's it.
I have about ten pages of notes on the characters, the conflict, the themes, and worldbuilding, but this is nothing compared to the planning I usually do. Especially that big gap in the middle of my scrawny outline.
Yesterday's writing was mostly effortless. I knew how to start things off, and I knew where I was headed. I had a good feel for the world and the characters. But now I am at the point where I don't know what happens next. And a tiny voice in my head started to panic, until I threw it some chocolate.
I do know what I think will be the ending, so now I am just trying to get from here to there by asking myself some questions and doing some light brainstorming.
Just in case there's anyone else out there who is trying something new or just plain stuck here are some good questions to kick start the plot:
*What is the worst thing that could happen next?
I listed some silly things, like "a swarm of bees attacks everyone and they all die." just because I was pleased my Muse was tossing ideas out at all. I actually came up with some pretty good ones that I will use later.
*What is the best thing that could happen next?
I had less ideas for this one. Generally I am trying to make my characters miserable, not happy. But happy is good, just to make the awful stuff more awful. ;)
After I had a good pool of possible events, I thought about how the characters would respond to these events, and how that would effect the world in turn. There should be a certain amount of pull-push between the characters, the plot, and the world.
It still feels really strange, this new writing process. I feel like I am in a dark room, and groping around for the light switch. But I am trying not to panic, and just focus on the next scene. In addition to being a logical outcome of what has come before, and something that advances the plot and character development, I am making sure it's a scene that I WANT to write. No filler scenes that are "necessary". If the scene is boring me to write, it's going to bore the reader to read it.
Chocolate is also helping. I am really happy with this new WIP. I feel like I am finally on the right track, and I am writing about something that is coming from my heart.
Has anyone else tried a totally different writing process for a book? How did that turn out? How did you get over that incredibly uncomfortable feeling?