Thursday, June 20, 2013

Get Out of My Brain...Get BACK In My Brain

Hey there, Reader.

So. I finished my novel. You know this. I have Ideas for my next novel. There will be no missing memories. No dream sequences. There will be blood and action and angst and preplotting to map out the story so I don't have to rewrite it a billion times.


Wait, no. Not fun.

I am an organizer. A list maker. I am maybe ever-so-slightly a control freak and I am definitely an overachiever. Therefore pre-plotting could potentially be the worst thing for me ever, because I will attempt to become the Best most Rigid and Perfect Pre-plotter in the history of plotting and my story will sag and wither and die a lonely color-coded death before the first chapter is over.

I cut myself off from writing and publishing advice blogs years ago when I felt like I was getting bitter about the process before I'd even begun. Now I'm getting sucked back in again because not only do I need a synopsis for my finished novel, I think I should draft one for the new novel as well. I think that might help me stay on target and not take quite so long to work out what the story is about.

But wandering the waist-high, tick-infested grass of writing advice blogs gives me the sads. It makes me scrunch of my face and go full on toddler, "NO! No no no!"

At the same time, the controlling, should-have-been-an-editor side of me is nodding at the screen and going, "Yes. Rules. These all make sense. I must print this out and highlight it with color-coded highlighters. I must memorize them. I must write my next book solely using these rules or else no one will like it."

Come back, Toddler Writer Side! Come back and scribble and scream and tell stories that make no sense but are somehow true.


  1. You never go full-toddler (having a Tropic Thunder moment there). But I get it. At least Toddler-Writer has ideas and unabashedly shares them.

    Makes me think of the commercials for (I don't even know what, car insurance?) with the guy asking kids questions. The kids are answering with whatever actually comes to mind, and I kind of love the one where a little girl goes off on this "if he wasn't fast, he'd be bitten by a werewolf and would growl 'I want to go home'" story, even though everyone else looks at her like she's a little crazy. I watched it and thought she was one of the coolest kids on those commercials (she and "but then I couldn't say 'meet my puppy-brother'" girl hang out, I am sure).

    With every story I have tried a different process. The clockwork ghost story that I have been stuck on for ages? Timelined it after the first two chapters. I know what should happen, I just can't get myself to write it. And I wonder, if I have to 'get myself' to do it, is something wrong?

  2. Those are EXACTLY my two favorite kids from those ads too, haha! We are so on the same wavelength.

    I agree about process. Every book is different, I suspect. This new WIP for me needs more outlinging, I think. But I wonder if I should do more "free writing" to build out the world. I need to find it bit by bit. Creative compromise?

    Don't make me wait on the clockwork ghost story forever! It's got the best hook ever!