13 January 2011

Hey, Hot Stuff! What's Happenin'? Or, the ins and outs of starting a new story

What a week it has been. Is it sad that the New Year's Resolution thing is already starting to drag me down? This week, in particular, has been a struggle. But they say (I think they do anyway, and no I don't know who they is) that it takes three weeks to build a habit and only three days to break it. I'm in the third week, if you look at it that way, so maybe that's why this week was so hard.

It could also be that I'm battling my second round of strep throat in as many weeks and feel a cold coming on.

Whatever the reason, this week has had it's highs and lows.

On Tuesday, January 4, I finished my second draft (which included some serious re-writing) of GEMMA UP-OVER. For the rest of the week I took notes and started working out the plot to a new story. It was love at first sight. She's (should I use he's? Or does that make me insensitive to the plight of same-sexed people. I don't want to be one of those people...)sexy, exciting, perky, energetic, friendly, loving, and very, very much wants all of my attention. I love it. It's really like falling in love.

So, if last week I was falling in love, this week I'm facing the "Do I really want a long-term relationship with her? Is she really that good?" I'm facing these questions because I'm trying to write this WIP differently than the last one.

This time I'm not going to be a pantser. Yep, you heard that right. I'm making character cards, scene cards, I'm outlining, etc. The question is, how much is too much.

With Gemma, I was a panster, then went back and plotted after draft one. That was a lot of editing and rewriting and I was really, kind of over her at that point. Apparently my affections wax and wane with the moon, or in the case of Gemma, my affections waxed and waned with the years (it took two years to get where I am now with it).

So, you can see why I want to try to do things differently. Maybe if I outline, if I think about all the problems I had with Gemma and work on them ahead of time with the Quilt, then maybe things will be better. Maybe this will turn into a relationship with a solid foundation that can survive the ages with no love lost, unlike Gemma who got picked up on the weekends like a hooker in Las Vegas.

I have no ideas where that came from.

So, while I hope to have things ready to start writing next week, you tell me. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Or, are you somewhere in-between? Not up for the one-night stand but not ready to commit, either?

3 comments:

jeff7salter said...

I just finished my the 4th draft of my 6th ms. (with the story concept coming to me on Oct. 20). I've decided I'm a pantster who sometimes resorts to plotting.
I wrote my last three complete ms. in just 16 months ... so they were moving pretty rapidly. I never got the least bit bored ... in fact it was exhilerating to try to keep up. I found I was doing more 'following' the characters than leading them. And I think it worked for those three.
But my 3rd ms, much longer BTW, had a rather intricate plot and some 3 dozen characters or more. For that, I had maps, charts, lists, and you name it. That was exhausting!

Chris Bailey said...

Joy,
I'm about over the pantser route! I mean, sure, it's fun to see who your characters are and let them roam free, but sometimes they forget to build a story. So, for my next ms, I'm starting with--the pitch! Because what makes me feel bad is writing, writing, writing and then discovering that my characters don't reside in a genre. Which doesn't necessarily make them literary. And then rewriting to try to fit someplace.

All the best!
Chris

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