Or is that part duh? This has been a tough one compared to last year’s. At least I have a pretty cover.
Note to self: never start a novel and then try to resuscitate it nearly two years later because your mojo will be buried so deep it will take a team of Egyptologists to find the tomb of your original inspiration.
Expanding that rather shitty metaphor (they are not my strong suit), I’ve learned this time around that writing is like digging (or shoveling shit depending on the day), and that you may find something unexpected during the excavation: a hidden underground spring, a dangerous fault line into your own psyche, or a diamond mind (still holding out hope for that one).
It’s become a rather tiresome cliché (was it Stephen King or a Twitter meme that started it?) that fiction writers are either plotters or pantsers, meaning those who plot out their stories versus those who write by the seat of their pants. Although my writing habits lean toward the former (I always outline), I’ve discovered with this project the rewards of pantsering only because I ran out of ideas at the 30,000 word count, meaning I had at least a 15,000 word gap to fill between where (basically nowhere) I was and the dramatic ending I envisioned.
So this morning I awoke before dawn as usual, put on my mood music, set my word count goal, lined up my liquids (coffee and orange juice), and started making it up on the spot.
Lo and behold I discovered a very cool subplot that magically reunited les enfant purdus of ideas I had abandoned in the ether many chapters ago (told you I write shitty metaphors). Long story short (at 43,000 it will be) I got excited about my story again, which is precisely the jet fuel I need to get to the 50,000 word count goal.
By letting go of control I found the joy of discovery, an important lesson to take with me as I move forward on my writing journey.
Stephen King was (partly) correct when he took a swipe at plotters. It great to have a map, but losing the path has its rewards. Sorry, the bad metaphors just keep coming today. I’ve already spent too much time at the keyboard and I’m in desperate need for some outdoor exercise. #nanoass