I am so excited to be starting something new. You have no idea. I was writing the same story for years and years. Why? That… is a complicated question. Let’s just say I’m indecisive and wrote one million and ten drafts before deciding I was finished rewriting. And yes, by “let’s just say” I do in fact mean “this is exactly what happened.”
But no more. I closed that book (literally), and now I get to explore one of the millions of other ideas in my head. That brings about my next challenge, however. Which one? And that is how I’ve been spending my time for about a month. Writing down new ideas, separating them into pro and con lists and numbered lists and highlighting the ones I really like, etc etc. When I’m focused on one specific idea I can write about it forever, but I can’t do that until I have one specific idea, and I truly am one of the most indecisive people you’ll ever meet in your life.
For example, I thought I had a good idea a few days ago, but then I started writing it and realized I hated it, so another idea popped up, and I’m going to write a chapter or two of this one and see how it goes. The interesting thing, is that I could actually combine both ideas and make something completely new. One of the ideas is loosely based on my very first novel, actually. Novel Zero, I like to call it.
Isn’t it amazing how life can come back around to the beginning? Certain aspects can repeat themselves over and over again. I haven’t thought about that novel in forever, but suddenly I’m starting something “new” and it pops into my head? And it is exciting me, which is more than I can say for a lot of my ideas.
As a writer, my process is sporadic. It goes this way: get idea, write one chapter to see if it works (without any sort of idea where the story is going), if it works, stop and focus on the characters (developing them as necessary. My favorite part), then figure out the ending, then write. Basically. But it could also go in a different order. Sometimes I like to plan out everything. Sometimes I have thought about an idea and dream of it so often that I know every detail. Then there are the ideas I know nothing about but have such happy feelings about that I just start writing and don’t stop until I reach THE END.
And the best thing about that is that I’m not wrong. As a writer, I have the liberty to do as I wish with my imagination and my words. I can start and stop as many times as I want, go with my gut or with logic. I can write a book one way one time and a completely different way the next. I can write more than one at once, or nothing at all. I’m free to express myself however I want without consequence.
So I think I’m going to do that now. I’d write more here, but I’m too excited to get writing on my fiction. Question, though. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Or both?