I find myself, while writing, going back and forth between plotting and free-writing. I’ve found comfort recently in plotting only a few scenes ahead at a time. I know basically where I want the story to go but most of it is up in the air. I’ve gleaned this new way (for me) of writing after a conversation with writer friends.
I would love to paraphrase what my friend, Deanna, said but it hit me as a light bulb moment. and shifted my thinking, but I can’t remember the exact words. I still catch the voices in my head telling me to plot ahead further than I am ready, and remind myself that if the specific idea is not present in my thoughts, that it can wait. To capture the moment of writing what is there, while it’s fresh and flowing, is more important to me.
I’m still writing during the bits and pieces of time that I can grab between mom duties and find myself relating to what some authors have written about … while having full-time jobs and writing in-between jobs and sleep, or while the kids are still sleeping in the morning. I doubted that any meaningful work could be done that way but, slowly and surely, I’m seeing that it can.
Today, as I was doing my Morning Pages, I realized how I’d been getting to know my characters better. It made me wonder how much richer they’d be if I could spend more time during the day with them, on the page. It got me excited to think about how much more they would be telling me about themselves, how much more they’d show me of where they’d like to go and what they’d do.
I feel them calling me and I need to listen because right now, I only have three or four more scenes plotted for them, and some holes that I need to fill in, before I am going to panic and think, “now what!?” (See? those voices are wiggling in there). I actually have a page in my Scrivener project file called “Where next” that I use for brainstorming “what if” questions. You’d laugh at all of the extemporaneous pages I’ve written just typing conversations with myself to puzzle something out. It helps give the helpful voices in my head a place to be acknowledged and worked with and it’s a nice change from those that work against me.