Something new has happened to me. Well, the thing itself is not new but the timing is… Sort of.
You see, I’ve got about 25,000 more words to go before I’m done with my current work in progress. And then I have that rewrite to do as well as revisions and edits. That’s not where “Uh-Oh” comes in though. No, it comes in with the idea that popped into my brain the other day and just won’t let go or go away. I don’t want it to go away completely, but I would like it to stop screaming in my ear saying WRITE ME NOW, DAMN IT!
I did a little bit of work on it; setting up a new project on Scrivener and taking some notes. I even wrote a first line that came to me. Now, it’s begging me to do an outline.
I don’t know if I should or not though. Not yet. I don’t know if I will be able to finish The Gifted if I do this outline. I’m afraid I’ll be consumed by the new project and let Jane and her friends fall by the way.
Did you notice the key word in that? Afraid.
I’ve invested too much in The Gifted though, so I know I wouldn’t give up on it. Not even if I did the outline for the new idea and started writing it out. I would still write Jane’s story. Still, I’ve never done two books at once. And hell, this new idea may be just a short story or a novella. I don’t know yet. I just have an inkling of an idea that needs to be honed.
I’ve got some other ideas too. Most of them on Sticky Notes on my wall. Just one line ideas or bits of dialogue that have come to me at moments. Nothing that screamed at me to write the idea though. Not like this one.
I think, the main reason I have such an urge to write this one is because the idea came to me in a dream. Even while I was dreaming, I thought “This would make a great story.” I’m not usually a lucid dreamer, but something in me recognized an intriguing concept.
(Don’t worry. It doesn’t involve sparkling vampires in meadows.)
I’ve read blog posts (none that I can name right as I type this because I’d have to track them down and that could take days with the number of blogs I follow) where other writers have had ideas for novels or stories from their dreams.
The process of writing my outlines is something that I cannot do on the computer. I’ve tried it so many times, typing an outline on a word processor and I can never get it right. It’s too choppy for me. I’m one of those people who feels that an outline should flow… At least, a flowing outline instead of the standard I.1.a. Outline works for me. There are no bullet points in my outlines. They are summaries more than they are anything else. Once I do that, I work out the scenes as needed.
I have to sit down at the kitchen table with my iPod hooked up, blasting music that sits in the background of my mind, entertaining my muse (or torturing it depending on the random button plays).
From there, I transfer to note cards and add a few details that I think are necessary for the story’s progression…
Then, I sit and write. I allow enough room in my outlining for organic plotting, but most if what was in the outline makes it in the story. Most of it… But that’s another blog post=)
For now, I must away. I have a house to clean and more writing to do on The Gifted. Precious keeps needing help with Lego Star Wars too, which I am only too happy to oblige… And I’m hungry. Just so you know 😉
What about you? Do stories demand to be written by you while you’re working on something else? What about your outlining (or not outlining for pantsers) process work?