I’ve made a HUGE mess with my WIP. I’m not usually messy; I usually pre-write in my head before I put fingers to keyboard. This time, however, the story sputtered out a little backwards, in pieces and scenes all out of order.
Yesterday, I wrote: It’s kind of fun, like thrusting your hands in a big mess of dirt and clay and rain, like getting the gook all over you as you try to make something coherent and fun. I feel like I’m a kid, taking my shoes off and stomping through puddles, letting the mud squish through my toes and delighting in getting as dirty as possible.
Today, I wrote: I sure prefer my old process. Playing in dirt is much more fun than cleaning up the mess it makes.
It doesn’t matter how many stories you write, the process always seems to evolve. I thought I had my process down pat after sixteen novel/las, but that’s not how it works, LOL. Each story has its own challenges, you know?
A wise woman once told me that if you’re uncomfortable, then you’re growing. Let’s hope I’m hope I’m growing.
You know, the hardest part for me, when I’m mired knee-deep in the mud of my own project, is seeing the whole thing, the big arc, the whole project put together. I have such a hard time getting my brain to see it all at once. My brain is way too compartmental.
I’m sorta playing around today. (I really don’t have the time, but tough.) Have you heard of Mindola SuperNotecard? Well, you can spread out a bunch of virtual notecards and play with them, like a storyboard.
Each notecard can be given a title, then a summary ... or, in my case, each notecard can be given a title and then I just paste the text of each scene into the body. (Only the first snippet shows up on the notecard; you have to click it to see your whole text.)
This has been an interesting exercise.
First, by laying out the titles, I can see the whole project at once. Then I can sort the notecards into "decks:" into three acts, into chapters, even.
Although I did this so I could lay out and see the project as a whole, I was surprised by the second benefit: having each scene set off by itself makes my compartmental mind very happy. I can see the goal of each scene--and how it serves the big arc--a little more clearly. Now I can tweak a little here or there so each scene fulfills its purpose in a stronger way.
So what’s up with you? What are you uncomfortable with/growing with? What’s the hardest part of writing, for you? What part of your process have you fiddled with, lately?