Crucial Questions to Ask
I’m one week on from hauling myself back on the horse and happy to report I’m still feeling pretty good. After my coffee sesh last week, it became clear that one of my older ideas was the one I had to work on. It’s the one that came to me in early Feb (though the seeds were planted back in August 2017). The characters have always felt real to me; they’ve always spoken easily in my company. My job now is to develop them, and dig out a story. I’ve done quite a bit of character brainstorming, and also read Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass, which left me with pages of notes and things to mull over while I’m in this preparatory stage.
Even though I can’t wait to get writing (the itch is strong), I’m forcing myself to take my time in these early moments. True, I’m not going to tie myself down to a tight outline – I veer more to the pantsy side of life – but I do want a clear vision of what I want to achieve before embarking on the long slog of the first draft. Having no true vision is probably why so many of my recent projects have spluttered and failed, so this time, I’m giving myself room to think. Basically, I have two major questions to answer:
- What will happen if I don’t write this novel?
- What am I trying to say and why?
If I can figure out the answers to both these questions, then I’m ready to move onto some deeper character work. (And then setting, and then plot, and then, maybe! I’ll be ready to write.
Current mood: Optimistic yet antsy.
Current wrist pain: Moderate.
Random aside: How awesome is Black Panther? More of the same, please.