I write this while eating porridge direct from the pot. (And it is, if I may say so myself, a perfect batch of porridge. As any bear will tell you, it’s a notoriously difficult meal to get right.)
Anyway, I’ve spent the last few days mulling my book. To begin, I came up with a big list of questions that needed answering. Then I scribbled in my notebook, half-answering, half-waffling. I wasn’t getting far, so I decided to take each major character and brainstorm them individually.
This worked a treat. By mapping out their lives, I answered all of my questions indirectly. I know who everyone is and what they want. Before, I had only a vague idea.
Now, I’d typically map out the plot after building the characters, but I’m skipping that step this time. I want to keep exploring during the second draft, so I’m not going to anchor down any plot points. I do know who everyone is, and I have a better understanding of the setting, but apart from that, I’m going in blind again.
I see the initial 25,000 words of exploration as the first draft. Now it’s time to take another stab at it, armed with better knowledge. It’s like exploring, but with a slightly better map.
I’ve cut characters and plot lines, and expanded others. Most of it will be rewritten completely, but a few of those initial scenes might stay.
And of course, the second draft will be written by hand.
This is all new and strange for me, very unlike my traditional process. But I’m putting my faith in my creative brain, and the power of the pen.
Here we go. Round Two.