I’ve been looking at my writing process. I have an ambitious schedule for publishing the Double Helix:Chameleon series wide and I don’t have a good record of making my own deadlines. So I need to improve the process itself.
The biggest impact – besides just getting my butt in the chair and in front of the keyboard more often – is probably going to be in preparing better. These are the things I do before I start writing. And I have very little structure to my pre-writing preparation.
Sometimes I just start writing with an idea or character. I’ll have a good start but then I’ll slow down. More than half the time the story fizzles out or I get stuck because I don’t know how the story should end.
I’ve tried extensive outlines and character interviews. By the time I got around to writing the actual story, I was bored with it. I had no interest or motivation to sit down and put the actual words on the the page.
For a couple of years, I’ve been doing a loose mini-outline. I know the beginning and the end. I know several actions and emotional points that need to happen, as well as approximately when. This has been relatively successful, but there are still problems with it.
I haven’t yet figured out how best to make this work. I haven’t hit on the right number of points to make this process work consistently. The length of the story matters, but so does how vividly I see it in my mind. And sometimes a very bare bones structure works fine if the characters are strong enough.
Then again – Book 4 of the Double Helix:Chameleon series ran out of steam. And those characters are very strong. I had the basic story arc and I thought I had enough emotional points. But I haven’t been able to figure out how to get from one particular emotional point to the next.
Book 5 is the end of this series and I’m doing the zero draft for NaNoWriMo. We’ll see how it goes. The structure outline will have to be more extensive to make sure the main arcs all get wrapped up.
Wish me luck.