The Chaotic Mind

Posted: November 12, 2016 in Musings, Writing News
Tags: , , , , ,

Many writers are very organized people, and they are called plottersfractal-1681742_960_720, making their outlines and using bullet points before really setting down to write.

Other writers use their intuition to guide them. They are called pantsers because they “fly by the seat of the pants.”

Then there are those of us who do a little of both, one way or another.

The funny thing about my NaNoWriMo project is I have the whole thing planned out in as close to an outline as I can get, but I’m not able to tell the story.

Why?

For me, outlines are very bad.

I didn’t intend to “plan” the story. I wrote down my idea  so that I wouldn’t forget while I was working on Book Two of my trilogy. This has tricked my brain into thinking that I’ve already written this story and now I’m struggling to actually write the story.

Instead, as I try to push through and find the words, I end up researching. I’ve spent hours
reading up on Mesopotamian history and culture, and I’ve learned some amazing things. My story doesn’t take place in Mesopotamia, but a place inspired by it. All of this research is great, but it’s putting a damper on my actual writing time. I already don’t have much time to write to begin with considering I work 40 hours a week, have a family, write a blog, and of course get caught up in the random distractions we all have.

Another reason I think I’m struggling is because I’m trying not to edit. That’s a “writer rule,” and one that I don’t follow at all. I edit while I write. By the time my first draft is done, every chapter has been edited for content at least once. NaNo rules say “No Editing!” but that’s like telling me “No breathing!” My mind is gasping for air as I try to create the new without fixing the old.

The point of NaNo is to build a writing community and to teach young (or new) writers how to be disciplined and finish something. I’ve never participated before. I have finished things I’ve started – stories, articles, and novels, – doing things my way.

While I struggle with my NaNoWriMo project, my chaotic mind still needs to write something. I’ve been working on part eight of The Hunted. I also started a short story for a contest, because of course I did. The project I thought I would be working on is simmering quietly, taking shape, but also fighting me. With my chaotic mind, I could suddenly find the right thought and it will send me flying through the narrative.

At least you can all expect another episode of The Hunted next week.

Thank you for reading. If you have anything to add, please feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

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Comments
  1. My encouragement. Just keep going and you’ll find yourself improving day by day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nissenson says:

    I’m definitely a pantser, which makes my current project a challenge. An agent who requested a full manuscript from me also asked if I thought it had ‘sequel’ potential, so I’m working on that. The challenge? It’s a YA mystery. Mysteries have to be very carefully plotted. One wrong sentence and the whole thing falls apart. Doubly true if it’s the second in a series, because now there is a set of established facts to deal with. Should the agent sign me, I will quote Tevye in Fiddler. “May the Lord smite me with it, and may I never recover.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • rrwillica says:

      That is a challenge! But, I think each person’s brain works a little differently from the next. If you keep good notes on all of your facts from the first book, I bet you can write the second.

      This is what I mean about being a “plantser.” I keep notes, research, draw maps, and create historical timelines, but the story has to flow on its own. I know the beginning, middle and end, but if I write the outline, that hinders me. That’s just me, others are different.

      Good luck with the agent!

      Like

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