Well, that was a nice break from writing. After a whirlwind of writing between March and May (I swear I had windburn, I kid you not), I gave myself a month to catch up on sleep and gather the scraps of my sanity together. The month ends soon, and my brain is already working for the plot for Book Two.
Is that a bad thing? No, I suppose not. Is it a good thing? Not really.
This isn’t writer’s block. This is more like chronological plot disorder. There are ideas floating around, whole scenes with complete dialogue playing themselves out in the walls of my head like a poor version of Imax. I haven’t yet been able to link each of these scenes to another, or determine whether they would fall in the early, middle, or late stages of the manuscript.
My other problem is that I’m falling in love with my characters, something I never meant to happen. At the moment I’m more absorbed with their backgrounds and personal relationships than the action around them. On the up-side, I’m getting to know them more ever before, and can therefore put more convincing words in their mouths and more genuine thoughts in their heads (hopefully).
The largest problem of all? THE INTERNET! I know I have no deadline for this manuscript, but the World Wide Web is the most horrendous distraction EVER CREATED. YouTube, pulling me in with its digital claws. TheAnneBoleynFiles, screaming at my thirst for historical knowledge. Even WordPress, with its tempting articles of all shapes and sizes. And Facebook, with its flaming fingers, luring me into its fiery, black depths. It is the Mordor to my Shire, disrupting what useful thoughts I currently possess and preventing me from eating second breakfast, as well as elevensies.
Can you tell I watched Lord of the Rings on the weekend?
The world I’ve created — and grown to love — is also a bit of an intimidating monster to tackle. Out of the four countries, I am obliged to continue and elaborate on three of their governments, cultures, and traditions. Actually, this should be fun. I’m excited. Beyond excited, in truth. Exploring all these fascinating places without moving from the dining room table is exhilarating. Or, as I informed anyone who interrupts my silent exploration, “Shh! I’m busy!” To their perplexed, “What?” I’ll reply something along the lines of: “I’m meeting the mountain tribes of southern Mundir — they ride Ursidae bears! You know, the same kind the Emperor tried to give Arden as an engagement present? I think they might let me ride one!”
They’ve stopped interrupting me — or least, stopped asking “What?”
You know what? As I write this, the more I think about, the less doubtful I become. In fact, I might start a day early and begin plotting now. Not the schemey-finger-type plotting, but the type of plotting that involves a large sheet of graph paper, a half-dozen pens, and some white-out. Or maybe a fresh pencil and a melon-sized eraser. We’ll see.
I’ve become addicted to timelines (though not the ones Facebook has!) over the past several months in my writing. Before, I would just sit down and write until I bled dry. And, generally, I ran out of blood/steam/ideas after only four or five chapters. However, having the timeline keeps me with a straight and easy path to follow. Of course I deviate from it, or come up with something better as I go along, but the timeline is perhaps the most useful form of writing guide there is for me. Aside from having a personal genie, of course.
I leave you now with a quote Sonia made on this post, in response to me saying I desired a tattoo. It really resonated with me, the fact that a writer does indeed slave over something that might or might not be a masterpiece in the future. A writer might put everything in their writing, and it can be a heart-breaking, enthralling, sacrificial ride. We are slaves of our own ideas, and it is with our blood that we write. Thanks, Sonia, for letting me use this!
…the only time blood and ink should mix is when one is slaving over the writing of a masterpiece