Monday, May 21, 2007

A New Project

When it comes to writing, I have to confess - I'm a bit of a workaholic. I never have just one project going. There are always at least two, sometimes more, and they are in various stages of completion.

Right now, I'm putting the finishing touches on one manuscript, working through a second draft rewrite of another, more than enough to keep me busy.

Then, last night, as I'm drifting off to sleep, it happens.


Now, I love when inspiration strikes and the muse is ready, willing, and able to get to work. But I hate starting a new book. Absolutely hate it. Here's why -

I know almost nothing about the people inside my head who are clamoring to get out. I know their names (for the most part), I know where and when they live. I know what will bring my hero and heroine together at first.

That's it.

From that, I'm faced with the daunting task of creating conflict, building a world, structuring a plot, and making certain there is enough tension for 400 pages. Not the easiest thing in the world. For the first 50 pages, I'm lost - just wandering around like Moses in the desert. I hate those first 50 pages and, chances are, they will end up cut by the next draft.

I also hate it because this is when the this sucks, no one would ever want to read this thoughts rocket around the inside of my skull. It isn't until I reach the first turning point that I begin to like anything I write. By the end of the book, all of those worries seem so silly and pointless. Right now, though, they consume me.

Like I said, my hero and heroine are strangers to me. I'm still sizing them up - deciding if I like them. Deciding if anyone else would like them either. Little by little, they'll come to life, but right now they are as flat as day old ginger ale.

I go into a first draft with the sole intention of putting words on the paper (or screen, to be more precise.) I''ll worry about plot holes and logic flaws and WTF moments for subsequent drafts. If I can just get something - anything - on the page, I'll be happy.

So far I've fifteen pages. Not bad, considering I began this draft at 9:30 this morning. My goal is a minimum of 5 pages per day. If I reach 50, there's a good chance it will be finishd. If not... well... I've a file strictly for such manuscripts. We'll see with this one. I have a good feeling about it, but only time will tell...

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