Once upon a time I’d write in large, unwieldy chunks.
As time has gone on I’ve begin to grasp I lose a lot of subtlety by doing so. My biggest problem is detail: I get so wrapped up in the grand sweep of events that I fail to consider the minutiae, and that matters more than I ever realised. Although I’m still writing the Epic Fantasy Novel, there’s a Personal Drama right now in my head I’m rather keen to extract. So, I’ve decided to approach this in a different fashion to the way I’ve written previously.
I have a brand new notebook, and I won’t commit a word to a screen until I have my plot sorted and planned.
This means I’ll focus on plotting on paper, how action actually moves and develops as a first point of reference. After that, I can fill in the details. What I tend to get obsessed with, more often than not, is progression and not background, and if I can force myself to focus just on one, I’m hoping it will stop me obsessing about where I’m going. I am singularly dreadful at painting backdrops. I know this from writing fan fiction and using computer games as scenery I know I don’t need to paint nearly as clearly as perhaps I should, because the audience already understand and live in it.
It makes life easy when you’re not having to consider any sweeping description, and allows you to focus on the stuff that often gets missed in the mad dash to completion.
What I really want to do, and I’m getting to a point where it matters more than telling a story, is to focus on the internal processes of my characters. This is a really difficult balancing act, because it is a very short step between insightful and self-indulgent. This particular story isn’t particularly autobiographical or anything, but I feel that to tell it the way I want will require a measure of technical ability I’m not sure I’m actually capable of right now. I suppose the only way I work out whether I am capable or not is to stop worrying and just try it. Hence the change of process, so I can have the confidence of a solid plan behind me before I commit to the task.
It’s Easter now, which means two weeks when the focus isn’t me anyway, it is family and kids. Being able to just quietly plan is good, and I’m hoping I might be able to do that while the holiday pans out, giving me a chance to write complete when the fortnight is done. It all depends on how easily the ideas appear. Walking back from buying bread for lunch today I was able to visualise the entire opening scene complete. If I can keep that up, I’ll be beyond happy.
Now I need to find a ‘face’ to pair with my male protagonist.