Limping on to my next project.
While I’m finishing and editing a work in progress, I can’t help but daydream about my next project. The storyline and characters seem exciting and death-defying. The setting is touching and full of memories. I’m going to move people. Connect. Once I’ve finished the project I’m working on, just as I think I’m going to jump in, …pfft. Zilch.
Before fingers touch keys, everything else needs to be done. Or so I tell myself. Clean the microwave. Curtain washing. Window cleaning. Sweeping. Teeth pulling. Forcible colon exams. I have a schedule, dammit. I avoid the computer like it has been manhandled by twenty-five filthy kindergartners after Halloween.
Anything is better than nothing and so I begin with a clear idea of the beginning and the end. I bang out a few letters joined together. They seem to make a bit of since and that’s okay. Read it over and over. Begin to obsess.
After I blurp the first sentence or two down, I write the main character’s name on paper. If I’ve hit the sweet spot, I’ll start to obsess. When I wash the dishes, I think about my new story. Laundry. I imagine the childhood of my character or maybe a specific point in their life. I may not be writing, but I’m constantly thinking about the story.
The idea of binge-writing is romantic to me. Staying up all night, the darkness my only friend, writing like I’m possessed. However, the truth is I cannot stay awake past 10:00pm, unless it’s Walking Dead season. Burning the midnight-oil doesn’t work for me.
I always do better when I put myself on a schedule. I need to write every day, even if I write only one sentence or sit at the computer for five minutes. Staying in the mindset of the story keeps me engaged in the tale. I like to keep a p.c. file and a physical file of images and articles that feel important to the book. Ideas and inspirations.
My titles often come after I’ve written a majority of the story. I am horrible at titles. Horrible. I try to hold off until the last possible moment, hoping inspiration will come as the story flows.
If the general idea of the book is not forthcoming, I try and write the back-cover synopsis. It helps give me a sense of direction and solidifies in my head whether the story is worth writing.
If the story stays with me, haunts me, I know I should keep writing.