I've learned a valuable lesson about myself as a writer so far in January 2008. I can't start a story on page one and write to the end. I'm pretty sure it's not possible for me. Yes, I have to plot and know what's happening at the turning points. Yes, I need to know my character arcs BEFORE I reach the end. But where is it written that I MUST start on page one and write the pages consecutively? I tried this one time "back in the day" and I got bored by page 25. I've been writing from page one with Danger and I'm stalled on page 23.
Yet, I've been jotting down notes at all hours of the days and nights on various other parts of the book.
Only now do I realize this idea of writing consecutively from page one is what's been stopping me over the last few days from working ferociously on this manuscript even though I love it. I've always claimed to be a "pantser", one who writes a story by the seat of her pants instead of using an outline, plot or any kind of notes. I've always loved writing scenes as they come to my head, trying to connect them to the story and weaving them all into an un-put-downable book. I'm going back to that method. That's what works for me. That's where the magic of the story happens. It's where my muse and my brain feel free. As we are often told in this business, we need to find what method works for us.
But it's important to remember this is a BUSINESS. So, I'm also going to combine my "write whatever scene I want" method with an approach that will be good for business. This manuscript is the first one I did serious plotting for BEFORE the writing began. I uncovered the internal conflicts of each character, decided what changes they need to go through and have examined what their worst fear is. I've also figured out how I can use those elements to make a killer Big Black Moment and an unforgettable ending. So starting tomorrow and throughout my 3 day weekend, I'll take my outline and write whatever my characters want to tell me. I'll keep the conflicts (internal and external) in mind as I create the scenes that will make an impact with my readers. Maybe then the magic and the muse will break free again. Now is the time to test my new theory. I'll keep you updated throughout the testing phase.