In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb…
To clarify all of this since I had so much going on, I wrote “Raven” in November and December of last year. “Whisper” is a story I started last fall and got about 16k in before realizing that the plot wasn’t working. I put it on hold since I didn’t know what to do. “Painted Chaos” is a new idea I’ve been outlining. And “Discord” is a story written and queried last year that I had gotten a revise and resubmit for.
Last report wordcount + chapter count:
Raven = revision notes organized
Painted Chaos = 37 chapters outlined
Whisper = made some notes for a rewrite
DISCORD = new revision notes drafted
Current report WC + CC:
Raven = added a few more notes
Painted Chaos = brainstormed…that’s something, right? >.<
Whisper = transferred to a shiny new notebook and made even more notes
DISCORD = Revision DONE! Revision SENT! ^_^
WIP Issues This Month:
It was a good month. Of course I say this having spent the first week of the month in happy depressed people land. But then the metaphorical sun came out, and the rest of the month has been great! Then again, I say that, and just about everything BUT the revision for DISCORD has been…what’s the word: le crap? Like, I can’t finish my outline for “Painted Chaos” because I ran into a plot problem, like the kind that ruins everything. I started reading patches of “Raven” and it is in TERRIBLE shape, like the kind of shape that needs to be rewritten from scratch. And then “Whisper” is a giant, jumbled, foggy mess, through which I can barely see the end of my nose in. But no worries.
What I learned this month in writing:
1* Spending so much time combing through DISCORD for stuff has helped me see that just because I think something is super clear and obvious and maybe even TOO obvious, doesn’t mean it is.
2* I don’t take my depression flare ups seriously until I literally can’t function anymore. There goes my whole theory that if I ignore it, it will go away. kicks wall
3* The hardest part of any project is just getting started. It’s the thought people! Just the thought of all that work!
4* It is really hard to decide which parts of the story to change and which parts to keep the same, but like, explain myself better, you know.
What distracted me this month while writing:
Just the crazy. Once that was out of the way, I focused all of my creative energy on my revision of “Discord” until it was finished. I’m happy with the work I’ve done on that, but I did work myself up into tears one day over my other projects. I think I’ve come up with a solution, though. These weren’t easy decisions. Pretty much the deciding factor was how clear the stories were in my head. My sister likes to give me these off the wall examples when I’m being crazy. But sometimes, like the other day, it’s actually really helpful. She said to pretend like my stories were cakes, and I was going to enter them in a contest: which recipe did I have the most confidence in? So, I thought about it and came up with the following:
Plan Of Action #1: Scrap the “Raven.” I don’t like it enough to see if I can fix it. To be honest, I didn’t want to finish this story to begin with. I don’t even want to look at it. So I’m not going to. And I know it’s the right decision because when I think about not working on it anymore, I just don’t care.
Plan of Action #2: Set “Painted Chaos” aside. The different elements in the plot are just not working together in my head right now. The more I tried to explain it, the more confusing it got. Whereas with “Whisper” I just came right out and explained it. End of story. No drama. No cringing. No apologizing for it being super weird and not making any kind of sense to the poor people who love me enough to listen to me ramble. I’m scared to death to write it because I’m afraid of messing it up, but at least it’s working.
Plan of Action #3: My outlines are messing me up. I don’t have everything figured out, but I know what needs to happen. I know how the stories end. And that’s just going to have to be good enough. I’m going back to pantsing my outlines like I’d been doing for the last four years. I thought I was just being lazy, but maybe that’s just what works best for me.
Goal for next month:
Start rewriting “Whisper” from scratch and just stop worrying about it. It’ll either work or it won’t. The bad news is that I have no idea what I’m doing. The good news is that this always happens, and I feel strongly enough about this story to try anyway.
♣I hope everyone has fared well. Yay, Spring! ^_^
(Though you wouldn’t know it where I am right now, it’s freezing!)♣