So…I think I’ve been brainstorming this current story for about a month. I’m finally through one workbook, and then thanks to Masterclass I have another, which I’m about halfway through at this point. For a while there, I felt like I would never actually start drafting. I still haven’t, and I haven’t started my “official” notebook yet either. I don’t have to organize it before I start writing, but I want to. It makes for a smoother start.
Right now, I have 55 pages of notes from going through Story Genius and the workbook I wanted to try, which is an author-created Preptober Workbook, for the record. These 55 pages don’t include the the story-related notes I’ve taken for Masterclass. But at this point, what’s another several pages? 😀
Thus far, Neil Gaiman’s class is great. If I was just starting out, this would give me a great foundation to build on. As such, I’m way past being a “newbie” and while it’s always helpful to strengthen my current foundation, it’s a little frustrating at the same time. I had a similar experience with Story Genius. So far, no one is talking about how to stop feeling like a failure and stop being afraid of the blank page. Maybe such a state of mind doesn’t exist. Thus far, the only way forward has been to write anyway, and maybe that’s the answer. Still, it would be nice to hear someone else say it.
To be honest, I literally finished a story not even two months, and I’ve already completely forgotten not only how I did it but also that I even did it in the first place. I still feel like I haven’t finished anything in over a year. Why is that?
And I’m doing all this work and I’m still afraid the story isn’t going to work out. And I’m like, why did I do this to myself? Why am I still writing? Why can’t I just quit?
And of course, my fault, but holding off on writing until I finish Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass is also frustrating. I was expecting more work, but because the class wants to help all levels, I’m stuck going over a bunch of basic stuff, and I’m still enjoying everything, but just once, I want someone to talk to me on the level I’m actually on.
Like, I already know how to find ideas, and I have too many as it is. I’ve already developed my “writer’s voice.” I don’t write short stories or graphic novels. Sure, I can skip these lessons, but like I said when I talked about Story Genius, there are weaknesses and gaps in my process, and I don’t entirely know where they all are or even what they are, so I have to go through everything to see it, but I don’t want to at the same time, because it’s tedious. I’m going back and forth between being a little bored and feeling incompetent. And because I’ve been brainstorming so long, I’m starting to question whether or not I should even write this story, and if I’m making it more difficult on myself by setting it in the future.
Neil is covering Worldbuilding in the class, which I want help with rather I need it or not, and that’s something that was completely glossed over in Story Genius, even though she said she would give tips for fantasy writers, she really only gave tips for thriller, mystery, and romance writers. I kind of wished I had signed up for Masterclass a few weeks ago and done similar lessons simultaneously, but it’s fine. I think it’s actually better for my brain this way.
The funny thing is, the setting is the easiest part of this story. Anyone reading it will be able to see some of the changes that have happened in the world, but I’m not going to explain everything, because what happened to get here isn’t part of the plot. Yes, I definitely know what happened. And yeah, people are always going to want to know, like I wanted to know exactly what happened in Hunger Games and what other countries were doing, but we didn’t get it, and we didn’t have to have it, because it’s important to remember, especially for sanity’s sake, that not everything matters.
Anyway, I have a first chapter outlined, kind of. It’s not an outline so much as some notes about what happens and why. And I have some other chapters “outlined.” Some potential opening words written down. Character names and descriptions for everyone, I think, and a plot and subplots. Reminding myself of this calms me down. Like I can see, there’s a story here, and I maybe I can even sit down and write it. I’m excited, but I’m more scared than excited right now. Maybe Neil will cover nonsensical fear in his Writer’s Block lesson.
But yeah, I want to keep up with what’s going on with my writing more. It helps me work things out, and I definitely need to worry less about pestering people with my ranting. They don’t have to read it. Last year, I didn’t talk nearly as much about this stuff as I wanted to, or needed to, which I think is one of the main reasons I struggled so much. I felt like I sounded crazy or that I was bothering people, so I tried really hard not to talk about it too often. Since I’m not physically around anyone who understands, things got worse until I broke down and “pestered” a writing friend for help, and I still only went into detail because she asked, and even then, I didn’t want to say anything, but I couldn’t stand up anymore. It’s like ask for help or die, metaphorically speaking. 😛
So, first writing update of the year. ^_^