Reading: Gone by Michael Grant
Listening to: Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
By the calendar, I have 14 days to go until my first draft is finished. In reality, it’s actually… (mentally does the math)… seven.
Yep, seven days. That’s about 28 hours actual writing, so if I did 1K an hour (approximately four pages), I’ll be finished by the 30th.
Does that seem impossible?
Okay, let’s not even go there 😯 Let’s talk instead about an awesome article I read the other day by Jo Beverley. She of the ‘flying into the mist’ fame – you know, for those writers who cannot meticulously pre-plan a story? Jo said some wonderful things about defining who flimmers are by nature and it really struck a chord. She does not do charts, or arcs, structures or detailed synopses. She does have an idea about who her characters are, the place, the situation. She starts with the seeds of barriers and problems and writes in the now, discovering what will grow from those seeds. But when it comes down to the actual writing, the story takes on a life of its own. She makes a point of emphasizing the ‘mist’ metaphor – you can see, but not far ahead. All directions are possible, not like driving down the road with the headlights on, which is a predestined route that implies you just have to follow in order to get to your ending.
Being a flimmer doesn’t mean you can’t write complex plots – Jo says “they grow as I write. The distinction is whether we pre-plot or not. I can plan a little ahead and have at least a 50-50 chance of following that path because the mist is not fog. The further I get into a book, the more I can see ahead because of the truths I’ve laid down in 40, 50, or 70,000 words. The mist thins, if you like.”
Now while I HAVE to do a synopsis, it’s not incredibly detailed. And I must start with a character’s who/where/when/why/why not. But for the rest of the story – for the bits that form and take shape while you’re writing, , where you discover your characters and their problems more deeply – it sounds like Ms Beverley and I have something in common. What about you?