Thursday, 8 August 2013

When Planning Goes Awry



Hey all,

So, writing has still been going well, and I’ve been keeping up with my self set schedule. Even with my building deciding that 8:30am was an appropriate time to test the fire alarms and come into my apartment. They then felt that it was necessary to ring the building’s alarms (including the one in my bedroom) every 10ish minutes until 11. I admit, though, that I got less done than I would have liked that day… I tend to wake up around 11, and usually not after being jolted awake every few minutes. 

My title today, however, does not so much point towards when I fall off a schedule, because that happens far too often than I’d like to admit(ish). But rather, it’s about how when I write, anything that I’ve planned out is entirely capable of ending up on the chopping block. Even just the other day I mentioned that I probably wouldn’t be putting anything new into Dreamstate II—that was a lie. I came up with a new little something this afternoon that I’m rather fond of. I think it helps tie a few later moments into earlier ones, and smoothes out a few questions that could bother readers. It’s a good thing I came up with it, but it totally screwed over the length of my planned out chapters.

I went on longer with certain scenes/ topics than I intended to, and in doing so, extra stuff in another world really didn’t fit—so I had to figure out how to slide that into the next chapter, which shuffled a few more things along. Everything was so nicely balanced out, but when I made the book better, I had to shuffle everything that I’d worked through for the un-written bits. This is one of the reasons that I tend to not really waste my time trying to set stuff in stone before I’ve written it. Even after I’ve written it, it’s not set in stone; things get deleted all the time with hardly a second look back.

This is one of those weird moments in writing/ writing planning where I really have no idea if I’ve done something good with planning out the rest of the book. It’s definitely honed my content and given me a bit more direction than just wading through the story, creating as I went. The problem is that I still do that, as I mentioned above. I know where I’m going, but I can’t help myself from stopping and adjusting the path ever so slightly. I suppose that as long as I don’t let what I’ve planned dictate my writing entirely, and still allow myself wiggle room for new ideas and sections, then it was a good idea. It’s given me a bit more of a solid story spine to follow, rather than just what was in my head as abstract thoughts and plot points. I’m honestly still very much in the learning stage in regards to figuring out what works for me while writing. I’ll probably still be like this come ten years from now—it’s probably part of a process that’ll keep evolving just as long as I keep writing.

Also, as a last note, I’m going to see Neil Gaiman today! I’m way too excited for my own good, but I don’t really care because yay. It’s supposedly his last tour where he’s going to be signing things, so I’ll be going with American Gods and Charlotte will have Coraline. I might have already mentioned all this, but I’ll say it again, because I want to. I’ll jabber about cool it was next time I make a post, that way everyone can live vicariously through me.

-Trevor

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