Like many writers I know, I have too many ideas. Quite a number of these—not all, by any means—are in-progress stories. I could provide a list of everything that’s “going”, but I won’t. That list is long, tedious, and I don’t want to make readers salivate for things that are not currently active.
One of the things I’m trying to do is take my writing more seriously. I’ve managed to regain the feeling of fun I think writing should be, so now it’s time for me to treat my writing in a more professional manner. To that end, I’ve been outlining and brainstorming stories before writing on them. Outlining involves making up to 15-16 plot cards ahead of where I’m writing, and then plotting a scene for every one I write. Having an open-ended outline helps me not get tied up in “It’s all written in stone!” feelings, and it allows me the flexibility I feel is necessary in my writing activity. This is a holdover from my pantsing days, but I feel that not having an outline of any sort was actually hindering me. Sometimes, the outline only makes it clearer what I’m missing, but it’s easier to fix an outline than it is to fix a half-finished project.
The brainstorming is a different matter. I’ve tried a couple different methods of brainstorming. First, I tried randomly throwing plot points into a scrivener file for different stories. This did not end well. Whenever I open those files now, I’m overwhelmed by the randomness of the plot points, and even if I manage to read and color code the different plot points, I’m still so overwhelmed that my mind simply cannot retain any of the information. Then the makers of Scrivener created Scapple, a brainstorming software. I’ve tried to use this in a number of different ways, but for the most part, I have the same difficulties with the random plotting I’ve tried in the program, and even some of the better-organized pre-outline plotting I’ve done can get overwhelming. I’m still refining this process though, so I’m not sure how things will really end up. Finally, in the hopes my handwriting wouldn’t cause my anxiety to rise, I’ve moved to doing brainstorming in journals. So far, this has been largely successful. Apparently, I’m too busy trying to decipher my doctor-type scrawl to become too anxious to read what I’ve written.
So, I’m going to list the projects I’m focusing on in prework. Given my bipolar’s tendencies to swing around from project to project, and the sheer number of projects I’d like to work on, I’ll do my best to focus on these in the brainstorming prework. This, people, is my effort to take my writing seriously, and treat it professionally.
Projects in Prework:
Discordant Harmonies 4: Antiphons – I’m struggling with the overarching External Conflict for one of the two POVMCs of this project; I feel like the one I have for him is rather lame. The other character’s External Conflict is set, though I’m not sure it’ll carry all the way through my goal wordage of 50k-60k. So far, though, I’ve got a small number of plot cards and a few scenes written on this. They’ve just all stalled ’cause I haven’t figured out what happens later on. That’s what this brain dump stuff is supposed to help me with.
Dreamweaver/thief 1: Blessings and Curses – I’m doing better with this one. So far, I’ve established some worldbuilding (this is a new world with a new magic system and pantheon of gods) and the basics of two characters’ motivations. This project has 3 POVMCs, though, and I’m struggling with figuring out things for #3. And, yes, I do need to have this character’s pov, because these three characters are going to be reunited in a later volume. Otherwise, I have vague notions about the overall External Conflict for the series, but nothing definite. I also need to come up with a better series title, but that probably won’t happen until I know more of the overall External Conflict.
The Prophet of Venjhelin 2: Uncertain Times – This one I’ve got a bit of an outline and writing done on. But it is a mess. It’s been slow going with the outline and writing though, mainly because I keep having to add plot cards into the middle of the line as I come up with other scenes and aspects of the story that need to be addressed. It’s my hope that doing the brain dump brainstorming will help me figure all this stuff out before I make any more progress on it.
(Last Updated on 8 May 17, 17:45)