Well, I started drafting MK2—maybe? I started writing the first chapter with a clear vision and a pretty good idea on the second chapter, but after that? Who knows? This is similar to how MK1 started. The difference was I had clear vision of the opening sequence in MK1 which ended up being ten chapters and about 30k worth of words, but I wasn’t clear what would happen after that. This time I have a good vision of the first two chapters (probably 4-5k words) and not sure where to go after. This doesn’t seem like a long enough runaway to build momentum and get the story rolling. So, I’m preparing for a jerky start.
That’s the problem with being a discovery writer—figuring out the story as you go can be slow and lead to a lot of false starts and dead ends. It seems like every novel I start I need to relearn this. The hope, of course, is that once I’m in the thick of drafting, the characters come alive and start driving the story themselves—all I need to do is point them in the right direction.
The decision to start drafting came on suddenly (as it normally does for me). I was working out a lot of the antagonist backstory and plans, which was coming together nicely, but I was struggling about where to pick up the story again. A lot of writers like to go for walks when working out problems, and there’s a ton of science to back that up.
Me? I like to lay in the pool in the sun and listen to music. But I always felt guilty about it, like it was too indulgent to work through problems that way. But when I recently read The Good Enough Job by Simone Stolzoff, I felt pretty validated. There’s also research backing up that relaxing and unwinding jump starts the creative brain. I felt like it was telling me the brain science behind my lived experience. It totally works for me! Although, I still can’t shake the feeling it’s too indulgent. I even word-vomited all over my wife about it in an attempt to justify myself. My wife listened and assured me I had no reason to feel guilty about occasionally laying in the pool and she never harbored any ill-ill toward me about it. Typing all this out has made me realize that maybe I don’t have an as healthy work/life balance as I thought I did if I feel guilty for laying around.
Anyway, now I just need to get build up some momentum in drafting. (Writing is fun–most of the time. Editing on the other hand … editing sucks).