Some of you may know I have a huge thing for stationary, notebooks of all varieties, journals, pens, all of it. I tend to collect these things for random projects I plan to work on throughout the year. Most of the time they see a small snippet of a book or only the plotting behind it and then they get discarded on a shelf somewhere.
While reorganizing my work space before the new year I went through some of these books. My absolute favorite things to find were the book snippets. Most may have belonged to a book I never finished for some reason, but by simply reading those bits I was transported to the images it held, not only that but I could remember what I’d been thinking while writing it, or even how excited I had been to start scrawling the words down.
When I came across the bits of plots it didn’t hold that same amazement for me. Instead, I glanced at them and actually groaned a bit. That made me sit back and think, if working in plots and such brings me such irritation then why have I done that? I know I wanted a more cohesive book then I had the first time around. I also know I read enough blog posts that said that was the way to be a better writer.
The truth of the matter was as I continued to work, I learned how to do the more cohesive book without needing plots. I learned about speed, depth, and character development by writing. When a story could pull me inside of it while writing and the images played like a fancy movie before my eyes, then I knew I was onto something. I was invested in something. I could hear voices of characters, see their actions and know what brought them to these places.
Often, I would find myself getting lost in my own head as I continued to imagine the life of these people. Scenes flashed into my head. Bits of conversation danced in my mind.
These were all things that I had lost when it came to plotting like I was doing. Working out a plot in the background before I sat down to write felt methodical. While it allowed me to plug any plot holes way in advanced, I lost my spark for the story by the time I sat down to write.
So, I’ve now chosen to let go of all that and write the stories in my head, the way they come to me. As long as I’m sitting down everyday and getting words down then I’m making progress. That decision has lifted a large weight off my shoulders and I have to admit I have a whole lot more fun when I sit down to work now.
Here is to a new year filled with worlds in my imagination. Until next time, remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.