I don’t know how many times I’ve chronicled my writing process, or lack thereof, but here’s another one for you. I’ve stumbled across a new method to use at work so I still look busy but get some writing done. If you recall a couple of years ago, I was stumped in my writing (as I often am) but managed to studiously write 500 words while working. A sentence here and a sentence there will slowly but surely get the job done. Almost two years later, and I’ve found something new to try.
I’ve been dreading, like I’m going to drown in a pool of writing anxiety, plotting the rest of Dissonance. I’d say it’s funny how some parts of it come quickly, almost as if someone was telling me exactly what to write, when other bits don’t. But it’s not funny. It’s not funny at all. If you’re a writer, you know what I mean. When you’re on a roll, feeling invincible, like nothing can stop your pen or fingers from gliding across the paper or keyboard in rapid fashion, there is nothing, absolutely nothing more heartbreaking than reaching that proverbial writer’s block. Whether or not you believe writer’s block is real is besides the point. We all get stuck, but what we do when that happens is completely up to us. I’ve been known to freeze up and quit for a while, move on to a new idea, or plug away like the little engine that could. I’ve done all three with Dissonance at different times. Right now, I’m in “plug away” mode.
So what’s my strategy this time? Plot points! I may know the ending, and I may have already written it, but I don’t know how to get there. The more I think about it, the more I want to quit. The harder I try, the harder it is. I’ve decided to forgo thinking and jot down what comes to mind. I can deal with it later. Writing is a process. Maybe my process is a little longer than others, but if I finally make it to the end of the second draft, then who’s to say it doesn’t work? I wouldn’t complain!
Want to know if it works? Judge for yourself. I haven’t worked on Dissonance for a year. However, I now have three pieces of scrap paper with plot points. And that’s only from four days of work! They’re really detailed plot points too. They only encompass half of chapter 8 and half of chapter 9. The great thing about this is I don’t have a set path of how to get to the end. Each time I write something down, new schemes and intrigues pop into my head. Who knows where the six-year-old mug I mentioned today will take me. Down memory lane? The underbelly of the city? Or maybe it’s only a fleeting object on a table. Whatever it is, I’m excited to find out!