I’d started my new story. Done the ideas in a box, sticky notes on the whiteboard and scribbled on paper with balloons and arrows. All the usual idea crunching that goes on with a new book.
The writing began, the ideas were flowing. Chapter one, scenes one, two, three and screech. Everything went off on a tangent. My character began to sound wrong. One in particular started smoking dope and acting like one! What was this? Why was this? Even more importantly reader, what was I going to do about it?
I wandered around depressed for two days. Wrote not a word. Read and reread the start. I loved the first, second and third scene. LOVED them I tell you reader! Had I run my course, produced my best? Was I a two book wonder? What this it? You can imagine reader, just how lousy I felt.
My sister came over for a cuppa and I had a moan. I was seriously getting sick of listening to myself, I was over the pity party. But, I didn’t know what to do. So I cooked a huge pot of Curried Chicken and traded dinner for 4, for a read-thru! My darling sister asked a simple question and I realised it was redeemable. The suggestion got everything happening. We were scribbling ideas (oh all right, I was scribbling) onto postit notes, tossing ideas around. In general, getting excited. Then we went for a walk and thrashed out the unrealistic bits, the clangers, so to speak and then we went home and I had to feed them. My sister said I didn’t have to feed her family, but I’d already cooked curry for 40, so what was I going to do with all that chicken? Sorry, no photo of the curry, we ate it.
So they came, sent quizical glances and questions at my bedroom door that was covered in sticky notes.
As soon as they left, I wrote and wrote and wrote. I got all the ideas down before I lost them all together. Now I’m very excited, the story is back on track and fun to write.
Note, I forgot to take a picture of the bedroom door with sticky notes, this is said door with other, bigger, notes stuck on!
Just as I began to get excited LIFE came along and threw yet another rock at me. Nothing to get too stressed about, but certainly enough for me to end up losing the thread of my WIP.
I also learnt a huge lesson. I had been a tad hasty reader! I know, hard to believe?
I’d jumped into my current WIP, NOSTALGIA, without doing the required planning. I fell flat on my face. So then it was back to the whiteboard and sticky notes. It seems that it’s all in the planning for me when I write. I didn’t think I had to, thought I could get away with just a vague direction. But no! I need to plan, research, think and think and then get out the white board, sharpie pen and post it notes!
Learning Point: Just because a story goes off track, it doesn’t mean it can’t be revived. New life can be breathed into a gasping story.