Hello friends and welcome back to the corner of the internet where I cry about my current work-in-progress.
It’s been kind of an up-and-down week. Despite being completely sure last week that I wasn’t ready to start drafting, on Saturday, in a fit of pique, I accidentally did just that. I told myself I would go slow so that I wouldn’t catch up to my outline and that I was only doing so to help generate ideas for the middle part of the plot. I wrote a total of two pages over the weekend, and felt pretty satisfied with myself. The itch had been scratched.
I woke up Monday horrified at what I’d done.
Because no matter how badly I want to jump into the water, I don’t yet know how to swim. Not in this world, in this setting, with this story.
But in a way, I’m glad for my slip up. As I said, it scratched a persistent itch and it helped me realize with sharper clarity just how not ready I am to draft. So this week, I’m recommitting myself to the worldbuilding. I’ve even stepped back from the outline and I’m focusing completely on the setting and the characters. The plot will blossom more or less on its own so long as it has a solid foundation to grow from.
I’m going back to a method I’ve always really enjoyed when I’m in the planning stages of a project: notecards. In the past, I’d use notecards to jot down literally every single idea I got about the plot of the story, and those cards eventually formed the basis of the outline.
This time I’m taking it a step further. I’m using color-coded cards to keep track of everything. Not just plot, but characters, setting, the magic system. Everything.
Already this method has forced me to confront gaps in my world building, gaps that would be embarrassing to discover if I was already in the middle of a draft. Is it slow going? Of course. I have a whole ass world to build from scratch. But that only means that when I finally get to the point where I’m ready to draft, I’ll be able to tackle it without worrying about what I haven’t thought of. As much, at least. I’m sure the story will still find a way to surprise me.
And on that note, I better get back to work. Until next time, friends!
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