Every time I hear that saying I hear Carly Simon singing about ketchup/catsup (or however you wish to spell it). Of course she sang anticipation but for me the two are now twisted together and there ain’t no separating ’em.
It started last month when I attended a writing workshop. For me the best way to mess up my writing process is to be filled with unique ideas on writing the best story you possibly can. And just like a kid in the candy store, I wanna try a little of everything. Just a little.
Which means, I’m gonna be sick, angry and frustrated by the whole writing/candy thing. And my writing schedule (already disrupted by a few more unplanned trips to the doctor—where I got yelled at and accused of child abuse) will once more suffer setbacks.
But this time, the story fairy/muses/benevolent deity took pity on me. The speaker, Larry Brooks and his story engineering/physics writing structure actually sounded very similar to my process, with a few important tweaks to bring my writing to a higher level.
Cool beans. So I sat down and worked out the main points of Born in Blood and was very excited. But then the great ‘Zon sent my order of his books and I read them over the next three days to see if I’d missed any salient points.
Then I returned to my story to see how to make it better/worse for the characters and blocked out their paths on paper. I’ve never done this before, up until now everything was always in my head and I got really excited and tingling. This is gonna be so good.
But then I sat down to write, opened up my iPad and played Fishdom and Shanghai. Yeah, that was two really productive weeks. Thankkully the story fairy/muses/benevolent deity took pity on me again and stirred the pot at Netflix until my recommendation queue was full of Ted Talks. So I added, um, nearly all of them and started watching.
The first one was about optimism and sure enough, I saw reflected in her talk my own problem. I was enamored of how amazing BiB would be I didn’t want to ruin it by actually writing it. I could enjoy and hoard the story, savoring the twists and one story line ending that was diabolical, brilliant and disturbing. Just me and the people in my head.
With this giddy frame of mind, I sat down and began the first chapter. Then erased it and started again. Erased it and started again. And again.
Oh, good Lord. Had this detail of planning ruined my process, even though it was the way I had done things before?
Seventh time being the charm, the answer was no.
You knew that was coming, didn’t you?
But, my story telling style has evolved yet again.
Check back in July when Harlan, Sera, Lee and Marshall (plus 2 more baddies) return. Either on the 8th or 15th, I’ll start posting chapters.
As the Klingons say: There will be blood!