I…don’t even know how to start this post. Here are the things you need to know about where I am when I get to the point about what my writing state is:
1. I am done with costumes for a long while so I have writing time again.
2. I am determined to publish both my Christmas novel (finished and edited) and its as-yet-unwritten prequel novellette/novella (whichever it turns out to be) this fall.
3. One thing I took away from this round of cosplay is that I am much better at dedicating all spare time/energy to a project when it has a deadline.
4. I am incapable of writing blind; if I don’t know what happens next, I cannot write. I am a type A planner and an INTJ thinker who requires an understanding of the system (entire plot) in order to perform tasks within it (write individual scenes).
5. I do not know what happens between the introduction scenes and the climax in this short.
We come at last, then, to the crux of the matter: I need to write this piece that is nowhere near a complete story in my head, in it entirety this month, so that I have time to polish it and prep it for publication during October and have both pieces up by early November.
The clock is ticking, and I have no idea what to write.
So I have spent time last night and today plotting. I don’t mean sitting there forcing a story to come about in a certain way, but my method is sure not organic, either, where I wait for my subconscious to work out the details and share them with me. No, I am laying out all the different possibilities for how the story plays out, trying to figure out which questions I can already answer and hoping those answers will eliminate enough of the options for other questions that those turn out to be answered, as well. I don’t know if you remember the “big angle problem” in geometry, where the teacher gives you a puzzle with like twenty lines crossing a circle and only one or two angles filled in, and you have to fill in the rest on your own, but plotting this way feels a little like that.
It’s a series of if-then statements and evaluations of the story they create. Making one choice by necessity cuts off others. The answer to the question “Is he drawn to her the first time he sees her or not until later?” influences the question of “Where do they meet?” – or is it vice versa?
I am hoping that my intuition will take over the decision-making process, because if the story is nothing but a series of arbitrary decisions because, goddamnit, I had to put SOMETHING down on paper, then the story won’t be able to stand.
I normally enjoy this part of the story-writing process. Brainstorming. The problem is that I am anxious to get to work and the interactions of these characters are eluding me, and I have a deadline and so I cannot just put it to the side and wait for my muse to show up fashionably late to the party.
So. Is he drawn to her right away, or isn’t he?