If you’ve been following my posts this week–especially those of the last two days–especially yesterday’s, The Post NaNoWriMo drag, and a previous one about inspiration not striking as I’d like–then you know I’m struggling to make progress as I try to wrap up a first draft I’m working on, the first one in a new series about my fantasy world of Herezoth. I’m just feeling overwhelmed by all the directions and possibilities, and I’ve noticed a pattern to my panickings/uncertainties:
- Where do I take the next book? I have a particularly couple, the princess and a guardsman, I’m trying to bring together but it doesn’t seem entirely feasible and I have no clue how their storyline is going to end. And never mind Herezoth’s war with Esclavay! Do I have one kingdom invade the other? Keep battle maritime? I know NOTHING about warships/sea battles! I’d have to do so much research….
- How do I end this current book? I know I need a big battle scene and I know some of the characters who will be involved, but how do I wrap this novel up?
- Do I need to create a new character to partner sorcerer protagonist Zate in the final battle I’m planning? Who? I think I might have to, and editing a new character into the first part of the novel is always SUCH a headache.
- How much more filler material will I need before I even get to the big battle?
So, what do all these issues have in common?
The panorama of my thought process is just too wide right now. Trying to think of a novel on a global scale–and especially a trilogy, good heavens–when all you need to concentrate on is adding another sentence to the one before it is a surefire way to intimidate yourself completely out of writing!
KEEP IT NARROW
Somehow, I’ve gotten away from my tried and true formula of narrowing my vision to the current scene I’m developing. What’s just happened? Which characters does it affect, and how would they respond to the revelations/events that just occurred? How can where I’ve just gone advance me one step farther? Just one step?
Sometimes I’m sure what ultimate direction that step is in, and sometimes I’m completely off in my judgment. Sometimes I have no clue. Whatever the circumstance, it’s fine. When writing, you’ll get to where the story needs to go if you concentrate on using the characters to move you just one more step.
Just today, for instance, I struggled to get a scene down because I was trying, at the same time, to figure out what would come after. Well, when I let go of worrying about the scene to follow and worked on the scene in front of me, lo and behold–I got to the scene’s end, and I realized I had created a transition back to the princess’s POV. Realizing that, I immediately understood I needed another scene with her, and I can use it to advance the plot a day or two and show how she’s adjusting to that guardsman I mentioned above and his new assignment as her personal guard.
It’s so frustrating when I know what I need to do to write, because it’s helped me write before, but I resist those tried and true methods to just think too globally and freak myself out! For me, thinking local and small about my fiction is the way to progress. If that means that later on I have to edit in a character, well, I’ve done it before, and I know that’s preferable to being stuck and not writing.