So I’ve been doing the #FridayFlash exercises for a few weeks now and I have to say, they’re good for keeping the ol’ writer muscles movin’ and flexin’. But over the last few weeks, I really haven’t done much in terms of getting them up and ready to go. A few weeks ago, I was writing so much I had a backlog of about three weeks worth of stories ready to go.
Now, though, I’m down to almost nothing. I have one left to post (which probably went up on my fiction blog today), and that’s it. I have to get hopping and write a few more to have them ready to lock-‘n-load.
I’ve been reading about this online from several editors and agents too. There seems to be a consensus about what to do when a writer is finished with one story and it’s in the wind, either as a represented work (in the hands of his/her agent, being pimped to editors at publishing houses) or on a query quest seeking representation. Once that baby’s flown the nest, it’s time to start on the next big thing until you’re ready to do something with that piece again…which will hopefully be never. (If it doesn’t fly in the world of publishing houses, you might get feedback from your editor or agent about why; if it doesn’t have an agent yet, who knows what you’ll get.) But for the most part, when the final tweaks are in, the thing lives or dies.
So while you’re waiting to find out you should be writing, I hear. Write and write and write some more. Get on to your next project and chop away. So, I’ve been doing precisely that. I’ve been working on character outlines for my next project, trying to figure out who they are and what makes them do what they do, and how to establish the stakes for them in the story. I have the basic synopsis of what happens, but don’t really have the four part story structure layout I want yet. I have a little more foundational work to do, but basically, I’m not doing much of anything. At all. And that means I’m laggin’ and draggin’, like the title says, in a lot of areas.
So I’m down a few flash pieces and not up on my major project, and my former major project is on life support (and hasn’t been looked at in a while). What have I been doing?
I don’t know. Honest, I have no idea. I’m doing the things I think I’m supposed to be doing, but the Oh My Gosh I have to WRITE WRITE WRITE this story urge hasn’t set in. Yet. (And maybe never will, but that’s for another day.)
So, writers, how do you plan and attack breaking the inertia to getting the next project started? How do you layout the way you go about the next thing you’re writing? Do you just sit down and let the characters “direct” you (ARRGH I hate when writers gimme that load of crap), or do you have a general idea of what you want to happen in the story and let the characters develop as they will? Lots of my writer buds take a pants seat approach – does this make it easier to get started somehow?
Let me know before you run off for your weekend stuff. I have a book I’d like to write and can’t remember how to start. To tell the truth, I don’t know if I ever knew.
Wish Falcon a happy birthday Sunday. She’s old and it would mean a lot for you to remember, even if she can’t anymore.