Last night I wrote a micro-scene. A scenelet. Une petite scene. A pinky of a scene. It’s not much, but it’s the start of my “250 Words Per Day Minimum.” Any day and every day, 250 words. Entirely doable and completely unforgivable if missed. And, more to the point, so easy to succeed at. Last night, for example, was actually a nice 348 words and a scene (sort of) on it’s own.
It was also a scene (or scenelet, but I digress) that I didn’t know I needed until two days ago. I finally sat down and did what I have been avoiding for weeks — plotting out the next series of scenes in the novel. Why have I been avoiding this? I don’t know. But the research that I’ve done lately has helped to coalesce the picture of this micro-universe in my head. It is much more vivid up there, and with vividness comes clarity. I can see the characters environment which means I can see what their choices are, what their reactions are, which means that the story starts to plot itself. After laying out the big pieces on the white board last night, suddenly the next nine or so scenes blossomed up. I took copious notes and now feel fully armed.
Try as I might to plot the whole thing forward, I just end up distracting myself. I seem to be square in the middle between pantsers and outliners. I can’t conceive of the entire story beforehand — it’s too daunting and I can’t hold it all together. And I can’t just go in with nothing. If I do, I sit there befuddled and blocked. But give me some big pieces, let me play with them for a bit, really think about it, and then suddenly the connections are obvious and I’m off and rolling for about 15,000-20,000 words or so.
And yesterday at work, I mind-mapped out the next big scene. It involves scrapping what I had pre-wrote for it ages ago, but that’s okay. The new version is much better. Going to be a big scene, too. (It’s something that’s bothering me, to be honest. My scenes tend to run from small little catch-ups to big snarly things. They are separated by scene in Scrivener, not chapter, so I imagine that what’s its all written I will be grouping them together … but their length is inconsistent. I’m not sure if that’s an actual problem or not.)
Today I am “on the floor” at working, helping out with questions and taking sup calls. This means no writing or mind-mapping of anything, though I will keep a pen and cue cards handy for any stray ideas.
And 250 words. Hell, high water, and all that.
(Also have requested the time off to go to SFContario in November! Even if the Con pans out, I will enjoy my weekend away from work. Lord knows I need it. Next up is figuring out bussing and the like, though if anyone is going down that way, let me know! I’ll split on gas!)