So, I've not written a blog in a little while, but I've been busy. I've spent a lot of time researching and planning my second novel; a sci-fi apocalypse following a young woman, who at the start of the novel believes herself to be the last person alive. Considering the setting, I was surprised at how much research I ended up needing to do.
Something bothered me about the book I was writing. Not the 'you're writing garbage' voice that sometimes crept into my head during my first draft of 'The March of the Dragons', but one that said the story was somewhat lacking. That was a new one for me.
I plot meticulously, although I divert from it a little as I write I follow the original template. Deciding I'd have to re-plot and re-write the majority of the 30,000 words I'd written was easy enough, putting it into practice proved much more difficult. I just can't re-plot. In my mind, I've already planned what 'should happen'. Re-writing it feels like re-writing history. It's a form of writer's block I'm sure. I've never had trouble getting the words out, but changing the story seems impossible. I wonder if it's something other plotters suffer from.
My solution? Shelve the book. Leave it for a month and come back to it while reading everything not related to that genre. It hasn't worked. I'm not looking at it from any fresh angle at all. I've know what my real problem all along; I've come up with an idea for what would be my third novel and I'm much more excited about that than I am this second novel. I refuse to allow myself to abandon a project, as tempted as I am to get started on the third novel I've already plotted that it will be the third novel, not the second. I'm making life hard for myself.
I've always thought that plotting is the way to go. I do however, find myself envying 'pantsers'. I wonder if it's possible for a plotter to become a pantser and vice-versa. I'm sure I'll always be a plotter at heart, but I think it's worth all those plotters out there like me just picking up pen and paper (ok, well a laptop), and just bashing a short story based on character. I do automatic writing in my creative-writing group the 'tothill scribblers', which should help, but I think I've just learned now that writing is like going to the gym- you have to exercise all the muscles. It's no good just working on the biceps or you're going to end up looking like a bloody cartoon character!