Sunday, August 7, 2011

If I Ever Figured Out How My Mind Works...

I think if I ever figured out how my mind works, I think I would not be able to continue writing.

Not that I'm slamming out the wordage now.

I have three projects that I'm working on, the novel Before The Dawn, and two shorter works, "The Fault Lies Not..." and "A Voice in the Darkness".  I work this way so that if I get stuck on one, I can move to one of the others.  I've always worked like this.

Now, I'm in a strange position.  I'm stuck on all three projects.  I'm either trying too hard or I'm letting real life get in the way of my writing.  I haven't really written anything for the last three or four days.  That's about the most I can go without writing.  If I try to go any longer, I start getting all nervous and twitchy, and people start thinking I'm having a seizure.

Cure: add another side project.  That is, return to an abandoned side project.

And so, I'm adding "My Soul to Keep" back into my group of projects.  One main project, three side projects.  Not a problem.  And it may help.

I feel a little better about "My Soul to Keep" than I did when I put it aside a couple of weeks ago.  I've tweaked the appearance of Helena Troy, my main character, so that might've been what held me up.  It's happened before.  When I was first starting Before The Dawn, I had trouble picturing Brynna in my mind.  I changed her appearance and charged on into it.  Hopefully, changing Helena's appearance will have the same affect on "My Soul to Keep".

Since I don't give extensive description of my characters, changing a character's appearance only benefits me.  But hey, if I can't picture the characters in my mind, I can't tell their story.

I also considered plotting out "My Soul to Keep" before diving back into it.  I don't usually do more than jot down plot points.  I can't follow plot outlines; my mind is always coming up with ways to make the story better.  (Way back in high school, I had to write a story for a class project.  The teacher wanted a plot outline first.  The story I turned in had the same beginning and the same ending but it didn't follow the plot outline I had turned in.  The teacher wasn't happy.)

I tend to think of plotting the same way Heinlein did:

"Winslow says I don't understand plotting and probably I don't - I have been congratulated many times on the skill shown in my plotting when I knew damn well that the story in question had not been plotted in advance at all.  My notion of a story is an interesting situation in which a human being has to cope with a problem, does so, and thereby changes his personality, character, or evaluations in some measure because the coping has forced him to revise his thinking.  How he copes with it I can't plot because that depends on his character, and I don't know what his character is until I get acquainted with him.  When I can 'hear the character talk' then I'm all right - he works out his own salvation." (from Grumbles From the Grave)

Hopefully having a different image of Helena in my mind will help me get to know her a little better so I can tell her story.

What was that?  Who does Helena look like now?  All I'll give you are the initials:  K.B.

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