Well. I’m jacked up on new music, thanks to you. I’ve discovered the glories of Pandora and several new artists, and I feel groovy.
Yesterday I finished some work on book one and have set the manuscript aside for a few days so I can go over it with fresh eyes before sending it back to my editor. In the meantime, I’m drafting scenes from book two. It’s a novel called Blackbird—a story told in reverse, starting with a mysterious triple murder and working back through the characters’ tangled relationships to figure out where it all went wrong. With sex, drugs and creepers as per usual. The proposal is approved, which means that I’ve written the synopsis, everyone’s on board with the premise, and I’ve been sent off to write it.
A year ago the idea of writing to a strict outline would have frightened me. I didn’t know how to think about work I had not yet written, so I scribbled all over the place and had to rebuild book one on the ashes of a lot of unusable scenes. But in recovering from that mess I’ve learned how to write chunks of work to fulfill a specific narrative purpose. I’ve been laying in words this way for the better part of a year now and I think I finally get it. As long as the characters are solid in my mind, I can make progress. Like a herd of wild turtles as my mother would say.
I’m going away for a week to take advantage of this unusual state of writerly confidence. I’ll be back when the juice runs out.
What have you learned over the past year?