Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What Was I Thinking?!

Courtesy: Morguefile.com
Most authors recognize these feelings when beginning a new work in progress: excitement, determination, even a bit of trepidation...

Which can lead to that moment when, fingers frozen to the keyboard (figuratively, depending on where you live), the mind literally shifts gears from "Yes!" to "Huh?" to "What the hell was I thinking?" That so-called perfect idea has finally reared its ugly head. Why couldn't we see it coming?

Now what? I mean, by this time, we've invested ourselves in our story, and the thought of quitting seems so defeatist. We believe we can fix it, once we know what the problem is.

This happened to me recently. I'd started out to write a short story about an angel homicide detective. Put an excerpt up on my Facebook page, and people actually liked it. Someone asked if this were a novel, and I said not at first, but the way things were going, it seemed to be that way.

So what's the problem? I've never written a police procedural before. I've read them, even taken classes on homicide detectives and crime scene investigations. And while I've always thought I'd write one, part of me flinched at the idea. What if I got something wrong?

The irony? I'd written a screenplay with a homicide detective. In fact, I'm thinking of dusting it off, revising it, and submitting it to contests.

So why does a novel seem so daunting? Screenplays are easier to write: action, scene description, and dialogue. No inner thoughts or long, languid descriptions.

But with both novel and screenplay, I need to make sure I get each one right. And that means research. In this case, not only about homicide detectives but also angels.

It also meant I needed to know where my plot was going. See, I started this book on October 1. Every April and October, I join a group of fellow authors for BIAM-Writathon, a Book in a Month type of event. Sort of like an unofficial NaNoWriMo. Which reminds me, I need to start plotting November's book.

Anyway, I basically started this book by the seat of my pants, and I'm a plotter. So this means that I'm going to have to start plotting this book in order to map the scenes out. Then, go back and revise areas that need it, such as the crime scene investigation at the beginning. To help me, I'm trying Scrivener.

My goal is for my angel homicide detective to become a series character. Need to finish this book first. Wish me luck!

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