I’m full into plotting phase. In fact, according to my self-imposed timetable, I’m supposed to finish my plot today, ready to start writing the first draft tomorrow. That’s not going to happen, I’m afraid.
My story is still full of holes, illogicalities, nonsensical character decisions and dire cliches. It might be highly tempting to go ‘What the hell!’ and get on with turning it into a first draft of a novel, but something tells me that this would be a terrible idea.
For one thing, since I’m still lacking a lot of detail in the plot, I would essentially be writing and making it up at the same time. I don’t want to do that. I want to know what is going to happen beforehand, so that I can concentrate on telling the story as effectively as possible. How can I do that if I’m scratching my head, trying to think up what comes next?
The other thing is, whilst I know that a first draft is a first draft, and I don’t want to get too precious about this, I also know that changing a section where I have already written 2000 words is a lot more wasted work than just sitting for a while and thinking, and then altering a sentence or two in a plan. So it just makes more sense to change the plan than to change the draft.
But this is still a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Writing is a brutal spectator sport. You’ve constantly got to witness your favourite ideas get obliterated, as they don’t fit with the overall story. Then there are the constant realisations that bits of your story are not going to work, or revisiting ideas that you thought were great, and discovering that they are actually banal. Like I say: brutal. Sometimes, I think that the best resource that I can develop if I want to get better at this is to develop a thick skin.
I’m making a new revised deadline for plotting phase of book: 15th June.
Now, back into battle.