If I had a plan, this would definitely not be it. (But that’s okay.)

Posted: November 6, 2015 in writing
Tags: , , , ,

I’m not much of a planner. I don’t plan meals. I don’t plan trips. And I sure as hell don’t plan ahead when I sit down to write. A premise, the desire to entertain myself, that’s about all I have going in. The benefit of making everything up as I go is that I can start writing a story as soon as I have the idea. There’s no world building or character naming to deal with. I don’t have to title. I just have to write.

Here. Let me provide a handy gif of my process:

corgi splash

Do I have stories bomb due to poor planning? All the freakin’ time.

Do I have to edit out pages and pages of random scenes involving cats and stolen jars of jelly when I’m done? Hell yeah.

Do I mind? Yes and no. If I’m being honest.

Sometimes I envy the people who can sit down to outline and have it work for them. I wish I could do that. I’ve tried and I suck at it. I’ve sort of gotten the hang of keeping a loose mental checklist for things that could happen in the next scene/chapter/20,000 words. But that’s as friendly as outlines and I are ever likely to get.

What’s my point with all this?

It goes a little something like this: I never know where my stories are going to go. Not really. I might have an ending in mind but they can (and often do) change. (I’m looking at you over there, Sef. You were supposed to die, not get three books and a novella.) So by now you would think I would stop being so surprised when stories twist out of my greedy little fingers and run away to do their own thing.

And yet.

Any of you who have seen me lamenting on twitter know where this is going. My current story was supposed to be the trashiest, smuttiest piece of throw away crap EVER. I have a list of favorite tropes and I planned to check some of them off the list in one fell swoop. (On a side note, if you haven’t tried writing trash you should give it a go. I’ve never had more fun with my writing.) This was the plan. Write trashy smut. Bang out another novella while having some fun. Emerge refreshed and ready to edit an older novel.

It started so innocently.

I still don’t even know what happened.

confused staring

No. That’s not true. I know.

My character Farrow happened. He may be fictional but he is also a force of nature.

I didn’t get the trash I was aiming for. No. Instead I am nearing 70k on the weirdest, most complicated, strangely personal story I’ve ever written. There’s magic and intrigue and an awful lot of blood for something that I swore was going to be a romance. It’s still fantasy but at its core it’s also very much me talking about issues I didn’t know I was still holding onto. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t INSANELY nervous about it. About sharing it. About reading it. About having to imagine once again, in full surround sound and Technicolor, the anxiety of being in a situation from which there is no obvious means of escape. But I’m doing it.

This wasn’t the story I was looking for. Apparently it was the one that was looking for me.

This novel’s not trashy or smutty (Thanks for being asexual, Farrow. You’re awesome) but I love it anyway. Even though Farrow is an asshole with horrible fashion sense. Even though there are days I want to throw the whole thing into the lake instead of finishing it. (Admittedly, I probably would have done just that if certain people hadn’t kept asking about it.) So… thank you, Farrow, for being an asshole and ruining my hopes of a bit of trashy fun. And thank you to everyone who took an interest in his story. You are the reason I kept writing it. Especially during the aforementioned throw-it-in-the-lake-where-it-will-never-be-heard-from-again moments. Maybe someday you’ll get to read it. (Yes, even the parts that make me remember that I have feelings when I would rather not.)

blowing kisses key

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