|Lost 1 (c) Sanja Gjenero|
As of last night, book 2 of The Dream War Saga has a plot! Well, it’s had a plot for a while, but it was more like a vague, “I know this stuff needs to happen somewhere in this book” kind of plot. Now it has chapters and everything! The gloriously wonderful Lani Woodland spent HOURS with me on Skype this week going through the story chapter by chapter to help me flesh out the ideas and figure out where I needed more meat on my skeleton of a novel. I’m kind of ridiculously excited by what we came up with! Things will probably change along the way, but in my humble opinion, my as yet unnamed book 2 will be freaking EPIC. 😉
Some of the ideas that now play an integral part to this completely epic plot probably wouldn’t have been born without Lani or the order to provide an outline to my editresses by the middle of next month. While I have used outlines before, overall, I’m not an outliner. I think that’s mostly because I’ve never tried outlining while bouncing ideas off someone else. When I’m sitting there staring at a chapter by chapter outline, nothing comes. Seriously, nothing. It’s frustrating and annoying and makes me want to avoid writing completely because if I can’t even come up with ideas how the hell am I going to build a career as an author? And I don’t like feeling like that. When I have someone to talk to who asks questions and makes suggestions and gets my brain working, though, I end up with an entire plot in about eight hours.
So here’s my advice: Try things at least twice. Preferably three times. If you don’t like a method or idea the first time, fine. Go back to the way you’ve been doing things and let it rest for a while. Try it again, but change it up somehow. Approach it from a different direction. Still doesn’t work? That’s fine. If you can come up with a third alternative approach, try that before giving it up entirely. If not, maybe this idea/method/whatever isn’t for you. And that’s okay. Not everything is going to be. The important part is getting words down on paper that make your heart beat faster and tears well in your eyes. As long as you can do that, the how doesn’t matter so much.