Thursday, June 21, 2012

From the Writing Post

This is me, with my writer hat on again. This time, what's on my mind is going into a project that scares you.

I'm near the end of the percolating stages for the next book I want to write. I say percolating, because I am, overall, a pantster. Sure, I have an idea of the overall big picture, of where I want the book to go, even some key scenes. But I do not know, chapter by chapter, what will happen. I have no idea what my characters are going to go through. Which, usually, works for me. In truth, the scenes I end up loving the most are ones that happened when I just let my characters do what they wanted, or, more accurately, needed. I write on emotion and instinct, rather than anything too specifically mental and intentional.

But the book I am getting ready to start? I don't think my come what may mentality is going to work. I'm planning a nonlinear timeline, alternating between the past and present, leading up to, around, and after a very big event that is definitely a Before and After kind of turning point for my main character. I am not good at writing nonchronologically.

So this project? It scares me.

There are so many ways it can go wrong for me, so many holes I might end up writing myself into, or maybe not even seeing. A big part of me is, in truth, scared that this new concept is going to almost break me, much like SlackerBoy did. And some days, while I debate some more key specifics of this book, I wonder if I can handle that again.

But then I also think, how would I handle it if I didn't write this book, simply out of fear?

I realize that the obvious thing is to just try, and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

But that doesn't work for me. I'm generally an all or nothing kind of girl. So once I start this project, lord help me, I will finish it. No matter the tears, the hair pulling, the breakdown. Which sounds all empowering when I say it now, but when I'm in the throes of feeling like I am being completely outsmarted by imaginary people I made up in my head, by a book that I am supposedly the puppetmaster for... honestly? It's really hard to deal with.

I have no good advice on dealing with that. I can only say that I know, ultimately, I will start this project, because the idea is that strong in my head. And I know I will likely whine and kick and scream along the way, but I will write it. I don't even let myself think about what if it's not good... because I trust myself to make it good. Even if it takes a year and a half. Even if I do 6 rounds of revisions from the original draft just to get it to where people can read it. Even if it nearly breaks me.

Because even the project that I think might be the most breaking one I've ever written... didn't break me. So neither will this one. So fear and all, I am going with it, because I want to both grow as a writer and challenge myself, but not let fear shy me off from any book idea my brain latches onto with fervor.

Just as soon as I figure out how to blend the past and present...


  1. You go girl! Believe in yourself! Since I love books it's exciting to me to see how they get started. I can't wait for when I get to see it finished and complete! Just keep writing!!

  2. I know exactly what you are facing. Sometimes our best writing ideas can turn into the hardest to execute. Go for it and good luck!

  3. I totally love this post, it's so inspiring! I love how you're going to do this new idea [which reminds me of Pandemonium a little bit- so cool!] and stick with it until the end. I think that takes a huge amount of guts and persistence. Good luck, Kari! You can do it!!

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  4. Yay to a fellow pantser! I hear you on being scared, but just jump into and see where it takes you! You can fill those holes later and who knows, it might take you to some surprising places! Rock it! : )