I’m not very good at sports analogies, but this one seemed appropriate for my progress on the new book. I am about at page 60 or so where things should be starting to really roll, the story laid out and moving forward–and as I was looking at my three-page synopsis and writing out the day’s dialog to turn into text, I suddenly realized that my plot had evaporated due to little changes along the way. This is not unusual. Let me say that again. This is not unusual. It happens enough that I’ve learned not to panic, but just get my clipboard back out and solidify some new goals.
Sometimes, the difference between the writer who finishes a book and the one who has five manuscripts going but nothing done–is decided here. If you’re one of the latter, take heart that this is not an uncommon issue, nor is it a reflection on your writing skills. It just means that things have changed and you need to take a day or two and jot down a few goals and rebuild a story to address them. In my case, I had to reassess and define the issue of the entire book, what the end goal was, and what the complication is. I then had to go back and brainstorm five things my main character has to do in order to get there. I also used the addition of a new character to push things into high gear, which worked out wonderfully since he complicates and involves everything wonderfully. But the main point to this post is that plots fall apart. The professional does not abandon them, but pushes it all back together and finds the new goal, issue, and complications, and continues on. Today I should make some good progress and be back where I want to be by Thursday.
And, since I was at my clipboard yesterday, getting very little done on the keyboard, I took the time to change a few names. If I have to stop and remember my main character’s name repeatedly, I know I’ve chosen the wrong one. Taylor is out, Peri is in. For now. I don’t like names ending in a vowel, but there it is.
Also, the voting for the preliminaries is over at Goodreads and we are two days into the semi finals, but I don’t see any change over at the website. If you’ve not voted for your favorite in each category, maybe it’s not too late? Goodreads, choice award, favorite book of 2011