I’m pretty sure I’ve talked before about getting ideas about the day’s work while standing in the shower. Today was a spectacular case of that.
I’d thought I knew what today’s scene was going to be — it was dark, and grim, and scary, and I was all geared up to get in there and get the words, and as I was zipping through my shower (always the step before heading in to work), the still, small voice in the back of my mind said…
What if your Main Character in Terrible Trouble doesn’t go where you planned?
She and her companion will still be in Terrible Trouble™, you’ll still have “what’s waiting on the other end” waiting on the other end… but…
What if, instead, you make this one tiny change to what you were going to do, and see where that takes you instead?
I held that question in my thoughts as I zipped through the speed version of rinsing shampoo; ran a few possible variants on the tiny change while toweling off (though I’m pretty sure I removed some skin in my hurry to get to the computer); and hit the story where I’d left off yesterday with the new, better, tougher, more-difficult-to-write scene in mind.
I love what I got, in spite of the fact that by the end of it, I was typing through tears.
By chasing “what if”, and by then following the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of that to their logical conclusions, today I wrote my favorite scene in the series so far.
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I hope I speak for everyone here when I say that I really can’t wait to read this! Like, *really* can’t wait, would willingly bribe or blackmail someone to see it, *seriously* can’t wait. I *know* that I’ve got to wait, but I suck at waiting, and you’re not making my natural impatience any easier to live with.
(And I mean this in the best way possible, of course). 🙂
Also also, I’m doubly interested to see what the series looks like when you’re having to write the whole dang thing without getting much in the of feedback on the individual earlier books in the series.
Thank you very, very much for the enthusiasm. My own older son is attempting to bribe and blackmail me into getting to see it before it’s done, and would probably happily join forces with you… but seeing it right now would be disastrous for anyone with me.
I doing rolling world-building as I write, and if I think of a better way to write a character, will jump abruptly to the new way without going back to make the old way consistent. I do the same thing for plot points.
Better replaces worse, new replaces old, but I don’t bring the old bits up to code until everything is done.
The one-pass revision of this five-book series, therefore, (and the nightmare read-through and mark-up that precedes it) is going to be unreadable to anyone but me.
You and me both. And that will be NO feedback on the earlier books. All my feedback will be from Matt (husband and editor) going through the post-revision work on all five books, and reading them back to back to back as one story.
(He’s not going to be taking any outside editorial requests during his descent into the mammoth revised first draft, just for what it’s worth. I’ll let his other editing clients know a reasonable amount of time before I hand my stuff over, so that they can plan accordingly.)