Each week I try to take some time off from writing to give myself a break and clear my head. I know this is a good strategy, but like an addict I start jonesing when I’m not happily tap, tap, tapping away, sending sentences across my virtual paper.
You have to realize my position as an author. I have two manuscripts going at the same time. The first is volume IV in my RISING TIDE series. I felt like I needed a break from this sequence of books, so I began a standalone sci-fi/fantasy novel to fill this sabbatical.
Because of my selfishness, I have allowed characters left in my charge to undergo needless trauma. They’ve been left hanging for an extended period of time. There are men and women in dire straits not knowing if they have a future–whether or not they are going to live or die, and even worse, what has happened to the one who holds their fate on the tips of his fingers.
There are characters in the book I am writing now, some in the very throes of destruction when I go to bed each night–that live in terror wondering, when or even if, I will return to give their life meaning. It’s such a struggle knowing I am responsible for the lives of so many; however, books must be written. This in and of itself gives me great comfort. I now know I am not alone. There are scores of concerned authors battling this injustice . . . I think I’d better stop right there. This is getting way too melodramatic . . . Nuff said.
Everyone writes differently. Some outline each chapter so they’ll have a decisive path to follow. Others will have a loose outline from beginning to end in order to retain a little wiggle room for plot changes as they write. There is no right or wrong, it’s whichever method you choose that makes you comfortable. Me, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, letting the wind dictate my direction. I still retain the right to override any decision and maintain first rights to dismiss the wind and any other nondescript faction that would send said manuscript awry.
If you write like I do (staring at a blank page while an idea ferments and then presents itself), I have a question. Have you ever started a manuscript and within the first two chapters the ultimate ending pops into your head? The only problems are the particulars necessary to round out the climax to an unforgettable event. Hopefully, you can discern all the particulars by the time you hit the last chapter. If not, you’ll certainly have them by the time you finish your multiple edits and rewrites…just saying.