Sometimes it works

In an effort to get the writing flowing again, I decide to write out a couple of chapter plans. It was really frustrating, I knew where the story was going, I even knew how it ended and in fact was able to rewrite the last chapter (which turned into a chapter and a half in the process) incorporating a couple of newly thought-of twists in the plot, but nothing else was happening. Oh you know, that’s not quite true, I finished Steig Larsons Millenium Trilogy!
Seeking enlightenment, I visited The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America website. There was an interesting piece by a VERY enthusistic lady recounting how she managed to write up to ten thousand words a day. Now, I frankly reckon that’s probably a case of quantity over quality, at least if you achieve it on a regular basis, but she did talk a lot about ‘the planning process’, something that, to be honest, I’m not great on. Certainly, I have the basic plot in mind when I start writing a new book, I do my research and work up a ‘biography’ of the main characters, but I’ve found that somewhere along the line the characters themselves take over and the plot evolves through my interaction with them. Spooky thought that, do I spend a major part of my working day interacting (i.e. talking) with myself or do the characters actually come to life, in which case have I the ability to create them? well, never mind all that, it seemed to me that there might be some merit in my adapting this planning process to suit my working style, so on the rough assumption that I was aiming to finish the story in around another six chapters (not set in stone, but I aim for five thousand words +/- per chapter and between one hundred and thirty and one hundred and fifty thousand words in total) I wrote a summary of each of the six chapters, i.e. what I wanted to include in each chapter, but not any details.
Well I have to tell you that it works! Of course, chapter content evolved once I started writing and there’s going to be a fair bit of editing, but things have started moving again. I don’t write every day, and when I do I maybe get a half a chapter done, but the end is nigh! Interestingly, the final book of the trilogy suddenly came into focus and a couple of characters dropped by to say ‘hello’. Unfortunately, there will be much research required into the background/beliefs of one of the characters, but hey, that’s the name of the game!
I’d emailed ‘Emma the Agent’ to see if she’d had any feedback. The answer was ‘no’, but she wasn’t expecting any unless a publisher wanted the book. She repeated two comments, the first being that it usually takes three to four months to hear anything back, and extracts from the manuscript were submitted in November, so early days yet and the second being
QUOTE All we can do is continue submitting on your behalf, no matter how many it takes, just accept from me that Eliezer’s Journey is a great story, and it will be published – we just do not know when. UNQUOTE
So, that’s this weeks happy thought.

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