Posted by Jennifer B. at The Writing Cocoon.
We arrived home Sunday night, back from a trip abroad. However, it’s taken me longer to get back to my blog than it has to get back to my house. The blogging was going so well, so consistent.
I hate breaking a routine because the reestablishment of the routine is such a bitch. I was finally settled into a plan and then Life couldn't help but meddle. It put a little crack in my view of my world as a chess board where I control all the pieces, my carefully constructed schedule being the board. Maybe that’s my inner control-freak rearing her red-faced and scowling head. Maybe she’s not so “inner.” I’ve always struggled with…flexibility. Not sure if that is such a good trait in a writer, or anyone.
Thankfully, the delay in returning to blogging does not mirror a delay in returning to writing. I allowed myself Monday “off,” so that I could sleep in and unpack the bags. I intended to do a little housecleaning, but the cat-fur bunnies and spider webs will have to wait. They often have to wait. But, I digress.
Still riding high on the completion of my first novel, the energy kept my fingers twitching and yearning for a return to the keyboard. But, I wasn't quite ready to dive into the next story. I spent some time reviewing the notes I took on plotting and story structure and notes on this AW forum thread here. I also finished reading the novel for June’s Women of Fantasy book club, and yes, I realize it is halfway through July. As I said, Life has been interrupting my schedule, and there is just no arguing with Life. It wasn’t exactly writing, but I did accomplish some writing-related activity that satisfied my urge to get on with it.
Tuesday, well, it was glorious. I decided to go forward with my new idea for an urban fantasy novel as my next project. Several ideas jockey for prominence right now, but this one I simply felt drawn to. I thought that was as good a reason as any to make the choice, and once I did, I knew it was the right one. My excitement at getting started lit a fire.
I started with the character sketch for my main character. I even selected a name right away, which I’m taking as a good omen. Using some of the ideas and methods I’ve been reading about, I sketched out a plot diagram and started a list of the themes from my story ideas.
For world building, I got going with a simple background sketch. Not really a scene, but a run-down of the backstory up to where this story begins. I think I will work out a general plan for the magic and complete a little research for the main magical creatures I’ve envisioned thus far. This is where I’m sort of stuck. Do I dive headlong into the world building? I just don’t know. There is a lot of research to be done, but I have this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach and a tingling-crawling sensation in my limbs. I am impatient to write the story, but does that override my need to build up my new world? I think it should, that’s my instinct. The only reason I question it right now is that I found myself flailing about in my last novel’s first draft because of some pretty serious holes in my world building. It has become an internal chicken-or-egg kind of argument. I’ll start with more world building than last novel, but less than a full work-up. Perhaps I will do more world building as I go, being careful not to let the world building overtake but-in-chair-writing time. “Research” sounds an awful lot like “procrastination” when coming from a writer’s lips.
The one thing that eludes me still in my preparation for the next novel: the title. Titles are a weakness for me. The last novel still doesn’t have a satisfactory, permanent title; the new one, well, I can’t even come up with a decent working title. "WIP #2" just doesn't do it for me.