So, I’ve been pantsing Refining Sylver for some time, now. While I had a very basic outline typed out, it was by no means detailed, leaving a lot of room for improvising. But for the past month or so, I’ve felt a wee bit insecure during my writing sessions because I never really know where they’re going. I just sit down and write for 20 minutes and see what happens. Well, this doesn’t really work for me.
While I know that the first draft is never good and will always require revision, the last thing I want to do is rewrite half my book because I just flew by the seat of my pants and didn’t bother delving into anyone’s intensions or fleshing out good subplot information. I don’t want to delete my useless darlings because I didn’t bother organizing myself beforehand.
So, Thursday–after an hour’s long writing session and the assurance that I didn’t feel confident in what my story was doing–I sat down after-hours and fleshed out some of the new characters filling up the last 2/3 of my book. I also finally figured out the names of some key characters. While I’m not a stickler for names during the initial writing process, at some point having a name is just key. It makes the character more real, more tangible. And you can really stick some characteristics to them after that.
I’m now feeling great about plotting potential. With some new characters figured out, I can finally see a dull grey timeline forming in my head. Hopefully another day or two spent on behind-the-scenes will bring that outline into focus. But for now, I can realize why my characters are misbehaving, or doing exactly what they’re supposed to.
I think I’ll go ahead and jot down notes on all my old characters, too, just to make sure I’m on the same page about everyone’s feelings and goals. Afterall, the oldies are just a fun and the newbies.
So how’s your writing process? Please leave a comment or word of advice. We’re all in this writing thing together.