Not There Yet

It seems I was perhaps a bit overly optimistic when I thought I’d finish this book this week. It’s easy to forget that more detailed, action-oriented scenes are a lot slower to write. I also had the issue that while I know what will happen, I’m not entirely clear on how it will happen, so there’s a lot of brainstorming before I can write each scene as I try to picture it and think of what, exactly will happen to bring about the plot points I already know about.

It’s funny how my mental images of these scenes have changed along the way. The scene I wrote yesterday ended up happening in an entirely different way than I originally planned, in a different place, with different people involved.

I’m also in the phase of “headlight writing,” where I can only see the scene immediately ahead of me, and I need to write it before I get a clear mental image of the next scene.

As a result, it may take me all week next week to write the rest of the book I thought I’d finish this week. It’s already longer than any other first draft I think I’ve ever written. It’s epic-style fantasy, so it can be a bit longer, but there may also be some cutting.

I like the way it’s shaping up, though. The things I’m coming up with now are definite improvements on my initial ideas, so it’s worth taking the time to think through it. This is normally when I get impatient and rush ahead, then have to drastically rewrite, so it’s good that I’m taking my time to try to get it right.

I do feel bad because I’m doing mean things to my hero now. He’ll end up better for it, in the long run, but he has to go through some stuff first.

I definitely have “book brain.” I was mentally planning the scene I needed to write this morning as I was falling asleep last night. Then in the middle of the night I woke in a panic because I’d forgotten to take into consideration the hero’s nephew Jonathan in my plans for the scene, and that was going to throw off all my plans. When I woke for real in the morning and thought about it, I remembered that there is no nephew Jonathan. The hero doesn’t have a nephew. The name “Jonathan” wouldn’t fit into this world. It’s important to the story that the hero is alone in this scene, facing the bad guys by himself. I suspect my brain was playing with something I did forget. I’d realized earlier in the evening that I had forgotten to take a certain element of how the magic works into consideration in my initial plans for the scene, and that’s why I was thinking about it as I fell asleep. I was figuring out how to work around it. I’d already had the “I forgot to consider this!” panic, and I guess it got incorporated into a dream. I have no idea where the nephew Jonathan came from, but now I think I absolutely have to have a character in some book have a nephew named Jonathan who’s present in a scene but not noticed by anyone.

And now back to not writing about Jonathan.

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