Ready to Begin

I think I’ve done about all the prep work I can possibly do, so on Monday I will start writing this book. It’s both exciting and scary. I’ve been thinking about this story for more than two years. I spent much of that time doing research reading and some brainstorming, then started the serious character and plot work around the beginning of this year. Now I think anything else I do will just be procrastination, and not the good kind that allows me to develop the story in more depth.

One way that I know it’s time to start writing is that I’ve been dreaming this story. I’ve had dreams in the past that give me ideas that fit into this book or this series, but the other night I was dreaming actual scenes that I’d already plotted. In some of the dream, I was seeing the “movie” and hearing the narration of the book, but in some of it I was one of the characters. I did try to insert an additional (and unnecessary) character in one of the dreams, but otherwise, it was right out of my notes.

Which means I know at least the first three scenes to write, so I should get off to a good start.

Today and this weekend I’m trying to get my life ready for it to get taken over by writing. I’m taking care of errands, getting groceries, doing housework and laundry, and I hope to make a couple of meals that will provide me with plenty of leftovers so I won’t have to do a lot of cooking. I’m bad about going all-or-nothing when I get into a book, so I get nothing else done while I’m writing. I’m going to try for a bit more work/life balance, but I want to take advantage of the surge of initial enthusiasm. I’m aiming for a relaxing and restful Sunday so I’ll be ready to dive in.

So, very soon I will actually meet these characters on the page as the story goes from thought to actual words. This is where those writing exercises to find the voice help because I’ve “met” the characters outside the text of the actual book, and that makes it a little less momentous to start writing them. Even so, writing those first words after all the preparation is a bit like standing at the top of a steep ski slope, ready to fling yourself down a mountain.

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