Getting started

Ever since I tried to rekindle my love for writing, my weaving hobby temporarily suspended due to moving for the next few years, I have been reading and listening to podcasts about how other people write.

I find it utterly fascinating, and I pick up some great tips along the way (my favourite at present being Writing Excuses).

As I finished the most recent edit of My Friend Lucy and sent it off to my partner for feedback, I’ve been somewhat in a slump. I had no idea what to write next, no idea, no project, no essence. I had been so absorbed in My Friend Lucy that I avoided new ideas, devoting myself fully to the project to finish it within the time frame of this summer.

And I’ve been listening to podcasts.

On one particular podcast, they discussed ideas and how they wrote (I might be mixing several podcasts). Some talked about how they just got a funny idea, others how they had a beginning or an end or both, while others still plotted furiously before even writing a sentence of their story.

I should probably plot more myself, it would save me a lot of grief and four rewrites before I finally found my ending.

But with this slight slump, I tried to think about how I used to write. How did I start?

Idea driven for sure, right?

Or was it an beginning to end discovery writer (I know I have tended to be a discovery writer, but mostly because I’ve been too lazy to plot most stories out properly).

As I thought, and wondered, and berated myself for not coming up with an idea to fill my time while waiting, it came in late one night and punched me in the gut.

It was an idea all right, but it was just a moment. A fleeting moment in the middle of a story I do not yet know. One of those emotional, gut-wrenching moments that takes your breath away.

And I realised that My Friend Lucy had been the same way. I had neither the beginning nor the end when I started shaping the idea, and both were heavily edited when I finally got down to it.

But there is one scene in that story that has not changed in essence since the conception of the idea. It was the moment that made me hook on to the project in the first place.

So, after many days of frustration, I finally got punched in the gut with a moment of a story that is absolutely worthy of pursuit. It clutched to the back of my mind for the rest of the day and is still lingering, demanding attention.

It’ll need a home, a world, a magic system, a set of characters, a setting, a plot. In short, I need the rest of the story.

I guess I’ll be kept busy after all.


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