Sunday, June 29, 2014

Plotting (not pantsting)

And "pantsting" is not a word. I know.

I have been plotting. Not plotting a murder or plotting a way to rob a bank, but plotting my WIP. (Work in Progress). Misplaced Affection is over 80,000 words but where it sits right now, I don't know. I was paying attention to word count the other week because I was writing a lot and adding scenes, but this week NOT SO MUCH. I've been cutting things and rearranging scenes and plotting what will happen next. I am at a point where I can't pay attention to word count and words written and I think sometimes that can be a downer for a writer. It is for me.

I like to see the words count rise!

But sometimes writing is more than adding words. And I struggle with letting go of the "word count" because that is tangible proof I did something. But so much of what I do is on my head. I drive a lot, so while in my car I think about what comes next. I think about the progression of characters and what scenes I have to have and which ones I just want to have. When it comes down to culling words because the book is too long or it drags, the scenes I "want" to have can be cut if need be. Things I write are supposed to advance the plot. So knowing the plot is really a big deal. You have to KNOW where you are going.

I used to be a "pantster" (if I spelled that right.) I wrote by the seat of my pants and added whatever, wherever, as the mood or muse lead. Not so much anymore. I mean, I DO write haphazardly and sometimes I write a scene that I have no idea where it is going, but I do that less and less. I have to plot. I am learning that I may have a brain like a pinball machine, but I also want to write with meaning and intent. If my stories are to have layers of meaning and depth, then I have to plan what my characters go through. I have to PLAN what happens and how each scene fits in with the rest. I also know that writing more than two characters takes patience and concentration for me. It is always easier to stick with the main TWO and only interact with them. It is about them an how they fall in love. BUT, people do not live in a vacuum. There are family and friends and neighbors to take into account. Where do the characters work? What are their interests? So many things to PLAN AND PLOT. I can't fly by the seat of my pants because then I will have to rewrite and delete too many things when I go through edits.

So, I've been plotting. I had torn apart my manuscript (MS) last week and so the word count was hard to gauge. I am now adding scenes back in where they need to go. I HOPE this book makes sense to you all. I always worry about being boring but I am not sure you will have time to breath, let alone be bored. IF I pull this off, that is. It is a complicated plot with lots going on.

Another thing I realized is that I am SO not out to make money. Sad, but true. I know when this comes out, some might think of ways I COULD have done this to market it better and work the system in my favor. This book naturally falls into 3 sections. I did it that way on purpose. I COULD have done 3 novellas. I COULD have written them and published them separately, a month apart. and then down the line done a "box set" or something. But I just can't do that. This book came to me this way. My brain thought of what I wanted to do , but as one whole. I feel like if I wrote it and published it as three separate parts, I would be betraying my conscience and only publishing it that way to make money. It is not supposed to be about the money. I WANT money, I would LIKE money, but I can't be motivated by MONEY. That is not why I write.

I write to present the issues. I write to present LIFE and CULTURE as it is, or as I see it! I write to touch people's lives. I do not want to get caught up in the "writing for money" and lose my passion for my characters as they need to be written. I'm not out for popularity, I'm out for integrity.

Now, that said, I would not turn down money or popularity if it comes my way on its own. Getting paid to write is the dream job! I want to be able to support my family doing what I love. And being popular can be plain FUN… as well as being a burden. Wasn't it Spiderman's uncle that told him with great power comes great responsibility? My words have power, therefore I need to take care to write them with integrity and humility.

Help me, dear fans and readers. Help me to be a writer like that. Call me out on shit. PLEASE.

I guess that is all for now. Back to writing. Back to plotting.

I am on ZA Maxfield's Blog on July 1st. for TEASER TUESDAYS. I'll list an excerpt from NAMES. I wanted SO BAD to have a pub date by now, but I don't. I'll post as soon as I know. But please, stop by ZAM's post and leave a comment. There is also a giveaway of something from my back list. (It's SOOO long.) I can only give away PDF files. Sorry. Go visit her!

And if you are on Facebook, don't forget to join the Wade Brigade. Or PM me to join it.

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