What do “relationship reckless moving job changes” and “i wanna go somewhere away from reality” have in common?
A) They both have words that start with R in them.
B) They both represent thoughts/feelings that I’ve had recently.
C) They are both search terms used to find my website.
D) All of the above.
(I’m going to give y’all the benefit of the doubt and assume you guessed right.)
Lately I’ve been feeling my old wanderlust again — and the Eat Love Pray commercials aren’t helping. (By the way, I am loving Florence + The Machine, who sing the theme in the trailer.) Since I can’t actually get away right now, I find myself turning to the place I’ve always turned since I was 9 years old: fiction.
With the Twenty-Somewhere proposal and sample pages “in the chute,” I have time. Time to what? Good question. Anything! Read, watch Friends, snuggle with my dog… And that’s pretty much what I thought I’d do this week — take a break. But no, my fingers flew to a pen and whipped open my journal, and I spent all last night plotting. Yes, the evil P word: PLOTTING.
I’m still no expert, but after writing out several thorough synopses for the girls of 20SW, the process didn’t seem so daunting. In fact, it was — dare I say it? — fun. Who woulda thunk it?
I decided to write my YA contemporary/dystopian idea next, which is full of political and cultural subtext, lush exotic settings, and Girl Power. First I roughed out a storyline using the Six Stage Plot Structure, and then I jotted notes on key characters and their motivations. Of course, fleshing out the characters affected their roles in the story, so then I had to go back and revise the plot a bit. It’s definitely a give-and-take process, but I like that back and forth, that sense of discovery, of malleability.
I also like having this framework before starting the draft. It’s not rigid, but it’s a road map. I already expect a few detours, but the outline still gives me a sense of security, you know?
So for the next day or two, I will make sure my ideas seem logical and compelling, and then I may just dive in. I seem calm, but I’m actually squee-ing inside. (New project new project new project!) This is one of the things I love best about the writing — or reading — life: Anytime a journey ends, you can just pick up and start a new one.