What is it about the winter months that just seem to blow by? Once the new year hits, I find that time seems to speed up and sweep away all of our “I’ll get around to it”s and “any day now”s. For me, January tore on through, leaving a bunch of these things I meant to do in its wake.
Even the beginning of February has taken me by storm (blizzard pun only partly intended, I swear). 11 days have come and gone, wracking me with guilt about unmade dental appointments, books I’m behind on reading, sewing projects I need to get on top of, and – of course – blog posts I really meant to write. Looking back on January’s blog calendar, I only see three little dots, each representing an entry that I made. Oof. Does that ever trigger the guilt reaction!
For one, I’ve been spending a lot of my writing time researching agents and contacting them about my manuscript for Dark of the Wood. For another, I’ve been finessing the outline of its sequel Blood from a Stone, trying to dig myself into and out of trouble to make the book a better version of itself. And let me tell you, it’s been a lot of digging.
I’m that weird fusion of an outliner and a pantser when it comes to novel-writing and that can leave me with oversimplified plot arcs sometimes. I started Blood from a Stone, Book 2 in my series, with one page of double-spaced bulleted points that covered more or less what was going to happen in the book. Then I just started to write and see what would flow organically. After the three introductory chapters that get the plot set up, I realized that I was kind of light on material and had to go back to the outline.
This happens to me a lot.
So back to the outline I went, creating detailed descriptions of each chapter and even going so far as to write key pieces of action or dialogue out completely before they left my head completely. I’m still finishing this detailed outline and so the manuscript itself hasn’t gotten the love it so richly deserves for several weeks now. I’m so close, though! So close!
It’s clearly time to settle in with cocoa or an adult beverage or an adult beverage spiking my cocoa and just barrel through the outline. It’s time to give this first draft a whooping.