When the Itch Hits
Do you scratch it?
I’ve been talking a lot online about the research & planning I’m doing for my YA historical novel. It’s been going great. I’m learning tons about my characters, about their wants and their conflicts, about their back-story and their future. I know there’s more I can learn.
Except I’m itching to put all this aside and get writing.
I promised told myself I would finish Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook before I started writing. I said I would do a bit of plotting before I dug in. There are at least a third of these
that I haven’t read yet, and more I need to add to the shelf.
I can hear you all now. “Just write it!”
And here are your very good reasons:
- I’ll learn more about your characters as you draft their stories.
- The plot will change no matter how much time I spend on it.
- I’ll narrow down my research needs as I write.
- If I do too much planning, I’m putting handcuffs and chains on my muse.
Yep. So I’m going to write.
Soon. I’m still learning from Maass, but I’m giving myself permission to go a bit more quickly through his worksheets. I’m putting a few more tags on pages that need to wait until I have a draft to revise. And I’m letting myself relax away from the research a bit, so I can keep my actual characters at the forefront of my brain, instead of too many historical details/facts. And, since I still will have revisions to do on the critique book, I’m telling myself that any plotting I do has to be fit in between those changes. I’m not allowed to put the writing off, just because the whole outline isn’t complete and comprehensible.
When? I’m thinking June. A few other writing friends have first drafts looming, and we may all hit the keyboards together.
I’ll be MORE than ready.
So when do you start? What’s your comfort zone between knowing any/all of your story and needing to get those people on the page and moving? I’d love to hear how you do the balancing act?
Posts may be a bit thin on the ground the next few days–we’re in the middle of spring break over here. I’ll be back in force next week, though, and I’d love to start doing a little more talk about critiquing and critique groups. So if there’s a topic you’re “itching” to dig into, let me know that, too!