Monday, November 12, 2018

A Rainbow Story

Last week I talked about burnout. Since then, I’ve been plotting. No, not against anyone, although that’s tempting. A book. I’ve been plotting a book. Now, I’m not a plotter. A plotter is someone who plans all the details of the book—characters, motivation, goals, settings. They outline what’s going to happen to whom and when. And then they take that outline and write the book.

The last time I tried writing a book from an outline, I forgot the kissing. All of it. And considering I’m a romance writer and my characters kiss, well, that’s a problem. So I don’t typically write an outline until I’ve written my first draft. Then I go through and make an outline as a summary to remind myself what happens when and what everyone looks like, thereby ensuring no one quits their job before actually going to it, or changes their eye color from blue to brown mid-story (yes, it happens way more than you might think).

But even though I don’t plot, I find that I’ve started to need a little support before I jump into the story. I need to know why my characters are behaving the way they do and where my story is going to go. So I decided that since I’m having a hard time getting inspired, but I know I want to write something, I’d use this time to plot. Nope, not with an outline, though. With colors. 

So for the past week, I’ve been creating a story—a who, what, where, when, why and how list that I’m hoping will inspire me to actually write it. I sketched the bare bones of it—think of the summary on the back cover of a book (or the inside flap jacket)  and then cut it by about three quarters. Slowly, I’ve been expanding it. A guy walks into a bar. What guy? What’s he look like? How does he walk? Where is he walking from? What kind of bar? No, that’s not actually what I’m working on, but an example. 

And then, because I’m trying to jumpstart my imagination, I color coded everything. And hey, it’s pretty, and the world needs more pretty right now. I’m going to take all those colors—each color has a different purpose—and expand upon them to see if I can create enough of a story to sit down and write it. I’ve never worked this way before. Then again, I’ve never hit this kind of wall before, either. 

And as they say, the definition of crazy is doing something the same way and expecting a different outcome. So, I’m trying something new and seeing where it leads me. Hopefully to a book. 

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