Every time I start a new writing project I’m convinced that I’ve completely forgotten how. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve faced a blank screen, part of me is convinced that THIS TIME will be the time I totally blow it. That everything before now is a FLUKE. And I will never, ever remember how to write a book again.
During this panic stage, I’m unusually susceptible to outside influences. This is when I’m convinced I should try things like Journaling From The Characters’ Perspective, Making Story Collages, and worst of all: OUTLINING.
I’m totally not judging these activities. I think they’re fabulous and super-useful for people whose names aren’t Tiffany Schmidt.
But despite knowing I’m the pajama-pantsiest of pantsers, I sat down yesterday morning and dutifully typed up Chapter 1 – then bullet pointed the things I wanted to happen in it.
I made it to Chapter 2 before I started squirming in my seat. By Chapter 3 I was checking Twitter and Facebook and pacing the kitchen. Chapter ? (yeah, I stopped numbering after 4) had me in full-body twitch mode, digging through the cabinets to try and discover where St.Matt had hidden the leftover jelly beans.
Luckily, by the time I got to Chapter ???? – Unknown Plan is Executed with Stuff & Scariness, I gave up. I woke up. (and part of me wanted to THROW UP – I really think I’m allergic to planning).
Then I did what I should have done all along – the thing that’s served me well on every other book…
I started writing the kissing scenes and dialogue first.
Sometimes you just have to know your writing style. And more importantly, BELIEVE in your process. It may not work for anyone else, but if it works for you, cling to it like a baby koala bear.