Last week I suggested I might look at World Building in this post. I won’t be. It has been an interesting week in the plotting arena. So interesting I have to write about plotting some more. As you may recall I decided to sit down and plot this novel out. I did that. Or more accurately, I plotted the first chapter in exquisite detail. The First Act in some detail. The Second Act in a very broad way and the Third Act was hand wavy in the extreme.
With this preparatory and revelatory work done, I sat down to write the first chapter. It was projected to be approximately 5000 words long. I wrote 3000 in two days. It just flowed. I hadn’t written so much and so smoothly in years. Then it stopped. My mood began to dip. I began to eat the wrong things and stay up late and generally be not very useful.
This morning it clicked. I still hadn’t worked out what the antagonist’s motivation was. I had several vague ideas, but nothing that would make sense and hold the story together. I was essentially writing a story that wasn’t a story. Its motivation (yes, I said, its) came to me this morning. I’d, apparently, been puzzling it out as I ate pizzas and chocolate. Probably not the kind of creative process my waistline can sustain.
But I am relieved. My mood has improved. I now have a story that works. It might turn out to be a shit story but at least it will be coherently shit.
Now I have to examine how my mood could dip so precipitously and then rebound. It’s unsettling. Interesting, but unsettling. I wonder how my therapist will react to it. And I have to accept that there’s a strong possibility that I’m post hoc ergo propter hoc-ing this. I hope not, because there is something romantic about wrestling with an artistic problem. Rather than the more prosaic, moody bollox explanation.
For the rest of the week I have to finish chapter one and plot the rest of the novel in detail. Really ensure there are no large holes that might scupper the whole thing. And hopefully next week I’ll finally get round to World Building.