I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, always have been. So when I sit down to write the sequel to The Badge and the Bible I took the characters from the first book, assembled them in a virtual room and presented them with a problem. They have taken it from there.
I believe in writing a discovery draft. It’s a small version of the manuscript, much fewer words, but will contain the entire story line. When I get through I will set it up on it’s side, like the stalk of an artificial Christmas tree, and flesh it out with the branches. The branches will be things like fleshing out the setting, adding sub-plots, giving the participants more depth and character. Building in the five senses. You know the drill.
I don’t worry about those things on the first draft, I just worry about the main flow of the story. The first draft is what is fun, editing will be work. But I well know that good books are not written, they are edited. My thought, however, is you can’t edit something that does not exist.
Saundra loves it when I am in this phase because I sit over her and chuckle or get mad or tear up or show some other emotion and when she asks what is going on I say “You won’t believe what these people are doing over here.”
And that’s how it is. It’s like I’m recording what the characters are playing out in my head. If the story stops flowing it is generally because I have painted myself into a corner or made some character do something it was not in their nature to do. So they go on strike until I realize it and fix it.
I enjoyed being an agent, and I got few hundred books in print for my clients so I feel like I did some good. But it’s good to be writing again.