Admission Time: for those who haven’t already figured it out, I fall firmly on the “plotter” side of the plotter-pantser scale. I usually take a fair amount of time letting stories percolate in my head before I start writing. First I think of what the characters look like and try to find images to match them, then I create character sheets, square up my plot, and write down a general timeline of events. But every once in a while I’ll get a vague idea in my head, and I’ll just pick up my computer and start writing. I never know if those stories will amount to anything, but they sure are fun to write. (And yeah, a little stressful too; what if the story peters out and I’ve spent all this time on it for nothing?)
It’s my firm belief that any time you are feeling tired of what you’re working on, worn out, or you’ve just lost the feeling of excitement that writing can generate, it’s probably a great time to open up a blank document and just start writing. Something about doing that frees the creative flow of energy.
The series I’m currently working on, The Fallen Warriors (which at this time is planned to be a self-pubbing project) came to me by the creative process I note above. I had just finished Book 2 in my Demons of Infernum series and wanted a break before starting the third book. There’s an urban fantasy I’ve got plans for but it’s not yet ready to be written (see above note re: percolation), and my hubby had been bugging me to self-pub something. So I sat down in front of the computer and wrote the first thing that came to mind. The story started out with a dystopian feel, but I quickly realized it was an alternate world, one where angels are beings from another dimension who have been revealed to humans when the ‘veil’ separating their worlds collapses. The angels quickly take rule over the humans, who’ve been promised peace and protection in return for their fealty. Little do they know the angels have far more sinister plans in place for them(cue maniacal cackling). But the main point here is none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t gone with the flow and let the creative process take me where it wanted to.
So if you’re not feeling the magic on something you’re writing (especially if you’re a plotter), why not put that aside and try something else? Write without any specific project in mind. Who knows what you might find?
I’m curious to know if any of you have uncovered a fabulous story by simply sitting down and writing? (And I’m sure many of you majorly talented peeps have. )