June 8, 2015 – Back Again

Months have shamefully passed since my last post. And so it seemed appropriate to title this one Back Again. I am back, and never truly left.

As I recently wrote to a potential critique partner (fingers crossed), I love book beginnings. This is why I have forty plus manuscripts vividly detailing the critical first chapter and then…nothingness. Another captivating book idea bunyhops through my head and off I dutifully follow. It drives my husband insane. But maybe I’m not alone in this, maybe there are others like me. Every day or so, another idea comes along. It’s like literary ADD, and if they medicate for it, please refer me.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered why I’m this way. It’s all due to my being a reader (and a pantster). It’s caught up in the moment when by page 3 you’ve realized the book will not be put down until you’ve uncovered who killed Miss Fancypants before she had a chance to eat cake on her fortieth birthday…and why. The excitement has gripped us all before. The delicious start of the hunt. The expectation of meeting new friends and despising new enemies. This is exactly why I have forty manuscripts with only beginnings.

As of late, (meaning in between my last post and this one), I’ve consciously trying to convert myself from pantstering my book ideas to some version of plotting them. Efforts have included largely overgrown mind maps and so many index cards it will take a month or more to sort through them. But it wasn’t without some reward. I’ve got a good outline. And instead of one chapter, I’ve got two. It’s a mind trick I’m playing with myself, you see. I chose a ‘there and back again’ story structure in the hopes that the ‘back again’ part will actually get me back to where I started by stoking my love of beginnings. Some way. Somehow. And so here I am, back again.

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