A Woman, A Plan, I Can

The current novel, The Bone Road, is at the fiddly stage of completion. I’m in a new critique group and I’m getting feedback chapter by chapter. Some I plan to incorporate and some I’m going to ignore. And some I’m still thinking about.

None of this is very exciting, and indeed, I can’t drum up much energy to work on it, especially with all the house improvement projects going on. (But that’s a whole other entry, should I care to whine.) What does excite me is planning the next novel. Now, that’s energy.

I wrote my first novel to prove to myself I could complete a whole novel. I wrote the second novel because it was such a great idea I couldn’t wait to get going. With both I got seriously stuck in the middle of the plot, unable to solve my characters’ dilemmas because I hadn’t thought it through. I knew where I wanted them to end up — and I’d actually written the last scene — but I couldn’t cut through the convolutions I’d created. Eventually, in both novels, I figured it out. But I was stuck, miserably stuck, for months while working on Matcher Rules and for almost a year on The Bone Road.

So for the third, as yet untitled novel, I’m going to try something different, something completely out of character for me. Planning. I’m not going to write a sentence until I have the entire novel outlined down to the scene level. I have no idea whether or not I can do this because the urge to write it down now before I forget the nifty phrase will become overwhelming, but I am going to try.