Did I mention that Deadliest Catch is one of my favorite shows ever? Well, if I haven’t…it is. I’m so glad the new season started last week, I can barely contain myself! But what the hell does Deadliest Catch have to do with words?
Yesterday I talked about how smart my toes are. They knew that I can’t plot to save my life. Not that I can’t physically plot, but that the method doesn’t work for me at all. I’ve tried. I’ve mentioned that before. For my third Veil book, I plotted with a new method and yes, I wrote the book, but it took me longer because I wasn’t as enthusiastic about it since I knew everything that was going to happen.
At one point last summer, I decided to start writing book 4 of the Veil series and had 75k in the story when the spark went out. I found that I made my heroine too melodramatic and I so hate drama. I had to put the story on the side because it was irritating me. I fiddled around with all kinds of story ideas between July and September when I decided I was going to plot my first Olympus, Inc. book.
I plotted. I started writing. I hated it. Do you sense a theme here? I deleted it and thought about the characters I was writing about and that’s when I realized I didn’t want to write about them. Someone else needed their story written instead. Roxana and Mason were born. For those of you who keep up with the blog, you may remember that I wrote Olympus, Inc. in 28 days. Yes, 28 days. How? Like the fishermen on Deadliest Catch who are “on the crab” when they’re catching well, I was on the words.
Yes! On the words. All I had to do was sit in front of the computer and let my brain go. I couldn’t stop. Did I have any idea where the story was going? No, not really. Oh, I knew it was headed towards a HEA, but I didn’t know how they were going to get there. Mason and Roxana led that book with sheer strength of character. For the first time in awhile, I was lost in the pure bliss of creativity.
I was clocking anywhere from 4k to 8k words a day and that just doesn’t happen to me often. When it does though, I can’t resist the pull of the story. That’s when I know it’s something…well, good I think. Once it was written, I did my first round of edits and sent it to my CPs to take a look at. They liked it as well and that book ended up being the one to land me an agent.
What’s the point of this post? When you’re “on the words”, you throw out all of the rules and restrictions you put on yourself because nothing matters more than putting what’s in your brain and soul onto paper. I wasn’t thinking about “Is this okay for a character to say?” No. I was barely thinking at all! My characters were raw and rude and brash and I’ve never loved a story more.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to recapture that passion. There’s more pressure now to do just as well as the first book which blocks that creative streak that helped me write it. It’s not fun. I’ve restarted the second book at least a dozen times, changed this, changed that, and I’m still not satisfied with it. What originally took me 28 days to write, has taken me nearly 4 months and counting to do again. That’s not good.
But the strangest thing happened when I had the idea for the new story I’m not plotting. It’s turning me into a relentless machine again. I churned out 8k in two days. Not my best, but not too shabby either. I have a feeling this story might clear my slate and give me the clarity I need for the Olympus book. I’ve been so focused on writing the Veil series and now the Olympus series that I need a break from the worlds. When it’s finished, I can go back to my second Olympus book and let Meg and Daire lead the way to The End. At least that’s what I hope happens.
So how about you? What do you do when you’re “on the words” but it isn’t the story you should be writing? Do you let it flow anyway, or do you push it to the side and concentrate on the story you’re supposed to be working on?