Sunday, March 15, 2009

The thrill of a new project

I've been plotting a new book all weekend and it's so much fun to have the time to do it wholeheartedly, instead of sneaking in ideas while I'm writing on another project. I've been under deadline for months with three different books, not to mention galleys and copyediting. Now my time is my own, for a little while anyway. 

All this work is done with an eye towards April 18th, when Deb Dixon comes to Atlanta to present a writing workshop. I've taken her Goal, Motivation and Conflict workshop three times and always get something new out of it. 

I learned long ago not to get married to an idea when writing. Flexibility keeps you from going insane in this business. Critique partners, my agent, and my editors have all pointed out ways to better my books, and while grateful to them all, I've also learned to distinguish between "change" and "improve" and to implement only those suggestions that will indeed improve my work. 

So I know that what I write today may be changed tomorrow. I don't like to waste time, my most valuable resource, so I've been working on character sketches, writing the story out from the point of view of the heroine, the hero, the villain, the secondary characters. This will make  the story more well-rounded, and has pointed out flaws, gaps, and places where I can deepen the conflict. The writing process is crazy-making sometimes, but I love every step. Plotting just happens to be my favorite one.


Debbie Kaufman said...

Plot improvements, yes. Just change, no. I just took Dianna Love and Mary Buckham's Break Into Fiction, and Dianna exploded my plot. Of course, she helped me put it back together, only better. At first, my inner three-year-old had a tantrum, but after I put her in the corner, I got to work revising. Now, I'm very excited about finishing and already head-plotting the next one. Have fun! OOH, and did you email Barbara Vey to claim your prize?