Going Over to the Dark Side

© 1977 LucasFilm.Ltd

© 1977 LucasFilm.Ltd

Yes, I have seen the Dark. I now see the folly of my Pure Inspiration belief. I once believed in sitting down at a keyboard in November and starting to type. I believed that somehow, someday, if I wrote 50,000 words with roughly the same characters throughout, they would magically become a publishable novel.

I have converted. I am no longer a Pantser. I have become a Plotter.

A novice Plotter, I’ll admit, barely beginning on the Dark Path, but I have been convinced by looking at those I truly admire in the writing world. Whether traditionally published or self-published, NONE of these people sit down at a keyboard with NO PLAN, and a few weeks to months later a finished novel comes out.

Not one.

No. If I want to write novels for a living, I have to plan them. I have to face the fact that if I’m writing without a plan, either it’s a bit of short fiction, or it’s just an exploration that may or may not be worth building a novel on.

So, yeah, my current Mars “novel” is 50,000 words of exploration. It’s not a novel. Not yet. Not by a long shot.

On the other hand, I sat down with my premise (a premise! An actual one-sentence premise!), my sparse notes, my research and 50K worth of scenes and started serious world-building today.

I haven’t had so much fun at work since the bullying boss got covered with copier toner.

I’m excited by writing again! Despite having read three books about writing that clearly told me I probably needed to rewrite from the beginning, I’ve been trying to avoid it and salvage the old draft, but no more! I’m having more fun than puppies, and I’m looking forward to being able to build this thing right!

The Righteous Way of Pure Inspiration may give eventual rewards, but the Plotting Dark Side has more fun.

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