Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The best laid plans...

This morning I had trouble writing my thousand words. At first I wrote 200... then 370... then 400... then all of a sudden the scene took off and I wrote the entire thousand words and was reluctant to stop. I had to make myself because I have other things to do today.

I had planned on 25 chapters and had written out an entire plan for each chapter, but as usual it isn't going to happen that way. It seems like my brain always forgets the events leading up to an event when I plan out a chapter. Back in Chapter Five, for example, Mitch asked Arthur out to the arcade. I sat down to start Chapter Six, intending to write the date itself, but things happened and the date didn't take place until the second half of Chapter Seven.

Now I'm in a similar quandry because I have the whole rest of the novel planned out, centered around three major events: A Halloween party at Mitch's mom's, a class presentation on gay rights in December, and the senior prom. I meant to get to the Halloween party three or four chapters ago. Every time I think I'm free to "fast forward" to Halloween, my characters aren't ready to go. Fights between friends and significant others, nagging parents, and school bullies have all interfered with moving forward as fast as I would like.

I'm not complaining, mind you. I think the novel is stronger for all the detours I've taken along the way towards each major story event. I just wonder how many chapters it's really going to be, and if I can really write it all by June like I had planned.

I love writing this novel. You wouldn't think so, judging my the number of other 'important" things I remember need doing when it's time to sit down and write. I am probably spending more time and energy on laying out the text and promoting the finished product than i am at writing these last few chapters. But once I get started, man, is it hard to stop!

I'm going to miss these characters when I've finished. Their lives are so much richer than I thought they were.