Currently, with how life is going I am a mood writer. I would love to say that I am sticking to a novel from a to z but right now, having cancer and having family crisis abound. I write when I have the time and I pick whatever genre I am in the mood for, so what does this look like?
First of all I am plantser. I write by the seat of my pants, on roughest sketch of a “map” that a pirate wouldn’t even consider looking at even if it led to the largest treasure known to man. I love a rough sketch and letting the characters grow and develop as the plot moves forward, it makes a marvelous adventure.
Currently I have way too many WIP (works in progress) on my plate but I’ll be honest I visit them all semi frequently and they have all carved out a near and dear spot in my heart that I hope to see to completion. However, if you are wondering what on earth is taking me so long when I sit down to write, allow me to give you a glimpse of what writing, research and other nonsensical things pass through my hands on a “typical” writing session.
Mood in Progress Story – known as “Teacher” because we all need a good placeholder title.
Book setting – old west because for some reason even though Kingdom Adventure is my cup of tea, everything lately has had a western flavor and I honestly think it just needs to get out of my system. (Maybe I should just blame it on living in Colorado for almost two years? Who knows…)
First of all my male main character Andrew charming fellow that he is a jack of all trades, artist, learning to be a surveyor, teacher, and undercover law enforcement – which branch, I haven’t decided, it’s the old west, I can have everything from Pinkertons, Marshalls, Rangers, and of course the regular run of the mill sheriff and deputy job options.
So now we let the question side of the brain kick in and it goes complete spaghetti and we end up googling what law enforcement badges of the old west in which we decided on a design and order a replica because that will be cool when we release the book….right? (This mythical book that has no end date, promise of publication, readers or anything else. Did I tell you that I already kind of designed the cover and we only have 35 pages of material? Eh, cur non.)
So now that we have that established, I want to check how much surveying equipment he needed or brough with him, how heavy is it and how much of his trunk did it take up? So now for the second rabbit hole of the day. What does survey equipment look like in the 1880’s ish era and how does it work? Five youtube videos later and we get something that I can understand.
However looking a this fine gentleman’s clothing I am recalling the wardrobe that I mentally set up for the character, contains a top hat, but this story is set in the old west, have I laid enough grounds for the reader to know that he is a bit of misfit from the general look of where he has just arrived? That city slicker is kind of rolling off of him but a kind, mild, sort of city slicker, not the arrogant, take the idiot down a few pegs misfit who has an artistic air and keeps novels in his large pockets, and candy in the small ones? So now I have to go back and read the first two chapters and make sure I’ve seeded enough ideas for the reader to follow of my dear character so they aren’t taken aback when he doesn’t step out in a frock coat and have a six shooter strapped to this thigh.
We have also done a deep dive on the books the old west classroom should have had in stock and I am miserably unhappy that my reference books are all in storage and I am now at the mercy of google and public images to find the things that I want. Also rules for teachers in the 1800’s are something to behold.
And all of that to say, why I only wrote 200 words in two hours…