I want to work on two stories right now: my mecha story, Body Option, and the outline for a later submission call, My Sexual Superhero. Of course, neither of them is what I’m supposed to be working on right now. I need to finish Klaxon and really, really need to expand my outline for The More Plausible Evil, because I’ve been putting off taking that back to second draft for far too long.
“Waiting for inspiration” is a concept that many writers seem to abide by, but the best advice (for me) is to keep on writing, keep pushing on, regardless of the presence or lack of inspiration. Writing isn’t only a creative endeavor; it’s a practiced skill. One of the easiest, and most important, ways to get better at it is to write, and write, and write some more.
As such, my method tends to involve a lot of comprehensive outline work and linear writing. That’s not always what I need, though. Sometimes, when you push the wall, it pushes you back and you land on your ass.
While I was on vacation, I didn’t do any writing at all. I did a lot of thinking about writing (I can’t disengage that part of my brain ever) but we were out and about at all kinds of fun locations, places that were new to me, and scenic. I’ve got more than enough projects to keep me afloat for the next two years, but the ideas kept flowing!
The short list of what I came up with during my trip:
– A romance between a townie and a rich visitor
– A romance between an island resident and a tour guide
– A romance between T—–, a Japanese exchange student working at Japadog, and nightlife-loving K—–, which seeks destined to be only summer romance until K—– enrolls at a local Vancouver school
– A kickass witch with unconventional character flaws
– A story where the hero breaks up with his love interest before he goes on a doomed mission to save the world, and intended to send him a final message proposing marriage should he safely return, but his last message was cut off
Whether I’ll end up writing them at some future point is anyone’s guess, but I’ve got the inspiration, and it all came from different places and experiences on this trip.
When I came back, I chilled out for an extra day and didn’t even try to write. It was on the list, but I spent the day reading instead. And, as important as it is to write and be consistent and push to practice that skill, it’s definitely necessary to recharge the batteries, too. I’d driven for eight and a half hours the previous day, I’d been away from home for six days, and it was important to simply relax. Finally I let go and did that without guilt.
Today I started up Klaxon at the Core again and got right back into the full swing of things. I’m really pleased with the results, and getting to the creepy, intense parts of the story. I’ll definitely finish it this month.
As for The More Plausible Evil, I’m starting to suspect either the outline approach isn’t going to work for this one, or I’ll need to unplug the internet and shut myself in a room until I get the damned thing done. There is, after all, no waiting for inspiration!
You can find it all around you, but don’t ever depend on riding its coattails. The biggest part of writing is the hard road: sitting down and just doing it.
Vancouver, B.C. was beautiful and I hope to post a few pictures soon. Everyone have a great rest of the week! Two days until Pacific Rim for me. I’m so hyped about the movie, I did a jaeger-inspired manicure.