24 July 2009

Beginning Again

So, it’s About That Time Again: the Beginning.

Having finished the first draft of Jesscapades, I’ve shoved it aside for a month (quite convenient, since I’m tripping around the globe) and am ignoring it.

Sadly – or not sadly, actually :D – I can’t ignore writing, even when on holiday in the middle of a European summer. I lasted two weeks before I just had to start writing again :D

For a little while, I worked on The Black Gates, a novel I’ve been poking off and on since about 2001 (!). This time, I’ve made genuine progress: I’ve actually figured out the structure of the thing, which, trust me, is worthy of a post of its own o.O

But today, something else grabbed me: Borderlands, a strange little creature of a novel, a fantasy thriller that’s been bubbling away in my head for about a year. I had a dream two weeks ago that was so good I even dreamed that I’d woken up and written it down, and when I woke up for real I knew it was related to Borderlands – but I didn’t know how.

I worried away at it for a few days and figured out a loose connection – and my muse stopped there. Nothing else. Zip. Nada.

So I went to work on The Black Gates, and started writing new scenes and editing old ones, and I have about 20k over about 12 chapters at the moment – though some still needs editing. Well, it’s a first draft, all of it needs editing – but some of the old stuff needs editing to fit into the new structure.

But TODAY... Today I was Bitten.

Borderlands, ladies and gents, has Begun.

And it’s terrifying.

Why?

Not because of the content, but because of how little I know about how the plot all fits together still. I have only the vaguest sense of what the conflict is and who the MC is; I know that she can’t remember her past, and I know that there are two parallel storylines in the book – and I know who the main villain is.

But how all the tiny jigsaw pieces that I’m currently holding fit – where they fit – well, it reminds me a little of the time when a few friends and I did a double-sided puzzled of polar bears on snow o.O You just have to start, somewhere, anywhere, and you’ll never really know you’ve got it right until you’re done; and sometimes, you’ll discover that a whole section of the puzzle is upside down (because of the double-sided nature of the puzzle) and you need to flip it all around.
Beginning is scary, but it’s also exhilarating. There are no real plans right now, so nothing I do can be wrong. I’m free to write, to explore, to be lead entirely by my imagination and see what happens.

It’s scary, it’s thrilling, and I’m so glad to be starting something new and exciting again. This is a good feeling; and I totally remember why it’s so tempting, mid-book, to start a new one :D

But despite the glamour and allure of beginnings, I know the pleasure of endings, too; I know what it’s like to stick a book out until the bitter end – and I’m excited to see what the end of Borderlands will bring, whenever that may be.

How about you guys? Do you like beginning new projects? Ever get that terrifying – oh-my-goodness-I-have-no-idea-what’s-going-to-happen – feeling? What do you do about it?

7 comments:

Danyelle said...

*cheers for Borderlands*

I forget how wonderfully outlined you do things. This is how it usually starts for me. A face, a phrase, a scene. Vague ideas that eventually solidify into the plot. So no, I don't fear beginnings. I love them. The thing that's hard for me is endings. I get an empty nest sort of feeling when I know the end is near. >.<

Beth said...

Yeah, Inky! Glad you've been Bitten and are excited about what you're writing :D

I just started a story, and I only have some vague ideas, but writing like this is a blast!

Cheers!

Yunaleska said...

New projects are very shiny! Also cheers for Borderlands!

I won't hit a new project until....later on in the autumn. FInishing off Termion edits, then editing Inescapable Ties (which includes a fair amount of rewriting. Then in mid-september it'll be back to Termion. I hope to start querying that maybe November time...THEN I can choose which wip to work on.

ElanaJ said...

Congrats on Borderlands! How fun. And yes, it is always thrilling to start something new. I don't outline or anything, so I'm always living on the edge of "What Happens Next?" and sometimes I can't write for a few days until I get an idea.

beth said...

Personally, that's my favorite time of writing! I love the roller coaster of not knowing where your writing will take you! Have fun!

Merc said...

Yay, Inky! *is intrigued on The New and Shiny Novel*

I, um, clearly like beginnings (even if I can simultaneously hate them) for all the, um, half-finished projects I have lying around. *shifty eyes*

Ever get that terrifying – oh-my-goodness-I-have-no-idea-what’s-going-to-happen – feeling? What do you do about it?
Not so much terrifying as bash-my-head-against-the-desk-in-frustration when I get stuck. O:)

But I did start a New Shiny of my own this month (I'm... somehow 35k in) and so I think I'll stick with my answer of "just keep writing and see what happens". O:)

~Merc

Inkblot said...

Dany - Well, I don't usually outline until I'm 7 chapters in. Yes, 7. Don't ask me why, I've no idea o.O And then I outline a few chapters ahead until I reach the middle, which is where I plot out to the end.

But that said, I've never started a novel with so little; usually I'll have a sense of the main conflict, and have some key events in mind before I begin. This time, nothing except what was in the dreams, and an imperative to Make Them Fit.

Beth - Glad you're having fun with your writing! Huzzah!

Yuna - in that case, *editing cookies* for you :)

Elana - has that ever been a problem for you, not being able to write for a few days? I ask out of sheer curiosity, coz if I don't write for a few days I have a devil of a time trying to get back into things.

Beth - I love it too :D Thanks :)

Merc - yes, I think you'll heartily approve of Borderlands. It's... dark. And twisted. All the more so for seeming normal on the surface %-) Bwa ha. Huzzah for a new shiny of your own! Can't wait to have time to get back to CC and catch up on everything :)

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