by Shelt Garner
I sat down today and was able to sketch out the entire plot of a scifi novel that I may consider turning into a screenplay. I have managed to figure out a way so a specific issue that would slow me down a great deal is no longer an issue. So, really, all systems are go for a “backup” novel.
Meanwhile, I’m both wrapping up the additional scenes I’ve added to the mystery-thriller and going through and rewriting — as necessary — those scenes I’ve already written. The general premise of these new, additional scenes is pretty good but if I’m going to use this draft as the one I turn over to a manuscript consultant, I’m going to have to re-write them to prevent them from being the first thing an editor wants to cut.
I say this because the advice I keep seeing about writing a novel is you’re supposed to start the story as late as possible. One of the reasons why I have added all these additional scenes at the beginning is I want to build a foundation for the story that by the time something actually happens, you’re invested enough, intrigued enough, that you want to finish the novel.
The only problem I’m really having with my writing at the moment is I continue to just drift towards my goal. If I keep doing this, I’m going to wake up in a year and not be anywhere near my goal of having begun the querying process. In fact, it could be that The Fourth Turning is happening, making all my dreams of selling a novel rather moot.
It’s a real struggle to focus on giving my creative life some structure. I’m just so used these days to drifting that demanding I meet self-set metrics is proving to be far more difficult than one might imagine.