While revising my current work in progress, I typed the line – “the shallow scar curved from the corner of his heavily lashed lid and faded into his hairline, saving him from being artistically beautiful”
Whoa! Ethan has a scar? When did he get a scar? Questions like these having been hampering my writing for the last three weeks. I have good days and then I have to start over when I get to one of these pesky questions and choices have to be made.
I came to the realization early last week that writing a longer work is different than writing a short story. (No duh? I’m can be slow sometimes.) When I write my short stories, I start with the characters and an idea of how their stories will progress. Then I write it. Then I revise it. Then I revise again. The entire process takes about two full weeks of writing two to three hours each day and eight hours on Saturday.
So along comes my current WIP and my process doesn’t work. There is no way I can be a pantser on this one. There are too many questions that need to be answered and finding literary devices to give the reader the answer without having each character spill their guts in a long monologue.
One idea I had was to start all over and outline the novella complete with character bios (I’d know how Ethan got his scar) and descriptions of each scene. But I’m stubborn and always want to go with my first idea, so I continue on for week three of rewrites. But next time, I’ll start with the outline!
I’ve found some books that have helped with outlining, so check them out if you are reconsidering your panster process: