The Bitter Dregs of Re-entry

So, a quick recap for those of you who don’t tune in regularly: I am a writer who supports my family by writing. I lost two weeks to a drug side effect; then, my poorly thought out efforts to make up for those two weeks drained me sufficiently that a long, lingering illness set in (I blame the lingering effects of the drug). Now that I’m about 75% recovered, I’m working on re-entering my work. In order to do that, I had to replenish my sorely depleted energy stores. The quickest and surest way to do that was to go back to my roots: fiction.

Are you with me? Good, because this is where things get a bit sticky. As those of you who’ve been reading for a while already know, I’m an “advocate” of planning. When tackling a project that is the size of a novel, I believe that the most efficient method is to plan it out first and then write it.

When I was drowning in my own misfortunes and flailing about for anything that would float, I caught hold of the story that’s been running through my head and started writing it down. There was no plan. I just wrote whatever gurgled to the top. Before I knew it, I had the beginning of the beginning and the end of the beginning of a novel. So, I started filling in the details.

I still needed some semblance of order, so I bought four composition notebooks of equal size, which had space for prose and space for notes. Each notebook was intended to contain one of the four parts to a novel. (The beginning, which ends with an act of major change; the first half of the middle, which ends with a catalyst that transitions the protagonist from a “wanderer” to a “warrior;” the second half of the middle, which ends with the move that sets the end in motion; and the end, with the finale and denouement.) So, I had something to keep myself on track.

Now that I’m doing better, it has occurred to me that my flailing around resulted in me starting as a pantser instead of a planner. Considering my past advice, it tasted bitterly of hypocrisy. I recently reached the dregs of this bitter brew when I wrote myself into something of a corner. Now my reason and my instincts are disputing whether it’s really a corner at all.

These are exactly the sort of conundrums I like to work out before I start really writing!

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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1 Response to The Bitter Dregs of Re-entry

  1. Pingback: Corner or Not, Here I Come! - Stephanie Allen Crist

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