The novel I’m writing is called The Coveted One. It is the first of at least three books. It’s also two stories in one; the story that will extend over the next three or four books frames the story that will be completed in this book. It’s a bit experimental, but my instincts insist it’s necessary.
Before I got my notebooks, I had the starting frame, the start of the story, and the ending frame for the beginning worked out. The first really big surprise for me came at the end of the story’s beginning. Initially, I assumed this would be when the protagonist, Simone, underwent a significant physical change. That happened more or less as expected. What was unexpected was what happened emotionally/psychologically in the midst of this physical change. Something about the characters’ past was revealed, even though I didn’t know it until I wrote it.
Logically, the protagonist would next have to deal with the fallout of what she learned about herself and her past. The protagonist isn’t logical, so while she did have a reaction to this discovery (she’s assuming that event played out that part of her development), it’s clear to me that she’s doing more avoiding than coping.
So, coming into the first half of the middle, I needed another consequence of what happened. I had an inkling of what this would be based on my understanding of what needs to happen over the course of the novel, but I didn’t know the specifics as I started to write. As it turned out, what happened next was way bigger than what my mind says is appropriate. My instincts insist that it belongs right where it is, but my mind is telling me that it’s just too big.
We’re talking about BIG here, not just big or even BIG, we’re talking:
So, my mind is convinced that I’m going to have to somehow make something even bigger later on and that’s going to be a bit of a problem, especially since this big thing has left my protagonist shell-shocked and traumatized.
Now, not only does she have the physical and preparation demands to consider, she has not one but two unforeseen emotional/psychological weights working against her. Whether or not that’s sound storytelling, I have to carry on and move forward, because this first draft is being handwritten.
My mind is balking. My instinct is sure it’s right. The mediator consoles my mind that, if it doesn’t work, I can always rearrange it in the next draft. All in all, I’m finding the anxiety of pantsing this story into life an unwanted addition to my own.