In trying to get myself started on my new novel, I have been doing a lot of things I’ve never attempted before. All this time I’ve been a consummate ‘pantser’, someone who writes without much of a plan in mind. Normally I start writing purely because I have a scene in mind, sometimes it might even be that I have an ending in mind, if I’m lucky.
This time, I’ve done my fair share of actual research. I’ve been looking into eclectic stuff like the history of great storms in Cornwall, kleptomania and how it has been categorised and recategorised throughout the years, and victorian Falmouth. However, ever time I ‘finish’ my research I find myself just kinda staring at it. I know things now, but what to do with the information?
Then, I picked up Save the Cat Writes a Novel. I’d been meaning to read it for a while and I noticed it was discounted. So, I picked it up. I have never really been mindful of structure as I wrote, though I have always subconsciously used a lot of the ‘beats’ talked about in Save the Cat. But now that I am aware of those beats it feels… almost like a paint by numbers? Like I’ve lost any of the heart of the story that I wanted to write in the first place.
I’ve also been reading academic texts, as part of my MA on genre and POV and ending and so much more. And all that it has amounted to is a horrible stalling sensation where I am struggling to write at all. What if it’s bad? What if I can’t get it all right? What if?
I don’t have an answer yet. I’ve been thinking of it a lot, but that mostly means wallowing. I decided today to write this, at least, to vent my frustrations. Hopefully, by getting it out of my head, I can start daydreaming about scenes in my book again.