Hearts and bones

I’m working on a new manuscript.

It’s not the first time I’ve done this.

But it is the first time I’ve really concentrated on it. The rule used to be that I had to put down some words every night. I wrote flash fiction (and that was good for developing setup, conflict, resolution skills), or maybe I messed around with another project. As long as words got made, the goal was met.

Now I’ve set myself to making words in response to a request from my agent. Every day. Make the words. Make them. I’d done it before for other kinds of projects. I could do it now.

Vague sense of dissatisfaction, though. I made a draft. I linked events. Things happened. Some of it was easy, some of it was hard. Writing’s hard. Everybody says so. Hard work. I’m not afraid of that.

I also meant to get the playlist put together for the story. Busy times. No playlist. Disjointed thoughts of “Oh! I should put that song on the playlist!” as I encountered new music and old. But no playlist materialized.

And I didn’t feel the story. Patience, grasshopper, I told myself. Let it come to you. It will.

Then I made the playlist. Then I understood something about “my process”.

I need to line out the events. They make logical sense. They have suspense and tension and flow from character choices. I think so, anyways. Hopefully someone agrees with me.They are the skeleton, the outline, the bones of the story.

But I need the playlist too – which makes sense since I spend so much time with music. That’s where the heart of the story comes from. That’s where I get not the sequence of events but the impact.

Now I know. And now I can quit worrying about not feeling the story, and with any luck, this is a process that can be (and will be) repeated in future.

Patience, grasshopper.

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