I outlined an entire novel once… that story remains unwritten to this day. I discovered that if my outline is too detailed I’m no longer interested in the characters or the story. When I start a new novel, I create my world using a series of “What If…” questions. I further define my world by creating maps, naming creatures and plants. Finally, I identify my main plot points. Then I start writing, knowing that each scene must move toward those plot points. Writing this way, I have yet to experience any type of writer’s block. Don’t get me wrong. Some days I spend more time on graphic art, marketing, or publishing tasks than I do writing, but on average I can write around 2,000 words between when I rise (around 5 am) and when I have breakfast. This is my most focused writing time.
This is the method that works for me. The funny thing is, every so often my characters go down a path I had not consciously considered. And when they do, it’s always a better story than I had planned. I know it’s my subconscious taking me where I need to go, but it’s still odd when it occurs. When it happens, I feel my characters laughing and dragging me down the road I had not planned to travel.
Sometimes it’s called muse or inspiration, but it’s really just hard work and focus.
Additional posts on things I’ve discovered about writing, publishing, marketing, and such.