Was it a promise I made? Did I say something to someone about having a break from this daily grind – for a whole month? Surely not! Not this manic, obsessed, driven, etc. words-gotta-get-out person!
But I did. Whether I promised someone else, or the promise was to myself, I need some time to get my mind back together.
And then something really weird happened. Because I’ve already written up dozens of beat sheets, some with accompanying ‘stuff’, it was easier to let it sit there and wait for me to come back. There’s one on the top of the pile, and while I’m doing other stuff, ordinary life stuff, the story comes to me in ways that are ten times more powerful than the original idea. Really.
The bones of the story are the same. The characters are the same. The journey is the same. But how it all comes together, the things that make it zing with power, or move it forward or backward or sideways – are More. More direct where they need to be pointy; more sublime where they need to be subtle; more intriguing where they need a touch of mystery and depth; more unique where they need to diverge from the norm.
One more week – to the day – and I’ll be able to go back to my workstation and put all these potent refreshed moments of the story into the life of It.
True, I’ve snuck in a first draft of the first scene, and it’s been critiqued. Which was good, and it highlighted how I get carried away with ‘what’s in the head’ instead of ‘character in action’ but it hasn’t stopped the forward movement (in my mind) of the plot, of the story, of the moments in the story that needed time to be thought through to make it the a ‘good story, well told.’ Sometimes, I forget about that last bit.
But it’s the most important bit. Why tell a story about a good idea if it’s not told well? Who would be interested in nothing more than a good idea, or something they’ve read (pretty much) before? Would I?
So giving myself this time, whether it feels like a sentence or a chain or a hindrance, is the best thing I can do for my story right now. While I’m learning the new process, putting it all together in a way that will stay with me and get better and easier and faster, I’ll stick with the ‘break’ and see just how much it works to keep the story in mind after the initial mud-map is created.
I promise you this, it will be good. Stuffed the schedule, though, but who cares? It’s only a month behind the commencement date, so I’ll do what a creative person does: I’ll say that the schedule dates are not the beginning of the month I’ve written, it’s the End. So Feb becomes end Feb, not Begin, Middle, or anywhere else in Feb. End. Fixed.
We’ll see how that works too.