I think it was Patti O’Shea who mentioned once that her process is slightly different for each book. I find myself agreeing whole-heartedly with this latest project.
I’ve blogged enough about my process for you guys to know that I typically plot out the main points of the hero’s journey extensively. Just look back at the character clinic posts to see how much work I do to build my characters before I ever write a word. I’ve filled up binders, created spreadsheets, and even done Post-its on the wall.
But not for Vicki. No, she doesn’t want any of those things. All she wants is my dream time. For the first time in a very long time, I’m dreaming a book again, not snippets here and there, but a clear, cohesive movie in my hazy not-quite-asleep moments. I figured out the last puzzle pieces with her hero situation Sat. morning, sleeping in so late that my Beloved Sis almost got here before I was even up (and she had an hour and a half drive to get here!). I saw the opening scenes as clearly as a movie.
Last night, I dreamed another scene, again, as clearly as though I watched a DVD. That hasn’t happened since the early years, probably the very first terrible draft of Road. What does it mean? I have no idea, other than this book wants to be written. Now, not later. Not after careful character work. NOW.
And the characters are speaking to me so vibrantly and loudly, it’s scary. I already have Jesse’s static trait and it’s meaningful and perfectly explained by his past. Vicki has already given me some terrific dialogue. Elias just roared to life between one paragraph and the next. I knew it was time for his POV, and BAM, there he was, shouting at the door, literally. He calls her Vik, by the way, which I didn’t know until tonight.
Where they’re taking me, I don’t really know. Oh, I know the romance angles and conflicts, but I have no idea what the external plot is. Just a few vague ideas. I don’t know how long the dreams will continue, but as long as they do, I’ll trust them.
They’ve given me over 4K in two writing sessions, and pages that have made me laugh and cringe at the same time. Chapter One is touching on some rough real-life crap and I can only hope I’m doing it right.