I woke up with an idea that would take the novel-in-progress in a different, and more vivid, direction. It was an itchy and very uncomfortable feeling. As I made notes over my morning coffee, I stopped three times to check myself for hives.
YES, I was that itchy!
I spent the rest of that day on edge, processing the new idea before I could even attempt to add it to the crazy quilt of storylines and tangents/Red Herrings that are part of this novel’s mix. That uncomfortable itch is very much a part of the tension in the story. It motivates the characters and aggravates the writer. That itch is very important.
As I began to integrate the new idea I saw how it pulled on the existing threads of the story, tightening some and tying others in knots. This made me wonder about old-fashioned outlines and the many programs now available to make writing a novel “easier.” Do other writers really use them? I can’t seem to find my way to a systematic modus operandi (M.O.). Every time I try to draw a picture of the twists and turns of this plot I wind up back where I started — keeping the stray threads in my head and weaving them in as needed.
I guess this would categorize me as a “panster” — as in writes by the seat of her pants — but I think it’s more accurate to describe me as an itchy weaver, pulling at various threads as I weave the story together.
Am I taking a risk with this “no net” style of writing? Yes.
Have I figured out another way to write this novel? Nope. I’m stuck with the itchy feeling and 200-plus pages of the first draft. With about two thirds already drafted, the itch of the final third is almost unbearable. It’s time to get back to writing — AKA weaving — my way to the finish line.