I’m in pre-writing mode. It takes 4-6 weeks. I know this. And yet I still get frustrated when the process doesn’t go faster. I get frustrated when I think my outline sucks and the story premise blows and that I never should have started this story in the first place.
And then I take a break, read a book, work out, walk the dog, take a nap, anything to get my mind off the story and my suckfest of an outline. And then I decide to just write some scenes.
Maybe they’ll end up as backstory. Maybe they’ll never even be part of the story or the character at all. And once I decide that’s okay, the ideas start flowing and the scenes magically write themselves. Okay, not really, but the ideas do start flowing, and scenes appear with less effort.
At this point, I may not have adjusted the outline to my satisfaction, but every scene I write will inform the final storyline. That’s the whole point of my pre-writing phase, but sometimes I forget this. I want the rough—but essentially final—outline to be done so I can start cranking out the words.
But, I have to just trust my process, because when I don’t, I end up with a dead carcass of a half-finished story that’s going nowhere. Even though a month-and-a-half sounds like a lot of time to “waste” just to get started, it saves me months of agony and rewriting down the road.
So for now, I just breathe, and fume, and doodle, and write.
And trust that someday I’ll have another story.