So lately I have been “Building-Up” a new story in my head. I am not sure what the other writers call it, but for me, that’s how it feels. It starts in my head, and it is the generic details that are keeping me awake at nights. Until I begin writing the new story, I feel like a rope coming unravelled at both ends. I have finshed this year’s Halloween horror shorts, and completed a first editing of another novel, however, this new story has been calling to me like the Sirens in Homer’s Oddessy. The truth is, I NEED to write or I may go insane. I am told this is the same for comedians as well, but for me, it is like I am shaping a key in my mind and the blank page is the lock it will unopen.
The first stages of a book is probably the hardest for me, but I must admit, it is also the most exciting. Everything is wide open, the characters, the world I am about to create, it is all so vast and free. It is when I begin labeling the characters and their world, that is when the options begin to be eliminated. Once I have defined who the characters are, (eg. Black man, educated, mid forties, unmarried college professor who has diabetes and cannot quit drinking cheap scotch or smoking cigs), I move on to the world the character lives in. I know some writers create the world before the characters, but that does not work for me. I have my own process, and it isn’t broke, so I don ‘t fix it.
Anyways, that is where I am at. Trying to mentally work out as much as I can before I begin the outline, first chapter, or anything to do with the written word. It is my way of protecting myself from getting two hundred pages into a story that isn’t very good. I call it going into code red. Yes, some of you who have read Stephen King’s On Writing, and that is where I got the phrase. He was over five hundred pages into The Stand, and he went into code red. It is my worst fear, as I have gotten past the point of no return on a novel and had to stop. If this ever happens to you, I recommend taking a day off from writing (if you can), and if you don’t have the answer the next day, try something major and drastic. Stephen King used a bomb in a closet to save his book from going into the red, and I used violence in a different manner, but the result is still the same. If your story is in the red, and your characters are stuck, it is up to you to make something happen.
I will keep everyone posted as the new story comes along,