My brain is busy.
No joke. 🙂
I’ve tried plotting. I’ve tried outlining. It works for some, and doesn’t for others. I’m the latter.
I go into a book with a few ideas. Sometimes getting stuck holds me back, but even now, I’ve learned in the first draft to leave a note and just move on. Bare bones fast drafting is my method of choice. I’ve had holes in the story. Big gaping ones. I’ve had leads that didn’t go anywhere. Oh, my first draft can be a mess, like a tornado swept through. My poor beta reader, sometimes I put her through the wringer, trying to make sense of my mess. She’s a trooper, though.
I’ve been writing my whole life. I’ve been writing for publication going on six years. I’ve learned if the muse has a wacky, crazy WTF idea to at least run with it. This fickle, darling muse of mine has some wild places she takes me to, but for the most part, she’s led me to ideas I needed to follow. I’ve written stories about characters I didn’t know at first needed stories. (I’ve also written characters based on reader’s suggestions, but that’s another story altogether.)
This time around in the world of “Where’s my Muse taking me now?” is Vibrant, the 3rd book in my Winning Your Heart series. The series (At least the first three books) follows the lives of the Monroe twins, Lizette and Nola.
In the first two books, each twin gets her own story. It starts with a twin switch in So Unlike Me. That book was meant to be a short novel with romantic comedy elements.
The muse said, “Nope, we’re not having any of that. You’re going to add a mystery.”
This happened HALFWAY through the book! How am I supposed to wrap up this element now, muse? I can’t go over 45,000 words! (This was for a boxed set that the cap word count was 45,000!) I was also TRYING to write another stand alone.
Ha ha on me. Truth be told, I’m glad I gave Nola a story. She intrigues many as a secondary character in So Unlike Me, and I loved getting into her head in Forbidden Shelter. And the mystery element the muse decided I needed? It continued on in book 2.
So now, I’m giving the twins a much needed happily ever after. They’ve been through a lot on the last two years.
Oh, things were going great, for the most part. I had a few things I got stuck on, points I needed but didn’t quite have at the time.
And then, all of a sudden, out of the blue, the muse said,” This is what you need to do with the twins.”
Whoa. Just whoa. Stop for a second there. *Holds out hands and stares at the muse in awe.*
Are you serious?
The muse stares back at me. “Have I taken you down good roads before?”
She has a point.
So I followed this path, and oh, it hurt to do what I needed to do, but the signs were there in the previous books, how could I not follow that lead and not only give the girls their happily ever after, but help them discover more about themselves?
It’s a scary thought to give the reins to someone else to lead, and the same thought goes for following an idea in my head that wasn’t originally there before. But damn, the adventures are fun! I’ll have a giant mess to clean up before this book is all said and done, but the story potential and the feels are all there, ready and waiting to wrap up this segment of the Monroe twins’ saga.
Trust the muse. It’s something I’ve learned to do.
That’s today’s confession from this crazy panster writer who goes on a whim all the time.
Let’s rock February, shall we? Welcome to 2018!
-Nikki Lynn Barrett