More than a few writers have not only accused of being a plotter, but of sometimes overplotting my work. I have heard from a few people, who will remain nameless, that I have moments when I get too deep into the story and end up spending a lot of time doing something called “research”. You know: that thing you’re suppose to do to make sure you get things right?
I first started hearing this in October, 2011, when I was prepping myself for NaNoWriMo 2011. I had a few people telling me, “Don’t do that! This is NaNo: you just write!” However, that wasn’t how I worked, and I needed to get a few rules in place prior to getting word into the computer. Hence, there were a few people who began saying that I was doing it “wrong”, that I wasn’t really following the “rules” of NaNo, and whatever I was going to write probably wouldn’t be that good, anyway. (Just as a side note: I heard many of the same things prior to NaNo 2012, with one gentleman even going so far as to say that anyone who did any plotting would end up writing “formulistic crap”. Well, I never!)
Of course, the nay sayers are still working on their novels from 2011–maybe–and I’m in the last stages of getting mine self published, which means . . . well, it actually means nothing. It just means I’ve stuck to my plan to not only write, but to publish one way or the other, and that’s what I’m doing. Maybe what I’m putting out will be crap, but it’s my crap, and it has covers. You can’t take any of that from me.
Where is this going? Straight into my next story, trust me . . .
Last night I was, among other things, looking for a place to put my cabin for my next story, given the way-too original title of Cabin Fever. The idea is for my trio of literary lovely to spend a week in a cabin writing, and then have strange things happen to them, after which–well, you can imagine. Or not.
In a way I need to know everything before I start writing. Even something as inconsequential as the location of a cabin might not seem like a big deal, but I have to know where it’s located. There might no be more than an off-hand remake about where the cabin is, but it’s a touch that I use to ground my story–sort of like how when De Niro played Al Capone in The Untouchables, he had the place that made Capone’s silk boxer shorts make the same for him to wear while filming. You never saw them, but it was a touch he wanted.
I knew I wanted to have the cabin in Indiana, and I wanted it to be close to water for some reason. So I looked at sites concerning state parks, trying to figure out which ones had cabin rentals, and then found those places on Google Maps so I could really see the places. It was a bit of a search, because while some places sounded great, they didn’t look that way. I needed to have something that fit just right . . .
Then I found it. One of the state parks that had cabins, and was bordered by a river, and had lots of room–room for a lone cabin, a strange cabin, where three ladies could find their lives changing in very different ways–
And as soon as I had the location, I had the new title: Fantasies in Harmony. As I told another writer, you’ll see how that works at different levels.
I spend too much time on my stories?
You have no idea.
Oh, and it’s my birthday. Happy me, yay . . .