For the past few months I have been attempting to write the second in the Wanderlust series. I've blogged a bit about it. I wrote a few chapters of one version, hit a wall, wasn't liking where my characters were going, so I started fresh with a different plot line. Then I got stuck again. Grr.
This is a bit of a new issue for me. For my first two books, I had moments where I had to stop and rework something or cut a chapter, but for the most part, I continued to move forward without much issue. Now I've found myself with a version of writer's block.
Many writers say that there is no such thing as writer's block--that it's just another label for fear. Perhaps, that's true. I definitely have a fear of writing the second story in the series before the first has sold--even though it would be a connected series where each story could stand alone, not sequels per se. I think this fear is what is smothering the creative part of my brain. Then, after reading Nathan Bransford's post on sequelitis yesterday, my fear is even further confirmed.
So about two weeks ago, I put that project on the side and returned to Exposure Therapy. With this one, however, I decided I was going to tie up my inner pantser and toss her in a closet. This story has a suspense/mystery element, which requires more intricate planning. So, I am attempting to *gasp* plot beforehand.
It's been painful. My version of plotting so far has consisted of writing about ten notebook pages of bullet points that say--perhaps this happens, then maybe he does this because of this, etc. I wouldn't so much call it plotting at this point, it's more brainstorming. But I think I almost have all the pieces I need to get started on a more structured outline. But what does that look like?
Blogs to the rescue! I was going through my Google Reader and came across this great post over at The Guide to Literary Agents Blog about the screenwriting book Save the Cat by Blake Snyder.