All the modes your heart desires…

I thought I was still caught in the Editorial Mode from finishing up Clockworks Warrior but no, this is a problem from planning the Arena.

Planning Mode is something I hoped would speed up my outline process like story boards for a movie. And while it has done the job, I became stuck in it. I looked at my scraps and if I saw a scene already written down, my brain refused to go into Writing Mode.

I have tons of writing scraps that I refuse to discard so the whole story is in little pieces. Clockworks was too short to fall into that trap but Arena should be nearly three-times longer. I kept saying to myself: “You have a ton of snipets. Don’t ignore them or all that work will go out in smoke.” Now I tell myself: “Those were done for planning, stupid! You can’t make a novel out of them.”

This week I finally rediscovered the state of mind that has enabled me to write a chapter a week when I was doing my fan fiction. I call it Documentary Mode. The trick is not to plan or rehearse but wade into the story and describe what is happening as it is happening. I plan only the roughest draft, and not worry about details as they will come by themselves. Documentary Mode asks me to take a leap of faith, faith that the story will somehow find its way through to a satisfying conclusion without my guidance. I imagine it’s a similar experience to a parent taking their hands off the rear of their child’s bicycle for the first time. It goes against every instinct. Did I mention I’m a control freak?

Leap of faith is something that does not come naturally to me. Small wonder it took me this long to rediscover it. Now let’s see how long it lasts…

(Told you there would be a lot of modes)

2 thoughts on “All the modes your heart desires…

  1. Well I think that planning wasn’t a waste of time even if you don’t follow your plan. The planning got you thinking about your story and even if you end up going a different direction, all that the thinking most likely got you to that point.

    I’m a control freak too, and I’ve never written anything that I hadn’t had all planned out in my head. I’ve always wondered if I could pull off something like your Documentary Mode. Maybe I’ll try it some time.

    • Oh, I’m not saying it was a waste of time. Just that it would make my life my easier if I could switch between various modes when needed. I usually need days or even weeks for that.

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