One of the websites I’ve gotten quite fond of is quora.com. It’s simply a forum where people can ask questions or go and answer other people’s questions. I get asked a lot of questions about writing there, and get to ask professionals questions that help me in the writing of my books.
Yesterday someone asked about whether they should spend a lot of time fretting over word phrasing and structure in the process of writing their first draft. My response was, in a nutshell, word phrasing no, structure yes. That is, to a degree.
I’m currently trying to get my next novel started, one that I’m calling Tesla’s Ghost. It’s about a notebook passed on from Nikola’s Tesla’s assistant to his great-great-grandson, who is a modern-day college student. My hope is that the story will develop enough that I can make it into a series. The problem is that I am so obsessed in developing the story that I won’t let the story actually be born.
I talked to my wife about it over dinner out last night. “I don’t know if it’s the complexity of the story, the fact that it’s so far removed from my own personal experience, or just that I haven’t written a book for so long. But I am struggling.” And then she and I went on to agree that I needed to stop plotting, diagramming and structuring and just write the blamed thing.
So that’s my plan at this point. No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, and strategies for books change as soon as you put words on paper…or on computer screen, as the case may be.
Wish me luck.