It is true. I cannot write a full-length anything right out of the box.
Those of us with this impairment should have a disease named after us. Or at least a test to take at that point of time when we contemplate the writing life. Like a DNA test.
Woman, the results are back. I’m afraid it’s bad news. You should know before you embark on this creative endeavor that you have a challenge which is not only Herculean, but, well, embarrassing. Many people will laugh at you behind your back. It is also potentially (writing) life threatening. You will need special classes, perhaps even therapy. It is surmountable, but many do not survive.
It is easier to cut than to add.
Other people wax poetic about their 600,000 word romance/thriller/historical fantasy/fairy tale/graphic novel/western, pretending to complain about their Sisyphean days ahead when really they are saying, look at me, can I write the shit out of this or what?
I envy these people. I bow to their gay abandon to write down whatever comes into their literate and unabashedly opinionated heads on any given day, at any given moment while I delete whole chapters like an out of control seven-year-old popping balloons at a birthday party.
Me? I start with an outline. I know – control freak, right? But it’s actually a built-in stress reduction tool because – What if I get to the middle, and I forget what was going to happen?!!! My nightmares are crowded with multiple choruses shouting, I forgot what happens after she laid out the poison for the serial killer in the library hefting the weight of a fireplace poker he aimed to use upstairs! (copy-write pending)
Then it’s about 20,000 words before I come up for air, thinking, Lord of Mercy, I’m on fire today. Actually, it takes about two weeks, and then I’m done. The well is dry. Got nothing.
My problem is that I see my story like a cinematic experience happening before my eyes. I get so engrossed in the action, I don’t notice the elements that make the experience rich, profound, and relate-able.
So, after much, hand-wringing, lamentation, and disassociation, I have hit upon the solution. Actually, more like I’ve developed a method to deal with my wild, open throttle, galloping joy ride through plot. I pick a chapter, lay on my bed and watch it again, like a movie. Then I describe the scenery. 40, 000 more words. Bada-bing