Inspiration – where are you?

posted Jan 14, 2016, 7:24 AM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Jan 14, 2016, 7:26 AM ]

Book three of the Parthinian Chronicles has stepped into quicksand. I watch it sinking, but am unable to find a way to save it. Can it ever find solid ground again?

I have not added one word to The Dragon’s Tear in several months. My muse has abandoned me. I am writing other things, but this book slides further under the sand. The last couple of weeks I did some soul searching, looking for reasons why the initial inspiration abandoned me.

I believe I now know the error of my ways. You see, I am a ‘pantser’.  I write when inspired. The words flow out of me onto the page. The more I write, the greater the inspiration to write.

Last year, I made the decision to become a ‘plotter’. I read how well this technique works in forming a plotline, developing meaningful characters, and creating fascinating scenes. I bought a new program designed for plotters and went to work on book three. I brainstormed the plot arc, created the characters, and developed most of the scenes before writing one paragraph. When I finished the entire outline, I read what I developed … and felt nothing. There was no excitement in the storyline. I didn’t fall in love with the characters. And, I didn’t feel inspired to write the first chapter.

Meanwhile, I wrote several short stories and flash fiction stories. My muse showed up every time and the words just showed up on the page. Guess what? I enjoyed writing the stories and I believe they are some of my best writing. This morning I read an article by Angela Scott explaining her writing style. It was about the old Bruce, and it made me think.

What to do … what to do?

I feel it is time to abandon my new program and become a pantser again. Only then will I know if the story is too weak, or if it was a flaw in writing style. Only then will I be able to finish the story, or bury it.

Thank you Angela for sharing your thoughts. Wish me luck!