Trusting Your Muse

This past week saw Book 4’s rough draft get wrapped up, printed, and consigned to a three ring binder on a book shelf until sometime next year when I buy a large number of red pens and begin trying to edit the Academy of the Accord series.

That means that I am now on Book 5. I had 13 separate files for it, some were duplicates that I was using to cut scenes from to paste into a “final” version (I think there were three “final” versions in the folder),and some were alternate versions of how things happened, and some held things that belong in Books 6 and 7. Everything has been sorted and condensed and I am now reading through what I ended up with for Book 5, just to make sure I’m on the same page as myself.  (I know there is some stuff at the end that is probably going to still need to be moved, but I’l decide on that when I get there.)

But the best thing is that I have a plot.  Book 5 has a direction, a destination.  I have scenes semi-fleshed out in my head and I know roughly where they go. Sounds good, right?

Right.

Except I also have logic fails of epic proportions and plot holes that rival the Bermuda Triangle. I have no rational explanation for why things happen, or how they happen: I just know that they do happen.

Now, please understand: I am not a pantser. (Pantser: one who flies (or writes) by the seat of his or her pants.)  I like to have an outline.  I write better with an outline. At least, I write faster with an outline and I don’t get lost and my characters don’t hijack my plot (as much) when I have an outline.

In short, I love outlines. And the more detailed they are, the better.  

(I have pantsed. It was fairly disastrous,but I have done it: no plot, the characters all safe and sound from the people trying to kill them, and 20,000 words short of winning NaNoWriMo. I considered writing a 20,000 word celebration orgy, but instead I let my muse guide me… and I ended up with a village of zombies.)

So, here I am, with a half completed book that is in total disarray, having been chopped apart and stuck back together with binder’s twine, band aids, and some duct tape, and a plot that looks like moth-eaten lace.

But that’s all right. I’m going to just write, and when I get to those places where a leap of logic lands me in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle I’m going to just close my eyes, turn off my logic center and take a leap of faith, trusting in my muse to provide the answers as I go.

It’s worked before.

I just hope that there’s no village of zombies this time…

Where has your muse taken you?

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