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It's been a sad, long while since I've gotten to write.
I finished my most recent novel in October, and since then, life has been speeding up. Seriously. Whoever has the remote for the DVR of my life needs to let up on the freaking fast-forward button already. (I hyperbole, I hyperbole).
So it is that while I query said last novel (lazily), I have been itching to write a new idea but simply haven't found the time. I tend to write all at once, as writing in pieces stymies me. But there's more reason than that-- I simply love the process of writing all at once. It's like a big puzzle to work out where all the pieces go, and discard and collect the right ones at the right times.
I see my plot first in my head as a general idea. (This is also where I try to write my query, as it's easier to expand a one-sentence idea than it is to condense a 300-page one). Then my main character floats in. There's usually something about them that pre-disposes them to the story-- i.e., plot point A will be more realistic if MC is in their 30's, or female, or a banker. The rest comes as the story unfolds in my head. As I learn more about the story, I learn more about my MC.
Then ancillary characters come in. These are sourced from a need in the plot-- basically, I need X to happen and a Y character to help it there. For example, in my new idea, my MC needs a fated love-- so he gets a wife. This may seem beyond simple (and it is the most simple of examples), but it's endlessly fascinating to me.
Why? Because for some reason, in the end, it all works out. Granted, I heavily manipulate it to get there, but I love the feeling I get when I've set something up all along and only come to realize why when my character does. It's like reading the book as I write it. Of course, it's not always that easy-- my wonderful fiance can attest to the hours of "storyboarding" he does with me, where I basically rattle ideas off and have conversations with myself while he agrees or disagrees.
This is why I write. To put the pieces of story together, to make them shiny and new, and love them, and tell them, and package them off to be read.
Lately, I've only been able to think about my new project. I was able to write the first 15 pages a while ago, before life got turbocharged. But even so, I feel the pieces sliding together as it mulls in the background. I feel the weight of the story calling me, pushing me towards the keyboard when I should be sleeping, or blogging. I feel a big thirst to solve the puzzle. I think I will, if life will allow it, very soon. But in the meantime, I'll let the plot simmer and thicken. (Ha! I can never resist a pun. It is, perhaps, my fatal flaw?)
So tell me-- how does plot come to you?