I have been working on a new novel for a couple of months now, and I've been attempting to write it without an outline, without any idea of where the story or the characters go. The idea is to discover all of this as I go along. It's an experiment in creativity, wherein I attempt to mimic the techniques of our own Davin Malasarn in the hopes that I'll stumble across the sort of surprising narrative turns that he has in his stories.
I really really (really) am hating it. In fact, I hate it so much that whenever I think about working on the story I get angry. I have no idea what it is so I have no idea what to do with it. In the last week or so, I have managed to write one sentence and it's not a particularly good sentence, either. I look at my notebook and my stack of reference materials and I think about all the other books I could be writing instead, the books where I have outlines and knowledge of the plot and the purpose of the characters. The books that I would enjoy writing.
Because I really really (really) am not enjoying the work on this current project. Yes, some of the bits are the best passages I've written, but I put that down to my having grown as a writer, not to my having no idea what I'm doing on the page. I don't see myself ever getting a finished novel-length draft out of this book, not writing it the way I am. There is nothing compelling me to move forward with the writing because I'm not going anywhere. I am not one of those people who can just go on a wander to see what I'll see; when I go for a walk, I like to know what the destination is and how long the walk will take and where I'll have a pint at the end of the walk. This wandering around through my manuscript is making me terribly nervy and that nervy quality is finding its way onto the page and I don't like that, either.
To make a long story short, I have decided that my plan to write this one without a plan is a bad sort of planless plan. I throw up my hands. I throw in the towel. I throw off the shackles of this prisonless prison, et cetera. Today I'm going to figure out what the hell the story is and what happens when my two main characters meet and how the book ends and why all of it takes place. So there. Otherwise I'm going to throw what I have of this book into the fireplace. Grrr. Argh.
Also, Happy New Year!