I tried to write the next set of synopses today, but it’s just so frustrating to see myself running headlong into the same brick wall over and over and over again. I need a new plan.
I HAVE to have a plan for draft 2. I cannot just rough draft it again like I did with this one. I can’t take another 6 months to write a single draft. I’ll go insane, or lose momentum, or whatever. Plus it sounds like it’s more work than it’s worth even if all of that doesn’t happen.
And yes, that’s a very doom-and-gloom way to look at things, which is probably just because I’m soaking in a big tub of tunnel-vision angst right now. But even in the most positive light, writing an entirely new draft from scratch still doesn’t sound like a good idea without a solid plan to guide it, and this synopsis was an attempt to make that plan happen. To list out all of the things that do happen in my story, so that I could compare them to all of the things that I wanted to happen. I thought that I had broken down the tasks into small enough pieces to manage.
Because ‘things that do happen’ and ‘things I want to happen’ are …
Dumb. They’re dumb. They’re stupid. They’re really unhelpful, guys. Like so unhelpful that to describe what I want to do to them would require me lifting my no-heavy-expletives rule for this blog, and I’m not prepared to sacrifice any more of my dignity than I already have today by throwing a hissy-fit over what should be a really simple task, and one that, really, does not matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.
So, going by my own rule of altering rather than changing, using what I’ve already got rather than trying to do something entirely new just because I’m frustrated, I am going to go back to my ‘from memory’ synopsis idea, and I am going to paint events in as broad strokes as I possibly can, because I am just upsetting myself right now by doing what I’ve been doing.
I am only this upset, I think, because of writing this synopsis. It’s forcing me to confront certain aspects of my draft – namely how introspective it is – that I had absolutely no problem with during the four months that I spent making notes on the draft. No problem whatsoever. Yes, every now and then I’d note that Tallulah’s over-thinking felt unbelievable or just went on too long, but that wasn’t the main thing that I noticed. It was structure. Plot. The flow of the narrative, the rises and falls in the action. And of course characterisation and stuff like that, but this synopsis project was meant to focus on structure.
I had not expected the focus of this draft to be so introspective, and it really threw me for a loop which is probably why I ended up getting so distracted by it; I was drawn to the pretty lights, and ended up frying myself, over and over and over again. Moths, it seems, do not make for good synopsis-writers, at least when they’re trying to write a synopsis on a lightbulb. I sat down to write this synopsis in the mindset of looking for pieces of action that I already knew that I wanted to shift around, with a pre-concieved idea of what I would find, and what I found did not match up, and for whatever reason it really triggered me. Probably because I need to be doing more stuff with my life than just writing this story. But I still want to write it, so I’ll just adjust my trajectory and get on with it. All I have to do is refocus and not get bogged down in the fine print, and keep it broad.
I think I’ll still re-read the draft. I’m noticing different things as I go, this time around. But I don’t want to make notes, or at least not while I’m reading. Maybe I’ll do some closing thoughts or something, but I doubt it. I just want to get draft 2 underway. And maybe I’m trying to rush it and not preparing to spend enough time and effort on getting it right, which could very well be true, because I have absolutely no clue what the ‘right’ way to do any of this is.
I’m also just not sure exactly why I’m so upset, which is really worrying me. Is it just that I feel I’m getting nowhere? Because yeah, it certainly does feel that way. But is that it? Because I am getting somewhere. It’s just taking forever. But it’s not the kind of thing that I can do quickly anyway. Perhaps I’m just giving up too early because I hit a bump in the road. I don’t know.
Ah well. I can come back to it later if I feel so inclined. For now, I’m actually just going to read through again, no synopsis, no summaries, no nothing. That is the one part of the process that I’m actually enjoying and that my entire body is not screaming at me to stop doing, so maybe that’s the only thing I need to be doing. And again, maybe I’ll do some closing notes at the end of each chapter or whatever. It’s only been a day since I read chapters 3 and 4, and chapters 1 and 2 are some of the ones that I can remember the clearest, so I won’t bother going back and reading those. But my focus is just going to be reading. The theory is that I’ll notice more things that are directly related to the story if I’m just reading it as a story. And other than anything else, I need a way to calm down, but I also want to keep up momentum. This seems like a good compromise.
I can probably actually finish the whole thing tonight if I really want to. And I kinda do.
We’ll see how it goes, I guess.