Prophecy of the Circle - Teaching Myself to Plan
I’ve always been a seat-of-the-pants kind of writer. Back when I had time, that worked pretty well. I’d have little “Eureka!” moments and go to write them down immediately. I always had time to re-read what I’d written and delete what didn’t work while still moving forward and I’d  just kind of keep going on the fly like that, then clean up the resulting already rather tidy mess to make it more coherent.

That doesn’t really work anymore, I find. I still have the moments of clarity, but they happen usually at work when I physically can’t stop to write them down because I can’t stop, period, in my job. If it’s small enough of an idea I can jot it down on a post-it, but if it’s a big scene or revelation I have to hold it in my head until I can get time to write it, and that’s really hard. When I do get time to write it down, my seat-of-the-pants behaviour doesn’t serve me well because I don’t have large spans to just craft what’s in my head, so it becomes a daunting task to fit it in in a rudimentary way that I can still make sense of later and try to flesh out. Somehow. In a rush, typically.

Not really working, needless to say.

I’ve been discovering that what I need is a plan. I’m not good at them and I find them daunting, especially when I know they’ll still get away from me and I’ll forget things as I write. But I do need one. I need ready slots to plop my ideas into that are organized and sorted.

But I still kept finding myself overwhelmed by how to start making that structure and then to keep going within it. That’s been a big challenge since the start of the hiatus.

I think I have a way, though! First, I’m going to ultimately us Scrivener, just like I do for novel projects. It's really handy to be able to keep everything bite-sized and visible in that program. Second, I’m writing it down on paper first so that I can scribble in the margins and get it all down, even the bits I forget the first time. THEN I can flesh it out more.

And third, most importantly, I’m working backwards. That was a revelation I had today after spending the entire weekend struggling to get myself to just sit down and do. I kept on running into daunting walls of "Now what?!" until I just flipped the whole thing around.

See, I seem to always know where I’m going in Prophecy of the Circle, and I’m often fuzziest on how to get there. So I figure that if I start at the end and work back, it’ll be smoother and less overwhelming to map out.

So far it’s working! I’m hoping to start making thumbnail sketches for new comic pages in the next week (that’s also a new thing; I think planning the visuals ahead of time will also help to take the week-to-week pressure off of me and make this whole thing more enjoyable).

I’ll let you guys know how that turns out!

(FYI, the fox blanket in the photo is courtesy of Tim! I love that thing so much)


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