explore | manuscripts

With explore guiding me this year, I’m excited about writing a lot in 2015.

I’m challenging myself to be more focused on atmosphere and immersion than plot points. I won’t outline every moment, chart every interaction. I’ll give the characters room – real room – to grow. Maybe they will become bigger than I anticipated. Maybe their relationships will expand beyond the confines of my own limitations. I hope so. The lack of flexibility, of slack in the line, creates burnout. It isn’t fun. It isn’t good. I’m just a chauffeur, and I’m around to deviate.

The explore part of writing is giving up the meticulous plotting, but it’s also giving up my comfort zone. I’m changing up the setting and time period of my current manuscript, and it requires significantly more research and imagination. It’s daunting, but the pictures inside my head are more vivid than they’ve been in years. They have to be.

I’m also trying new techniques and approaches, allowing different genres and styles to ebb and flow within pieces. It’s weird, but I’ve fought for so long to cultivate a voice that it feels processed, disingenuous. I’m manufacturing me, or what I think I should sound like. My favorite 1:1000 pieces last year were the ones in which I didn’t try so dang hard, when I let the words take me to the story. I hope I’ll have more moments like that this year.

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