Just like I mentioned yesterday about jumping to a new genre, I also went into it writing in a completely different way. Normally I am an obligate plotter. However, for this project I am winging it. That is so not what I’m used to. In fact, I’m changing everything about how I am writing this story.
I’ve talked about how much I like to plot my stories. There is something about knowing everything that is going to happen in a novel that is exciting. The fact that I know my plot isn’t going to be mess because I know the major bats of each chapter is relieving.
This time, I wrote differently. I jumped in with no plan at all. I just wrote and let it flow. Pantsing stories is so far from what is normally in my comfort zone. This was a big change for me, but since I was changing everything up, it helped to change the style in which I was writing. However, pantsing the story wasn’t the only change that I made.
On top of pantsing the story, I stepped away from scrivener that I used so frequently. Don’t get me wrong, I love Scrivener. however I’ve grown accustomed to what is normal within the program, meaning I know that if the page scrolls this much I’ve written this many words. I wanted to escape that entirely so I’m writing in notepad. Not word. Not notepad++. Straight up, basic as ever notepad.
There is no text manipulation, just the words I put on the screen. Heck, I can’t even mark the bits of text that I want to be highlighted in the future. I don’t care. Notepad is providing me a freedom that I haven’t felt in a long time.
You have to understand the way I think to get how this impacts me. I am the kind of person who loves numbers. I like statistics. I like math. It’s fun. I make spreadsheets when I get bored for organization. But then I abandon the spreadsheets once they’ve been created and all the cells have been formatted with their formulas. It’s kind of sick how much I enjoy it. It’s exciting. If I wasn’t so absolutely terrible at Algebra then I’d probably be in a more sciencey field than I currently am. Don’t get me wrong, I understand algebra. My teachers hated me because I understood the concepts and would screw up the easy part the math. In excel, I get to create the equations and it handles the pesky math part. I love order. I organize things all the time in the midst of my messes. Thus knowing my word count is something that drove me. Heck, I even used to plan my writing goals by the word count achieved in a day. If I didn’t reach a certain minimum, well that never happened because I wouldn’t let myself not. That’s the kind of person I am.
Using notepad frees me of all expectations. I can see how many lines I have, but considering there are spaces and lines with one word next to lines with much more than that, I have no idea where I’m at. I’ve even turned off word wrap to further skew the illusion of how much I’m writing. All of these changes have obliterated the concept of word count. I’m not burdened by the idea that a scene is too long or too short because I can’t tell. I just write what needs to happen next.
At the end of the day, this is not my style, but I want to see how it goes. Maybe this is the key to success that I’ve been looking for. Maybe it’ll unlock the story I need to tell. Who knows, but I know that I’m enjoying this process very much. If I’m lucky. This might be the beginning of a journey that ends up being extremely successful. One can hope, until I finish that’s all I have.