I just finished Act 1 of Colors to Stars and I’tm already in analyzing mode. There might not be enough words. Should it be longer? Hmm. I can add a scene here and here without slowing down the pacing too much. Might even help it build better.
The only problem is, I have experienced time and time again, and heard from others over and over, that the priority of a first draft is not word counts or the perfect outline or seamless pacing: it’s to finish. So I have to do the hard thing and not go back. I have to keep writing, moving foward.
The nice thing is that my outline, while complete and leads between plot points smoothly (I hope!), leaves plenty of room for discovery. In fact, almost every single scene I’ve plotted has evolved much differently than I originally pictured. The start and finish lines are the same, but how the characters move from one to the other is a whole new adventure.
So I am excited to move forward to the next scene – it’s a quieter moment after a big suspenseful sequence, so I’ll get to do some nice character and relationship development – because I’m sure plenty of things will happen that I can predict. Going back, I’ve figure out exactly what I want to add, and while it will evolve differently on the page, no doubt, those scenes will merely be bridges between flagposts that are already planted in the ground. It’s better to get to a new flagpost, that build a bridge right now.
I’ve mentioned it several times before, but one of my favorite quotes on writing a first draft comes from Terry Pratchett:
I love this because it reminds me that no one is going to read this story yet except me. This story is for me and me alone right now. That was a big part of the Ted Dekker storytelling course, The Creative Way, that I took just a little while ago.
I have a lot of myself going into this story, and I’ve seen some really hard moments pop up where I’ve just been completely caught off guard. That’s how I feel? And it’s hard to be that vulnerable in a story that I hope to share one day, but it has been so cathartic so far.
Its this mixed bag of escaping into a new world, the world of Polaris, and this exciting, suspenseful story with lots of cool twist and turns, but at the same time, I’m escaping into a isolated part of myself that my main character, Mira, is built upon. She evolved from a small part of me that I wanted to explore and heal with this story, and so when I write, I feel all of this history within myself, and a lot of unexpected things come out of that.
But once it comes out, it is easier to deal with it. That’s the thing I am really looking forward to with this story. I don’t know what else about myself I am going to uncover, but I know that once it is in the light, I can bring it to Jesus, my Savoir, and He can help me heal, and fight, and become the me that I am in Him.
There is an Erin within me that is a reflection of Christ’s love, and confidence, and strength, and freedom. In order to become her, I have to uncover and break down all of these parts of me that are weak and wrong and keeping me enslaved. In order to become her, I have to let go of me.
With Mira’s help, I think I might be able to let go a little more as I write this story.
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.