One of those personal deadlines involves finishing a draft of a new manuscript this spring -- a novel that I started writing "for fun" (because authors are insane and desperately in need of normal hobbies) about a year and a half ago, and it's a book that is not quite like anything else I've ever worked on. This scares me to no end. I wouldn't say the subject matter is so wildly different from my prior projects (although there are a few elements that are brand new to me) but, rather, that the writing process for this book has been unusual from the beginning. Typically, I'm a loose but dedicated plotter. I outline. I adore Blake Snyder's beat sheet -- you all already knew that. Well, this particular book doesn't seem to want to be outlined. I've tried to do the beats for it FOUR separate times, and every time the last 5 or 6 beats have changed on me... And, while there is certainly a character-study side to the narration, this happens to be a story with A LOT of plot!! I, quite literally, need to know what's going to happen in the later chapters so I can, you know, write the middle! The fact that I'm having to fly into the mist so much with this manuscript is, for me, like some crazy leap into the unknown...every single time I work on it.
So, rather fittingly, I am spending today -- Leap Day -- mostly offline and primarily writing. I need to close my eyes and take a few jumps into the story's future. I'm not at all sure where I'll land by the day's end, just that I hope (!!) I'll be a little further along on my characters' journey by tomorrow. What about you? How are you spending this extra gift of a day?!