Hello, dear authors!
Today was a lovely sunny day in London, so I picked up my books and sprawled in the park to study. I'm a lizard: when I'm at home in Italy during the summer, no matter how hot it gets, I always enjoy standing in the sun and feeling it roast my arms and shoulders. (Too bad there's no way I get even the hint of a tan!) Cute detail of the day: a small brown squirrel racing through the grass and up an acorn while a miniature mouse of a dog ran after it. When the squirrel was safe on a branch, it looked down to where I was standing, and it had this pouty expression as if to say 'Did you see what that dog just did?'. And then a random passerby looked at me all perplexed because I offered words of sympathy to the squirrel.
Writingwise! I have been researching Urban Fiction, trying to get in the mood for a story I'd like to write, and I am rather disappointed. I came away from my research with the impression that UF consists of first-person narration by not very believable badass hot girls who single-handedly solve some cool case and have sex with the handsome vampire / werewolf. What I got out of it, essentially, is that I won't do that sort of research again. So I dug out a couple of Torquere Press UF m/m anthologies, and am currently cheering myself up!
Which leads me to the intended topic for this entry. When I start working on a story, it all usually starts with a flash of some sort - either I see a drawing of a character / place that sets me off, or I glimpse a scene between two characters, and I have no idea who they are and in what predicament they're in. So I frantically jot down whatever I'm thinking and whatever immediately flows after it, because I know I'll forget it if I don't, then sit down and start outlining a plot. I didn't use to be like this, but now I really struggle to begin to write if I don't already have a fairly good idea of what it's going to happen, who the characters are, what the surrounding scene looks like. If I can't hear their voices, I can't start. So I jot down ideas and try to understand what they want, where they are, what's gonna happen to them... then at a certain point something clicks and everything comes to life, and every event, every choice they make, seems inevitable.
It looks like in the last few years I've become more and more of a control freak, and I need to know a lot before I can actually sit down and write. I wonder if this is maybe a symptom of some sort of insecurity? I need to have some fixed points to 'guide' my writing, or at least to have as markers, even though I might end up ignoring them. What about you? How do you plan your work, if you do? Do you need to 'see' a whole story before you sit down to write, or can you just start typing and see what happens?
At the moment, I have characters, I know what sets stuff in motion, I kind of know what the big deal of the story is - although not the details yet! - and I have a very clear idea of what the big frantic action and ending are going to be like. I'm still missing, painfully, the romance part - I can't see them interact, which is like having a very yummy pastry to eat and then finding out there's no chocolate filling inside. It's not snapping yet, and so I haven't started writing. Maybe I should try to start and then see what happens - maybe I should try and get over my need to be a control freak, and trust that my boys will find their way all by themselves :).