Thinking on Paper

As I mentioned in my video the other day, I do a lot of my brainstorming with my fingers. Sometimes, it turns into free writes, which sometimes turn into scenes, but sometimes, it’s just bulletted nonsense like this (NOTE: not really spoilers, but they are notes from chapters not yet released):

[Wonderful, beautiful, actual story text, which abruptly ends]

(…and from here, I think you need to take it, actually. Did someone let him in? Did they decide to walk the neighborhood instead of the gardens?)

  • Naj/Nica/Seth working their shit out
  • Dealing with Maddie
  • Possibly dealing with the whole “omg I have scales and fire” from the night before, but I think the dream did that ok

What did the original chapter do?

  • Flirting, tea, and hangovers
  • Elena
  • talk of Naj dancing, and drum circles (Note: in this edit, Naj hasn’t taken the stage yet. In earlier drafts, he had)

ch 40

  • Small chat w/ elena about relocation
  • chat about dance improv and/or drumming (thur and fri mentioned)
  • call rook when they get upstairs

ch 41

And so on. I used to think I was a pantser. And while I find that’s still true of the first, just getting things out there draft, editing without an outline is practically impossible. Whenever I don’t stop to make an outline, I wind up getting bogged down in the minutae, struggling for the words, the what comes next, everything honestly. So when I ram up against that wall, I just keep typing, letting my brain stay in that groove, and think outloud with my hands. When I’m really lucky, after about five lines of this, the next scene pops up, with full sentences flowing from my hands again without me even noticing. But even if that’s not the case, I find that my brain keeps working at the pieces I’ve organized. So I’ll go about my day, maybe even all the way into the next day, but then ta-da! Answers! Scenes! Directions I’d never thought of going before! It’s like magic.

I highly recommend thinking with your hands.


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