So, I’m going to preface this by saying that I can’t speak for how other authors (did I really just call myself that?) write. I also never did any formal kind of education in creative writing, except for taking both English and English Lit in high school because I loved English so much!
In short, this is purely how my brain works and it either is what everyone else does or isn’t or maybe some do and some don’t. Probably the latter. Anyway, when I write, it’s like watching a movie in my head and documenting what happens. I’ve probably mentioned this somewhere on this blog before. Sure, I can control the characters to a certain extent. I can move them around a room, make them say things, etc. but in general, once a “scene” is playing in my head, it’s not something I can entirely control.
What I enjoy about writing, is discovering things about my characters, things that they will say and do sometimes surprise me. There is a chapter in ‘The Album’ where I had planned out what would happen. It was going to be super sexy and steamy…buuuuuut, once the characters were where I’d put them, it turned out that they were going to have a super deep and meaningful conversation with crying. It’s hard to explain (and everyone’s ready to cart me off to the loony bin now, no doubt!) but once they were there, I just knew how they were feeling and would act and it certainly wasn’t how I’d planned it out in my head.
So, I will plan out a general idea of what will happen in each chapter, the setting of where they will be but once the characters are there, sometimes the chapter turns out totally different to what I thought I’d be writing. Part of this, though, is that you get to discover new things about your characters. As you all know, I’m writing ‘The Wedding’ now (currently sitting at 14,854 words as I type this) and I’m really enjoying living in the Cruise Control world.
I will share something that amused me from my current chapter, the Cruise Control mums have a group WhatsApp chat where they swap gossip they hear from their kids. I was writing a conversation between Heather and Harrison’s mum and as it went along, I was realised “oh, yeah, the mums definitely talk. Sarah is just itching to go spill all of this new information to the others”.
It’s been interesting expanding their world. Because the vast majority of ‘The Album’ was set on tour, I didn’t get to explore the band’s homes and families like I get to with this book.
I have a new (very ambitious!) goal now. I want to finish ‘The Wedding’ in time to publish it on Harrison’s 30th birthday, the 6th of June 2020. I then want to bust my ass to finish book three in time to publish on Sebastian’s birthday, the 17th of November. That will leave me a leisurely eleven months to finish the final book in time to publish on Hayden’s birthday, the 22nd of October 2021. I figure since I’m publishing ‘The Album’ on Gabriel’s birthday, the other band members deserve the same treatment and unless everyone’s happy to wait three full years and then some for the next three books, I have some serious writing to get done!
On that note…