I haven’t written anything for a couple of days because I’m so deep into the write-up for CM1. I’ve realised a couple of things though, which improve my understanding of my own process.
Firstly, I discovered that I can’t seem to read fantasy while deep in my own story. I’ve been able to read a mystery, and non-fiction, and I think if I tried my muse wouldn’t object to Sci-Fi, but not fantasy. I have Kate Elliot’s Cold Magic and Cold Fire on my shelf looking at me, and I’ve heard great things about her and that series, and also Lois McMaster Bujold’s Sharing Knife series, and I adore her writing, but I can’t read any of those books!
The second thing I realised is that I have a real mental resistance against working through the draft anything but linearly this time. Once or twice I have tried to skip ahead, and my muse has completely vetoed it. It’s like he/she needs to go through the story one step at a time right now. This isn’t usually the case. I generally get ideas from all over the novel, a bit here, a snippet there and write them all down, no matter where or when… and now she’s put her foot down and said, No! Go from the start to the end, Or Else! Unfortunately, this method is appreciably slower. I’m not sure how much slower, but each time I come to a problem, the muse is making me stop and fix it right there and then, rather than allowing me to take a note of the issue and move forward or skip to another issue. My previous method would allow me to think of a solution to the first issue while working on something else. Admittedly I didn’t always go back and fix that first issue, and sometimes I never did work out a solution… It appears my muse wants the book to be done and dusted this time around. Which is good, and it’s lovely to have a clean manuscript after I’ve poured over it for so long, but… it is definitely slowing me down.