Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Percolating

Mud hot springphoto © 2006 Jun | more info (via: Wylio)
Last week I wanted to totally slay some epic wordcount on my current novella...and yet, nothing happened. Well, not exactly nothing. I did get 2700 words written, but it wasn't anywhere near what I wanted to accomplish.

Not because I didn't want to write, and not because I didn't have time to write.

It was because I needed to let the story percolate, marinate, and otherwise compost.

I needed some daydreaming time to watch snippets of the story roll through my head.

And it worked. I spent several days just working the story over in my mind, getting to know my characters and setting better. I needed to discover what secret my heroine was hiding from me. I sensed she had something going on behind the scenes, and she revealed to me, which will make putting her in a difficult position much easier. :) Poor girl.

How about you? Do you need to let your story brew for awhile before you write it? Or do you write it right from the get-go and discover things along the way?

Oh, and tomorrow marks my 5th year Bloggaversary, and I'm giving away some cool stuff, so come back and leave a comment to be entered to win.

20 comments:

  1. Five years! That's amazing!

    Yes, I need to let stories percolate before I jump in. This is advice I should listen to more often AS I'm writing. I usually daydream while plotting, but then I get so determined (AKA stubborn) to reach my word count goals that I often force words when maybe letting myself daydream some more would be more beneficial.

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  2. Um, ew. What the heck is that???
    LOL!! Maybe it's just too early for me to be looking at pictures of brown stuff.
    Congrats on five years. I have no idea how long I've been blogging. Probably longer, but who cares, it's a great way to keep me from actually writing a manuscript. :0)))
    (Kidding, Rachelle, kidding...)

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  3. Yeah, I do think I let them brew. As I've been editing, I've had a few stories percolating in my head. :-)

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  4. I'm so GLAD I'm not the only one who's brain dubs as a percolater! :)

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  5. I let my characters brew awhile. They talk to me, to each other and then when I get a good feel for where they're going and who they are I start laying it out on the keyboard. Five years! Yay!

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  6. Hooray for five years!

    I let stories sit with me for months before I jump to it. Characters, mostly. And I love what you wrote about letting it percolate. I was recently stuck on a plot point and taking some time helped work the kinks out of the story.

    So now it's not kinky (ha, had to. Happy Wed.)
    ~ Wendy

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  7. I didn't know you had been blogging for FIVE years! I'm going to have to go back and peruse your archives to see what was going on before your writing career took off.

    I'm definitely a percolator, too. I have to let my stories spend a good long time being acted out in my head before I put anything on paper. It's frustrating at times but also very helpful.

    Speaking of percolating, I could not figure out the photo on this post! When I first looked at it, I thought it was a weird fish or pig or swamp creature thrashing about in muddy water. LOL! Then I realized what it really was!

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  8. My current story's been percolating since 2006. I think it's ready to serve now!

    Five years, Erica??? Wow, time goes fast.

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  9. I'll add my congrats to the five years, too! Go Erica!

    I do spent time daydreaming through my story. I think it's one of my favorite parts of writing! Hehe. I don't have any stats backing this up either but I tend to think stories come out different if we put in the time daydreaming/plotting/percolating before jumping to the keyboard. Ooh, anyone got any data on this? How would you quantify... Okay, I'll stop, time for me to hit the keyboard so to speak. Love ya girl. :-)

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  10. I let it brew while I'm writing other things. When I get the "other things" done, then I'm ready to roll!

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  11. Happy blogiversary! I firmly believe sometimes we need to just give our mind time to recharge and, yes, percolate. Then when we come back to our WIP, we're much stronger and enthusiastic.

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  12. Happy 5th anniversary to you and your blog, Erica!!!

    I love percolating as I walk, do dishes, hang laundry, etc. It's one of my favourite ways to multitask and it's soooo necessary for me and my writing.

    Glad she gave you some great fodder for your story!

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  13. Yuk! Was I missing the point of the picture? I honestly tried to pretend it was chocolate. I'll be back ;)

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  14. Okay, disclaimer on the photograph:

    It's a picture of a sulpher hot spring. That is mud boiling.

    :)

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  15. Katie, I have the same problem. I want to show progress and there's so little tangible progress to daydreaming.

    CJ - :D thanks for being with me on this blogging journey from the very beginning.

    Cathy - I had to scale back to three blogs per week, because it was getting overwhelming.

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  16. Jessica, my problem is not being sucked in by the shiny new story while I'm working on one in the edit stages...I'm so easily distracted.

    Jaime, daydreaming is so much cheaper than therapy.

    Jessica, welcome to the blog! :) And yay for getting to know your characters!

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  17. Wendy, you slay me! :)

    Mary, beware the digging through old posts...you could get lost in that thicket.

    Sally, time to pour that baby onto the page. And I know! Where did the time go?

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  18. Wendy D. That would be cool to find out, but I don't know how you could quantify it. :D

    Anita, I used to be such a linear writer, never even contemplating a new story until the last one was done. Now I have several projects in several stages of development and I've had to learn to juggle.

    Stephanie, that's so true. I always come to my work more energized and with clarity of thought if I've allowed myself the proper amount of time to daydream about it.

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  19. Eileen, I like to plot while I walk too! Though for some reason this works better for me when I can walk outside than on the treadmill.

    Tana, I should've labeled that picture as the geothermal hot spring. Since I knew what it was, I never thought of how it might look. :P

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