I’m still not quite fully re-started, but I did get the motor grinding on the WIP (work in progress) by re-reading every word I’d written so far (I’m on Chapter Three), and making minor changes along the way. I kept thinking there was something I’d been waiting on, but couldn’t quite recall. Last night I did finally remember that a friend of mine agreed to re-read The Valley of Fear by A. Conan Doyle (as did I), then meet with me and discuss. What the what? You may be thinking. Well, it’s like this: my Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series consists of stories that are descended from the original Sherlock stories by Sir A. Conan Doyle. There has to be at least a tangential connection to the original in my own (a rule I made up).
My Valley of Fear is now a ghost town in Oregon, where gold was once mined. In the original the Valley of Fear is an active coal mining town in Pennsylvania. There are bad guys aplenty in both stories. Also in both: the introduction of Professor James Moriarty.
So today I’ll call my friend and see whether he’s ready to chat with me. He happens to be a big fan of my series as well as a friend, so I’m looking forward to our discussion. He is also intelligent and kind.
My promise for this week: completion of Chapter Three, and more work on the outline. Do you use an outline? I use Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder (the beat sheet), and it acts as a scaffolding for my story. It helps me to know what I have done, and what I have left to do. I really don’t understand how pantsers (those w/o outlines of any kind) ever get finished or know where they are along the way. I’m always curious to know what other writers do to keep going, and what they do when they get stuck or lost along the way.