Ah, but which one shall I tackle now?
The way I approach a new chapter is to review my notes – which can be scribbled on a page of my E2 notebook, or on other scraps of paper, or pieces floating in my head. Then, once I remind myself of the direction/mood/purpose, I start to flesh out the characters with more detailed personalities and motivations, often with back stories that don’t even make it into the story itself.
This prep work also includes those other characters who have lived before this chapter and are tangentially important. Since the entire novel is a continuance of lifetimes, all interconnected, getting the details right is crucial.
Usually, all this prep takes me a couple of hours, and by then I’m too tired to actually write. So, the actual words-on-screen begin the next session. From that point, it’s mostly what I planned and partly what suddenly jumps out of nowhere. Then, usually midway through, I stall. I have serious doubts. I get depressed. I rethink. I change. And then inspiration hits and the chapter gets done.
Repeat, until nothing left to do.
For my next chapter, I’m eager to jump into “Ping,” only because it’s going to be fun. However, I think I’ll save that until later. My current mood* right now points me towards “Once Upon a Time.” I feel very nostalgic. Very reflective.
It’s going to be a shorter chapter, so getting it done will be good for my morale.
*Every writing self-help book tells you not to write according to “moods.” Writing should be methodical and scheduled and planned, in order to get you at the laptop every day. I agree. But sometimes, I just don’t care and go where I want to go.