Or at least I’ve been getting close to writing. This is the pre-story stage that you’re looking at.
All writers are different. I know some people who plan out every detail first. I know some who just sit down and don’t get up until a story falls out, start to finish. I’m in the middle.
I start out by thinking with my fingers into OmmWriter, just circling the story before I tackle it. It’s kind of a courage-building exercise, and it’s also a sort of echolocation. It helps me find the story’s shape. When I get inspiration, it’s usually in the form of disjointed bits and pieces that want to be a plot but just aren’t. I plant those on the screen and see which ones have possibility, which ones are going nowhere, and which ones are definitely seeds of bigger things and ready to burst. Those will inevitably grow in unexpected directions all on their own and surprise the hell out of me and make me jump and dodge and adapt to them when I get to the part that’s actually stringing sentences together and making chapters and things.
I do the writing part all in one great big forward push. I barely look at my notes and instead just plow ahead until I reach the end, and then I go back to look at where I might need to hammer a few more nails in or cut back some useless material. Every time I’ve given in to the temptation to stop, go back, and tidy up before I’ve reached the end of the book, it’s caused me to lose the feel of the story entirely and then I have to start over. Once I go, I just have to keep going.
So when I write, it’s kind of an extreme sport for my brain. That’s especially true of the webcomic because of the added challenge of weekly deadlines for a monstrously huge story. Each page involves the sort of process that a novel does, but in miniature and over and over and over…
And this is how I have fun.