Lately, I've been indulging the characters in my current work in progress. I'm allowing them to lead me through the story, and choose the course for each scene. And you know what, it's working out great! The only thing I have to do is steer them gently in the right direction so we don't go completely astray from the plot. By allowing more freedom, character details and layers are coming to light that I never knew were there. I love it when this happens!
One big thing I've found since I first plotted this story is that Trey (hero) has matured. So now he's telling me, nope, we can't go there, it's immature and I would come off as a total, unsympathetic ass if you make me do that. So, I'm letting him show me the way to get where we need to go. And that probably sounds like the guys with the straitjacket will show up at my door any second but, let me assure you, letting a character lead you around by the nose is lightweight stuff in a writer's normal day.
The writing is going well, and I'm staying pretty much on schedule to wrap this one up by the end of April. Once it's finished, I'll let it sit for a couple of weeks and then start reading from the beginning and doing my own version of first round edits. Fortunately, I'm one of those people who loves going back through and hacking and slashing at those unnecessary adjectives, or those lines that are 20 words long and work much better if they're cut to 10. Or entire paragraphs that won't be missed if they disappear completely and never turn up again. Sentence structure and finding just the right combination and placement of words is an art form in itself, in my opinion.
Another story and a whole cast of characters have already been calling to me. This has gone on all winter. This particular story has been in the works for quite some time, but I've been reluctant to commit to it because the hero spends several chapters laid up with a bullet wound. It's already all plotted and I've written quite a bit of it. In fact, it's been nagging at me so strongly, occasionally I sneak over and write a few words while I'm working on the current manuscript. I'm not sure that's such a good idea, but when a few lines of narrative or dialogue pop into your head that seem so perfect you must get them written down, what's a writer to do?
Now is good writing time. There's snow on the ground and it's 25 degrees outside, so what better way to spend time than sit at the computer and write about a dark-haired, blue-eyed hero riding through the heat and dust of Texas cattle country during the 1800's. I'm totally there!