NPS: New Plot Syndrome

As of last night, I’ve moved past my Post Manuscript Syndrome stage with Squiggle, part 2 – yes, it is a GO and I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited about moving a step closer to the crucial design stage for this book.

Meanwhile, I’ve plunged headlong into writing the next History Mystery. Well, not quite plunged and not quite headlong and not quite writing as yet… it’s more like gasping, wheezing and choking as I attempt to come up with a plot and characters.

I’m calling it NPS: New Plot Syndrome (I’m less daunted by character creation).

My head is swimming with the research I’ve done on Aryabhata. Theorems float like fishes blowing bubbles at me and spheres have developed scary faces, inhabiting my every waking hour, through day and night, since insomnia is here to haunt me, yet again. I’m back in college before my final exam (I majored in Math). Sheafs of paper that have been scribbled upon litter my table. I have flowcharts of plot-progression and what-ifs. I have sheets with possible riddles, post-its in a multitude of colours, highlighter pens that have run out of ink and possible plots that are weaving around and going… nowhere! Aargh!

It’s scary. It’s frustrating. It gives me an upset tummy. Strangely, it’s also immensely, phenomenally exciting. It’s a new beginning, a whole new world, a new adventure and a new challenge to myself. It’s thoughts flowing fast, often faster than I can pen them down. I’m crying out in pain when I bang into walls. Somewhere, I have to believe that whatever story gods exist will come to my aid and fill my mind with strategies, tactics and finally a plot.

This is the way my brain works when I write. The beginning is never calm; it’s a whirlwind in my head.

I eye my new rubber-topped pencils in disgust. I should never have attempted to reform the pencil-chewing habit. Not now. Not before Aryabhata.

A recent blog post for The Good Book Corner featured how Squiggle from Squiggle Takes A Walk was born. It reflects again, the way I think through the beginning of a new story, when my mind wanders amidst possibilities. Here’s a bit about what happened with Squiggle and given it finally turned into a book, there is hope yet!

“… Something takes place within the pages of a book. A book about an adventure within a book. A self-discovery story, perhaps? What is in a book? Words and scattered between them – punctuation with their rules, each character having a place and purpose. Aha!

A character that doesn’t fit in… an ink splatter on a page walking through the book? An ink splatter? Seriously? Named Splot? Surely you’re joking. What about expressions? What about the reason for being? Is a leaky, defective pen a convincing raison d’etre? Can you even empathise with an ink splot?” – Read the entire blogpost on The Good Book Corner site.

In the meanwhile, I’m wondering how other writers think and write? I’d love to read how they function. If you have blog posts on your writing process, do leave a comment or a link to it in the comments section.

If you’d like to know more about the History Mystery series, read the first chapter or find links to buy them, click here: History Mystery series.

  • http://www.shwetawrites.com/ Shweta Taneja

    Sigh! I am exactly the same Natasha! And I loved reading this blog 🙂 Somewhat similar, the panic, here:
    http://shwetawrites.com/writing-2/