Prep Work

edited manuscriptI am a planner by nature. I like to have an idea of what I’m going to do before I do it. Many people are spontaneous, and I spent a big chunk of my life winging it. As I got older, I realized that winging it was very much not in my nature. In fact, I sucked at it. Winging it got me nowhere.

Except in writing. There was a time in my life when I would write simply because I wanted to write. But as my life became more complicated, it was harder to sit down at the keyboard and spew random fictional stuff from my fingers. If I was ever to produce, I would have to plan. I’d have to outline. So over time, I began to outline and sketch whatever it was that I planned to work on. Amargosa 2 was the result of sticking to a well-planned outline. The Magic Root (originally part of The First One’s Free/Before Amargosa) was not planned, and it shows. The rest of the Compact Universe and the Amargosa Trilogy were all planned out ahead of time.

And now I’ve started No Marigolds in the Promised Land. No outline and only the later events written into other CU and Amargosa stories to guide it. That’s it. As of this writing, Sunday afternoon, I have one scene written wherein the character is not named and only the setting’s name, Barsoom, is mentioned. By the time you read this, the character will have mentioned his name. He has to. Help is 40 light years away and, oh, by the way, there’s no hypergate like in the other CU novels.

And I have absolutely no clue how this is going to turn out.

It’s been a long time since I pantsed it. And I’m publishing this on the fly.

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