Today I’m working on the next chapter of my serial novel. A couple of years ago, I started posting the next chapter of my book on my website, and today I have a small but mighty following who are good for my heart. I post one chapter a week, on Fridays, and I try to write several chapters in advance so I know what’s going on and have a good handle on things.
Today is Wednesday. The next chapter comes out on Friday, and am I several chapters ahead right now? No. I haven’t even finished chapter two. The current story is 3,970 words, and I didn’t stop on a complete sentence. The last part ends with “and.”
I have to have the next chapter ready in two days.
It is clear that I am writing this book by the seat of my pants.
Do I recommend this method? No, I do not. But sometimes this is the best a writer can do.
Writing by Faith
Now a few years into this process, I’ve been working on the Hamal Books long enough to know that this is something God is doing with me. Even when I’m frustrated with a book or having trouble with a story line, I know that at some point in the future, the book will work out, even though I might be a little behind or momentarily lost somewhere unsafe in the plot.
My Three Things
Practically speaking, I think telling stories one chapter at a time is working for me for three reasons:
I have already built this world. We’re now several books into the series, so I know what the world feels like and (mostly) how it works. The characters are fairly set, and a lot of the hard prep work is complete.
I love this world. It is intriguing and filled with gifted people who can do extraordinary things, and I greatly enjoy spending time there. (And believe me—I’ve spent a looooooong time there already.) As my friend Michael Brodeur says, delight is a great motivator.
I have experience in this world. I know that as I’m writing the Hamal Books, the answers to my questions will come to me. God has shown His faithfulness to me in this area before, and I know I’ll see it again.
So am I worried? Maybe a little—but just yesterday, I had this amazing idea that makes me want to clap my hands. Please excuse me while my characters and I go do something really, really cool.