I don’t set goals anymore. Haven’t for years. Instead, I tend to work towards what feels right, find the flow, and go from there. So far it seems to be working.
This year, I had a couple of projects I wanted to finish, the first of them was an erotic short. For something that was supposed to be a ‘quickie’, it’s morphed and moulded into something longer, more complex, and, what-do-you-know, my ‘disposable’ character has decided to have her own voice, own story and own character arc.
I’m not so much writing this novel, as ambling about with words and structure, and seeing what happens. It’s taking way much longer than I thought. That’s okay, because…
… there’s this little ‘project’ which appeared from nowhere. Well, not nowhere. It appeared from a deeply excavated pain-logged crag. The girl in the red raincoat.
It’s not erotic. It’s not romance. It’s not a novel. I’m not sure what it is. The girl in the red raincoat. This title certainly has to be changed, because it makes me think of Daphne Du Maurier’s most excellent, spine-chilling short story, ‘Don’t Look Now’, and it’s equally compellingly brilliant screen adaption. That the ‘girl in the red raincoat’ should never, ever have been followed in that particular story does occasionally occur to me, but this one’s different. For one thing, she’s been speaking to me in pictures.
There’s a narrative, yes, but I have no idea how it resolves, or how it ends. But I do know that the more I sit down and draw, the more the story starts to reveal itself, one picture at a time. It’s not a pretty story. But it’s mine.
If I’d stuck to my goals, and mapped my timelines, I’m not sure she would have come to find me. I’m not sure that my erotica character would have started speaking to me either. I’d have been too focused on my goals, my goals, my goals, first-quarter-nearly-done, what-have-I-to-show-for-it in completed work, word count, pages scrawled, outlines completed.
No space for creativity to get in the cracks. Ah, but look what’s happening when I let the whole thing go.