So I did it. I successfully used Terry Pratchett’s “scaffolding story” process.
I talked about ideas with my wife, I got my hands dirty with worldbuilding, I meditated, I turned on my playlist full of Ramstein, Panic! at the Disco, and The Dead South, I put hands to keyboard, and I wrote.
I didn’t outline, I didn’t do research, I didn’t second-guess myself about plot or character decisions, or worry about what other people would think. That work all comes either later, earlier, or during different times of day. In my writing time, I focused just on the act of writing. The way you feel water flowing around your body when you’re swimming. Then I sent the scene to my wife and she said “good job.”
I did that every weekday (usually in the morning) for 60 to 90 minutes. Maybe I’d find three different blocks that long and have three writing times. Usually, though, it was just the one. I spent 60 to 90 minutes writing a little scene, more or less loosely connected to the scene I wrote yesterday and the scene I planned to write tomorrow (or not, but I’ll fix those continuity problems later). It felt good. Often that little scene was my most notable accomplishment of the day.
My kids would get nose infections, they’d throw up from the antibiotics for the nose infections, they’d refuse to let me sleep, I’d bend under the weight of seasonal depression, I’d have taxes to do and dentists to visit. But at least I wrote a scene yesterday. At least I will write a scene tomorrow.
And after two months of this, I have told the story to myself. That story is Wealthgiver.
Scaffolding story (alpha draft) finished at 23,565 words
Begun on Friday, February 15th 2019 in Knyazheska Gradina.
First line: “Kori Epigi was 16 when she realized that the myth of Persephone was about her.”
Finished on Monday, April 15th in Green Deli on Nikolai Haitov.
Last line: “Kori patted Andrei’s knee. ‘You see how much work we have to do,’ she said. ‘Fortunately I’ve done a great deal of reading on the subject.'”
Now I’m going to let Wealthgiver sit while I work on other things (specifically the Centuries Unlimited). I’ll probably return to it in July and begin expanding and deepening it into full novel length. I’m looking forward to it.