I missed my blog post two weeks ago due to a paranormal event—the forces of chaos converged on me last month with some serious payback from Fate, whom I did not portray in a positive light in my last book. Well, she got me back with deadlines, kid sickness, a family visit, husband’s work stuff, and more… but I came out victorious in the end. Which means we are all alive. Barely.
I had back-to-back deadlines recently, and while it’s not fun to see the due dates looming ever closer, one thing I love about deadlines is Story Brain. Story Brain occurs when I hit the midpoint of a book or novella, though sometimes it happens earlier. SB is the total immersion of my brain in a story.
I will back up for a sec here: When I start writing, I usually know the basics of what will happen. I know what kind of characters I have, but I’m still in the Discovery Period (which deserves a post of its own). In short, I’m finding out what my characters are really like. The story gets shifted as well, per the characters’ whims. I have my author brain on—thinking critically how this or that will work, reworking, going back and fleshing out. But somewhere before or on the midpoint, I’ve got it, and Discovery gets elbowed out of the way by Story Brain.
When I’m in SB, I know exactly what happens in a scene and my fingers can’t type fast enough to get it all on paper. I don’t pause to think about how A connects to B and will drive this or that subplot. I’m done figuring out the motivations of the characters. Word count mounts quickly. Spirits are high. And I’ll wake in the morning having dreamed about my story the night before. SB is when I start arguing to my crit partner, husband, and self why or why not a character would do such a thing. I talk about them in the present tense. And I bawl when something bad happens. That’s not to say that I don’t discover things as I go along—I just discover different things. SB is one of the reasons I love to write.
(The flip side of Story Brain is Two-timing Cheater, when I start thinking of my next story before finishing my WIP. I’ll write a post on that one as well.)