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Insecticide Two Update: It’s a Crime Scene…

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

I’m halfway through the first draft of Insecticide Two and entering a distinct, third emotional stage. First, was excitement. I had ideas, a detailed outline, and words in my head waiting to be typed. The second stage was despair. The words were bad and the amount of work left to do seemed insurmountable. This third stage is curiosity. I feel something taking shape within the first draft. I don’t know what it is yet, and since the writing is still bad, I’ll compare it to something bad: a crime scene.

I feel I’m at a stage with the first draft where I’ve got police tape around a whole city block. I don’t know where the crime scene is on the block, but I know it’s not on another block. I’m slowly chalking off outlines and putting down evidence markers. I’m getting statements from characters and deciding if they are trustworthy. Interrogating characters seems most likely to take me to the next emotional stage. Right now, the characters are ideas, or plot necessities. I’m entering the stage of figuring out who the characters are, what their goals are, what motivates them, and whether those motivations spring forth from the past, present, or future.

From here, I’ll narrow the search area. Hopefully, I can move the police tape down to half a block or a single building soon. And, maybe the draft will even stop feeling like a crime scene and feel like something that’s building—like a house—or blooming—like a garden. For now, I’ll keep collecting evidence and see where it leads.

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