I have mind maps, charts and endless scribbles on paper. All of which are my attempts at understanding my characters and their story. I’m plotting, you see, plotting a story that I’ve been daydreaming about over the last few years.

At first I tried to write it straight out, wham! knock out what you’re thinking girl- I produced less than a paragraph.

‘How could this be?’ I’d ask myself, I know whats going to happen, yet it simply wouldn’t appear on the page. So I tried writing snippets, different scenes, different parts. But each of these ‘snippets’ led down a path that refused to join to the path of the other snippets. Aggggg my head started to ache from my tearing at my hair- it’s all here in my head- I just can’t get it to there, on the page. Do you ever feel like that when writing?

Now? I’m ignoring the computer and all the software it has. Back to pen and paper, my mind maps are my attempts to find where the characters connect, how they connect and affect each other, the charts have bullet points of the events of the first few chapters. Scribbles! I have scribbles galore, parts of a conversations, bits of action, a weather event connected to overwhelming emotion felt by my main character. I have all this yet still am struggling to get the actual story started.

Am I trying to force it? Should I let it brew for longer? Do I need to plot further ahead then I have? How much in advance should I know the characters actions? Should any actions be a surprise to me, the author?

Some days I want to throw it away, other days, cradle it like my baby.

I’d love to know what you would say, what your answers to these questions would be.