I was only gone for 6 months, what happened to the world?

I have spent the last six months immersed, or rather drowning in fairytales and myth criticism.  And I want to thank you, faithful readers, for struggling with me and reading the most interesting points of my thesis.  But it is time for me to move on to different topics – not because I do not like the topics of myth and fairytale – but if I don’t move on, I am going to start hating the thing I love the most.

With my thesis over with, I want to start writing my stories again…maybe I’ll even finish one! But as I sat down to write, I made a horrifying realization – I did not know what was going on any more!  It was not that

Standing on the edge of Lock Lomond...No, that is not where I went for six months, but I think my Muse may have vacationed there without me.

I had forgotten the basic plot.  I had forgotten the details, the voice of particular characters, facts about the world.  I am one of those writers who just sits down with an idea – an idea that is uncooked, still waiting for important ingredients like setting, plot, characters, villains, and even an ending.  But I have an idea.  I like to let the idea come with the inspiration of the muse.  (And if you have read my rant on the fickle nature of my muse, you will know and understand that this is a very dangerous and precarious way to write).

So now that I have time to write again, much of that inspiration has dwindled to nothing more than an inkling of an idea that is only a shadow of its former glory.  I have to reread my story and reacquaint myself with my own characters and world.  This is a tedious process and I spend more time rereading then I do writing.

I suppose there is a lesson in all of this – Take the time to write out the details of your world (For insight into how to go about doing this read Erik’s post).  I know as a spontaneous writer, it is stifling.  But having to reread over 100 pages of a story just so that you can figure out the identity of Charleston is much more stifling.

So readers and writers, how do you organize your thoughts and keep characters consistent?  What methods do you employ to make sure that you can go back to a world that you haven’t visited in six months and not have to recreate it?


4 thoughts on “I was only gone for 6 months, what happened to the world?

  1. I use a massive MS Excel file, and even that has approached the point where I’m not sure I can keep track of everything.

    1. Sam, that is a really good idea. If I am inspired to write out a world concept, I write outlines or a glossary.

  2. Rachel, just push Ctrl + F and type in “Charleston” ;P Just kidding! Yeah, Sam’s got the right idea, though- Personally, I use Microsoft Onenote (got it for free), but there are a bunch of other organizational programs that can help a lot with keeping up with your world.

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