Do you have brew time?
So, I have decided to take on a new....project (I'm superstitious. I won't call it a novel unless I've completed it). And I figured you guys would be one of the first ones I would tell!
And it's in the stages right now that I consider "brew time." My imagination right now is like a crock pot. It's simmering and cooking as we speak. I lift the lid to check in on the story occasionally to make sure it isn't overcooked, though. We wouldn't want a burnt plot line, would we? But overall, it's going to cook for some time before I even begin to start serving the story (a.k.a. outlining).
I think right now for me it's an important stage and at the right time for me. Editing isn't the funnest thing in the whole world, so this is a little something to keep me interested and engaged with my creative self.
The interesting about this new...project...is that I'm not sure about my main character. I know my plot line. I know my one sentence "what if" question, but I don't know much about my characters. It's an interesting place to be right now. One I haven't been in a long time. Most times I know my main character and it's sort of like casting them in the role of a movie. Instead, I have the movie; I just need my main actors.
I also feel uncertain about what the story is exactly. I know the central point I'm focusing on, but I'm not sure the perspective I'll be taking. It's like the movie Titanic. We ended up following the story of Jack and Rose, but what if in the beginning portion of writing the movie, the writer thought about writing from the perspective of the rescue team? Or, hell, even from the boat's perspective? Each carries with it a different story and that's the stage I'm in right now.
I do know that this...project...will require more research than what I'm used to doing. My current novel required a little research, but most of the work came straight from me - all self invented and traditional fantasy novel world creation. This one is different and is based on some truth (or at least that's what some people believe...anyways, I don't want to give too much away). But you know what? I'm kind of excited! I'm actually looking forward to doing research (my college professor's would be so proud).
Sadly though, I find that stories are like jealous lovers and my first fantasy novel is getting a little jealous of this newbie. Hopefully they can get along though, because the newbie is moving in and I think it's here to stay. (Okay, I'm done with the novel metaphors)
How do you approach your new novel ideas? Do you simmer like a crockpot? Or do you dive right in? Are you a plotter? Or a pantser?