But I find myself relying on my gut this week for a whole new reason. I've been working on world-building and outlining a new story. There's a lot of material here to work with, and I know just exactly how it ends, but there are big blanks in the story itself. So I keep asking my main character what's going on, and I keep building out new chunks of the world. At each stage, I find myself gut-checking constantly. Does this fit? Will this be interesting and exciting? Does it support my overall theme and story arc? Is it logical?
In a lot of cases, I'm finding that I need to sit on new ideas for a day or so, sort of roll them around the old belly to see if they find a decent home. This creative process has been a little surprising for me: my last two books came to me very quickly. In both cases, I think I got the main story down in a few days or even hours. One thing led to another to another to another.
This new thing -- slow revelation, many threads -- is just a bit unsettling. I can't tell yet if this means I'm forcing a story that isn't working, or if I'm simply dealing with a much larger and more complicated story arc than I've attempted before. I guess only time will tell ... But I'm curious. How does it work for other people? Near-instant revelation? A slow build? Is it different every time?
One last note: my cast-iron stomach, btw, does not extend to oysters. I had a bad experience with a raw oyster infected with noro virus. To this day, it remains the sickest I've ever been, and I still can't get near raw oysters. Which is a shame--they were among my favorite foods.