Tag Archives: writing a novel
Use Your Writing Process or Process Your Writing it Doesn’t Matter as Long as Your Process Processes Your Processable Process
Have you ever given much thought to the writing process? I am going to assume the answer is no since it’s not something I ponder on a regular basis. Now, just suppose I found myself in a pondering mood; the writing process might just be something I would ponder at that particular moment. In fact, let’s say I’m in the middle of pondering that very subject.
Some authors begin their novels by establishing the plots and an overall rough outline of how the book will flow. Then again, others will forego the rough outline of the entire novel, expanding that into a rough outline of each chapter. There are many ways to structure your writing and none of them is wrong. Each author uses what works best for him or her and that’s how it should be. Me, I fly by the seat of my pants. When I begin a novel, I sit before the virtual paper on my computer screen. I commence to thinking, eventually coming up with a character and a task for this character to do. I write science fiction and fantasy so this individual could end up anywhere, his destination limited only by my imagination. After that, I’m in it with all four feet, adding characters–sometimes human, but usually not–developing a world and allowing the book to write itself. Whew! I’m working up a sweat just thinking about it. What it boils down to (and don’t forget the boiling point drops 1° for every five hundred feet you rise in elevation) is write how you like and don’t forget to have fun. Gotta go…an idea just popped into my head.
How do you envision ideas for your novels? Do you set in your favorite chair with pad and pencil in hand, writing down different plots until one strikes your fancy? Perhaps you stretch out and let thoughts surrounding your particular genre rattle around until one shoots out that would make a satisfactory storyline. The dreams you have during your slumber; certainly a plot could be found amongst the strange goings on in that mixed up bag of sludge. You can stare at a blank page (which is my usual modus operandi) until something smacks you in the face. Then again, in this crazy world in which we reside, the most mundane of items or events may trigger an idea never before imagined in the literary world. When all else fails to formulate a starting point, maybe turn to mind altering psychedelic drugs…there’s bound to be something there to stimulate your cranial lobes, even if you write in crayon.
Once you have discovered your subject matter, there are many ways to begin. Some prefer to outline their entire story from beginning to end, stringently remaining within the confines of their outline. Others outline, but use it loosely, frequently straying in and out of their original storyline. I, myself, jump in, hang on, and let the story drag me along for the ride. And then there are those who have yet to pick out the correct color crayon.
After your plot is established, do you immediately introduce your protagonist and jump right into the action? (Once again, my M.O.) Perhaps you take a less invasive route and gather background information before you pounce into the foray. You may introduce the main players before you forge ahead into the meat of your story. Sadly, you may be unable to choose between the brown or salmon color crayon.
How do you construct your novel? Do you stick to each scenario within your main storyline until it’s finished? Maybe you spring back and forth between scenes, holding the main plot together with smaller subplots. (Me again) Your book may be a single story with a small number of characters requiring one intense scene to carry the entire plot. Well, isn’t this wonderful. I see you’ve melted the two crayons together to form the color puke.
Please allow me to retract a regrettable statement I made earlier in this post. Do not, under any circumstances ingest substances that will interrupt the normal operation of your brain. To take it one step further, ingest nothing.
Oh look, our friend has begun to pen his novel…What a wonderful opening line. “Me gots purdy pinky toes!”
I can’t wait to read the completed work.