Since this blog began, I’ve been working rather obsessively on “the Book of Day”. I really expected to be burned out after the last novel, but alas, the muse had different ideas. It’s exciting being at the beginning of something new again.
Starting on a new project, has taken the edge off my worries about the last novel. It’s set in a completely different world, and I really needed a break from that other headspace. It’s been recharging more than anything. So far, I’ve found nothing that combats my writer’s insecurity better than getting lost in the creative parts of the process.
This part of the process involves a whole lot of brainstorming and questions without answers. I love it. So far this is how’s its been going…
I started with the characters. I wrote out bits of their profiles and characteristics in a notebook, along with worldbuildg notes. This time I’m actually organized! It’s all going into ONE notebook, instead of a hundred pieces of scrap paper. I’ve been carrying the little notebook around with me everywhere. I’m afraid I’m going to run out of pages though.
I have an end in mind for the story, and know the rough shape it will take, so I’ve jotted down all scenes that I want to include in a random order on sheets of paper, then I cut apart all the scenes with scissors. I’m a visual organizer, so I like to lay everything out on my mattress (not enough floor space hehe) to see the holes between the scenes and the logical order things need to take. Then I grouped some of these scenes into chapters. I know some writing software allows you to do this as well, but I do enjoy the physical act, and seeing everything at a glance. I’ve got about 50% of the novel plotted scene by scene, though not in order.
Now, I need to do some more brainstorming. I usually either jot down notes on my private idea blog, or on scrap pieces of paper just to see what will come of them. I will chase a particular trains of thoght down a road until it hits a snag, or I find that it fits. I discard a lot. Mostly I ask questions. Why would these people stay together? What is this character most afraid of?
And… more often than not, the subconcious/muse gets to work on those questions. If I sleep on a question, I’ll usually have an answer by the next day, or at worse later in the week. Have you ever done that? I reccomend you try it. Trust the process, and the subconcious 😉 It’s working even when we aren’t focusing. Sometimes I end up with more questions, but that’s fine. I find that asking the right questions can be just as important than the answers.
So that’s where I’m at, no writing yet but lots of toying with ideas. Things are shaping up quickly this time, and I’m relieved. I know, at least on a basic level, what I need to get through the first draft of “The Golden Thread”. So far so good!
How’s your writing going? How do you begin a new project?