Monday, November 14, 2011
Writing A Novel.....Where To Begin
So you've decided to write a novel. Where do you begin?
First of all, pick a genre. What do you enjoy reading, feel comfortable with and are passionate about?
Like most readers you probably don't limit yourself to one specific genre. Me neither. One of the genres I enjoy is espionage. I even feel passionate about it, but do I feel comfortable enough with it to write about it? No. Working as an administrative assistant at a community college doesn't exactly give me a background in covert affairs. Paranormal, that's another story. Even without paranormal figuring into my day job--though there are rumors about a ghost in the building--I enjoy reading it, feel comfortable with it and I'm passionate about it. Ergo, I've found the genre I'm comfortable writing in, paranormal and fantasy. Found yours? I bet you have.
Once you've chosen a genre, you need a story. What are you going to write about?
The most frequently asked question of an author is where do your story ideas come from. The answer I heard I liked best was, "I order them from a boutique in New York." In other words, everywhere and nowhere. Sometimes they're from songs, movies, books, even something seen at the sea shore. Sometimes we have no idea where the idea comes from, we just go with it. The idea for GROUNDED came when I was out walking and saw a statue of a fairy holding a gazing ball and wondered what it would be like to be trapped inside a statue. From that idle thought, the story of GROUNDED was born.
When your idea hits,write as much of it down as possible. Ideas like sentences are illusive and can dissipate like mist.
Now that you have your idea you have some options. You can either research, outline, or jump in and start writing.
Research usually comes in to play in any novel but especially history and world building. If world building, you'll probably want your world created before you get going.
If you are done with your research or choose to research as you go, the next step is to decide whether to outline or just jump in. This varies from writer to writer. Some writers use the seat of their pants method. I used to. Now, I create a rough outline. For me its like a road map. It gets me where I'm going. That doesn't mean I won't take excursions on a side road or change my mind on where I'm headed, it just helps me get from point A to point B.
What approach have you decided to take?
If you're outline is done or if your ideas are swirling in your head....its time. Turn on the computer, take a deep breath.....and write.