Writing Update: Dreaming

Posted by on May 17, 2016 | Leave a comment

KendraWorkspaceWithKendra

 

It feels like a long time since I blogged about writing. Somewhere along the line, this blog has become rather more like a reader blog than an author one, mostly because I really do love talking about other people’s books. If writing wasn’t my first priority, I’d love to be a full-on book blogger!

However, I’ve been thinking for a while that, when I start a new novel, I’d like to blog every now and then about the process. Not tutorials — there are already plenty of authors who blog brilliantly about their writing processes — but updates about how my own writing’s going. I won’t give specifics about what I’m writing in terms of plot etc., but just where I’m at in the whole dreaming / planning / drafting / editing process. It’ll be motivating for me, and, if you write, I hope it’ll be interesting for you, too — if only for the reassurance that other writers don’t pluck perfect manuscripts out of their heads either!

So! Where I’m at right now is dreaming and starting to plot. After several unprecedented months of Not Writing (which I blogged about here), I’m finally ready to start something new.

Step one was to get a story idea. One of the big reasons I was Not Writing was because I thought I didn’t have any ideas left. This was despite having a notebook full of them, from contemporary thrillers to sci-fi to horror. I’d looked through that notebook, and all of those ideas which had been so shiny and exciting when I’d written them down suddenly looked impossible and / or boring. But I took my writing break, and when I looked at that notebook again a month ago — ta da! — those story ideas looked exciting again. It was like magic.

(I think the lesson here is that sometimes your brain just needs a creative break, and that’s actually okay.)

 

Ideas Notebook

 

 

It’s one of those ideas from the notebook that I’m now running with. Not the idea I was originally planning to go with (contemporary / paranormal), but one with a fantasy slant. I’m so very excited. I’ve started a secret Pinterest board and everything.

Thanks to my ideas notebook, I already have a basic plot to work with, and some gem-like nuggets I can use to start world-building. In the last week, I’ve been doing some free-writing around backstory, and have drafted a story opening. I already know those first 500 words will be scrapped, but they’ve given me ideas about tense and POV that I don’t think I’d have thought of if I’d just been in planning mode.

Next step, though, is to plan, and that’s what I’m starting now. I ‘pantsed’ rather than ‘plotted’ my first two novels and suffered for it later, so since then I like to plan as much as feels reasonable. Whatever plan I make probably won’t survive the first draft intact, but I like to know the story has legs before I start, and I like to have something to aim for. So…planning and research, here I come!

If you write, what’s your first stage of starting a new story?

Leave a Reply