Life is a soccer field. We have goals to reach. There are ideas we kick around on our run toward our goal. Yes, sometimes we are thwarted by life working against us. We stumble and fall. But then we get back up, work our ideas in a new direction, maneuver around life or do a fake out if need be, then we run head long toward the goal. If someone is there to stop you, try again.
Recently I began writing my third book in my Time Series. The title is tentative, so I am not going to share it just yet. But what I wanted to write about was how exciting it can be to embark on a new project yet challenging at the same time. One might think an author would feel as though beginning to write a new novel is nothing new, that it’s commonplace. One might get used to it and the newness of it wears off. That is all wrong. Each time I started to write a new book, I felt the exciting twist of wonderment as a new opportunity to create another story began to weave its web across the pages.
Granted, I have only published two books and one book of poems. But it doesn’t matter. Each one is different, so your brain isn’t getting tired of the same old thing every time. What I enjoy best is the new conflict and plot twists I will have fun creating and inserting into the story.
I have to admit though. Going into book 3 was slow going at first. I wrote the prologue and put it away. Then a couple days later I went back to write chapter 1. I wrote approximately 500 words of chapter 1, then put it away. A couple days later I wrote more. I have chapter 1 finished now, but I was still lacking something. I ended up making a list of things I needed for the story in order to move on with it, then I sat back for about a week or so and let those ideas work in my subconscious as I moved along with the rest of my life. I didn’t sit immobile and try to think of something. Doing that would have been way too boring, and it would have gotten me no where. But now I have it. As I went about my days, I would think about my story and what it needed, relaxed, let my imagination run rampant, thought about different ideas, etcetera.
Book 3 is now making its way across the pages of my manuscript with much more ease. If you find yourself stuck like this, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to come up with ideas. They will come to you. You just have to give yourself a break.
Write It Down
You want to write a novel, but you don’t know how to start. You have all these ideas milling around in your head, but you can’t seem to organize them. What do you do? Write them down. Get a journal and write it in there, or create an electronic file in your word processing program and write it in there.
What do you do once you get your ideas written down and organized? This is where I say, it all depends on how you as an individual go about it? Everyone is different and will do what is comfortable for them. But what if you don’t know how you work? You are going to have to try different things and discover what way you like best.
Here’s what I do. When I finished my first novel, I immediately wanted to write the second one. I had an idea of what I wanted the second book to be about but most of it was bunched in my head in pieces. I knew what I wanted the story to consist of but I didn’t know what I needed to do to connect those ideas. I started out by putting together a three ring binder with sections. These sections are as follows: characters, realms, settings, photos, names for characters, questions, story, style sheet, and fantasy characters.
I went through each section of my binder and added my notes in each section. Once the information was separate this way, my mind was free to meditate on each. The one section I started with was questions. I looked at those and sought to answer them. No, the answers didn’t come right away. I brainstormed the answers and some questions I had to really think about. This is where my walks came in handy. During that time my brain was free to think. Much of what I came up with and worked for my story came from that thinking time during my walks.
Example: below is a question I needed an answer to for my up and coming novel The Cross’s Key. I wanted seven realms in my novel hence the double question below…..
What will these realms be and how will I connect them to the story?
The answer to the above questions did not come right away. It took a while. That’s ok. Don’t rush your story. Take your time. But…..write down your ideas.
The Circle of a Writer’s Life
When you’re a writer, a full-time writer, going to work isn’t like having a regular job where you go to work and do the same thing every day. At least it isn’t like that for me anyway. My day is a hodge podge of different experiences, events, conversations, activities, etc… Why is it like this? Because I’m constantly creating. Yes, even when I’m not writing, I’m writing. I seek fiction in the nonfiction world of reality.
When I hit a brick wall in my story, I go for a walk to relax my mind and think of possible solutions. Talking to people is a great way to find great dialogue for any story. Although, most of the time you might end up changing parts of it to suit your story. A boat ride or a day at the beach is fun and. Write your experience down in your writing journal.
So, in a nutshell, the circle of a writer’s life is different each day.