Writing is an ambiguous topic considering I am working on the draft for my third novel. I have been racking my mind trying to remember the steps I went through originally when embarking on this long journey. Initially poetry held my full attention broken only by a few short pieces of writing. It was as though I had to completely shut down one method in order to immerse myself in the preparation for beginning a novel.
Over a couple of years the wonderfully thick note book filled with scribbles was put away and I began the first step of creating a map. After all what fantasy world would be complete without a map to gain a sense of one’s bearings. A few unworthy attempts were made to describe potential characters and then this too was shelved carefully put away in a space slightly larger than a shoe box.
Procrastination is something I tend to do quite well and while I was lost in this train of thought I had a wonderful conversation with a friend who shared with me her life’s dream and then asked me what mine was. That was the first time I had told anyone I wanted to write a book and filled with a renewed sense of purpose I sat down at my computer and began the first chapter.
This is where I have a confession to make you see I did not like my writing so I stopped part way through and began my first novel at chapter two. Why, because I was describing the story rather than showing it through the characters and their actions. Oh, and I changed the protagonist the first one met a tragic end in in the beginning of the story my apologies for the spoiler for those who have not read the book. This was a short lesson in the need for creating a character with enough substance to become gritty and real.
So there you have it, this is how I began spending about an hour at the end of each day to write my novel. I was quite content travelling along writing until tragedy struck, if there is one thing I can say for having a chronic disease all that initial shyness went straight out the window. With this in mind I finished the last chapter of my first novel and there it stayed for a good six months before my uncle suggested sending it off to publishers.
I knew before I sent it that regardless of the outcome I would publish the novel and spent this time steadily writing the second in the series, however this time it was easier and I finally understood the usefulness of a story plan. The first novel did not have a plan as I had thought the story through so often however when writing my second novel the action was so intricate that I could not have written it without a plan. I will not lull anyone into thinking it was easy and I have certainly gained a new found respect for other writers after all the work involved.