For me, the start of a story is a fickle, elusive element difficult to capture. Of all the parts of a story, it is where I spend the most time. The middle and end often write themselves, pouring out onto the page in a rush. But the beginning, the entry into the story, takes time and work to make it right. Over the years I have developed tactics to make the process easier.
I like puzzles. I always have. I have fond memories of sitting for hours with my grandma building huge, complicated jigsaws. Back then she had all the puzzles. I now own a small selection and my kids have a larger selection we build together (they aren’t quite ready for my thousand-plus piece puzzles).
I’m arguing with myself over food. Not my own food (though I do do that) but the food my characters are eating. One of the many, many items that go into world development is agriculture, and right now my character needs a different kind of food to eat.
It seems unreal the year is almost at an end. I completed #NaNoWriMo and actually made it to 50K words - much to my surprise. My final count was 51,275 so with ignoring my editor and everything else, I now have a very rough draft of the first three-quarters of a new novel. I’m very excited about that.
I love weather. Both in real life and literature. It is amazing, delightful, annoying, destructive, healing, and sometimes downright terrifying. But in literature it can be even more.
Cutting stone tile is not as hard as I thought it would be. Removing stone tile that’s been on the wall for years, however, is beyond challenging. I’ve also learned that some characters, like some people, are shockingly difficult to deal with.
I started doing stream of consciousness writing when journaling in high school. In college I began using it for essay writing as a way to get all my thoughts onto the page. I bet you can imagine where this is going. Yup. I do it A LOT in story writing.
Working on book 2 of my series has brought up an issue I haven’t experienced before. Normally when I sit down to write, it’s all about telling the story. My internal editor makes some noise and complains a lot over spelling and mis-typed words, but that’s about it. This time though, my internal editor is going haywire with commentary.
Once I’ve found the tone of a novel, I like to spend time plotting. I do a complete, often partially illegible (I write it out long-hand) outline of the entire story—major and minor plot points included. As I work, I hit roadblocks that invariably evaporate in the face of a relatively mindless activity like walking or mowing the lawn. Occasionally the roadblocks stay, and those are always created by a character.
I’ve been fumbling around in the dark on Book 2 of my series for the last month.