Saturday, April 17, 2010

Confessions of a budding novelist, or after nanowrimo

After 180 pages with no plan other than a basic plot outline, I have decided that I have written a culture, a bunch of characters that I adore (far too many) and I know which passages are in the flow. My world is visual, alive, vibrant, and I just love lots of it. If I am pleased than hopefully my reader will be too.

I don’t know what I am doing, just that I am being written by my novel. I began knowing I wanted it to be fantasy. I had a whole year or so working with the many writing prompts in Soul Food, and I have learnt the discipline of daily writing. I certainly don’t suffer from writer’s block, but I do need to work on my PLOTTING.

Now comes focus, and finding a way to work my way through that first novel. I have decided that one way to encourage my journey to the finish of this project is to read. Yes, stop writing occassionally and read any book in the genre that I love, and look at what keeps me reading, knowing where the characters are, and how fluent the writing I love actually is.

I am tempted to shelve the whole of my first novel, throw it in a drawer, and begin again, or press onto the end, and see what happens. Then I will know where to go. Alternatively I have written out all the strands of the novel and tried to think which threads do I need for book 1. Yes, I have come to the realisation I have planned a series, a world, and a series of character that could keep me going for years, if I can just master this first novel, and have my novel behave itself enough for the reader to be hooked in.

I really don’t know if I could show it to a mentor writer without cringing, it needs more work than that – I do have a close friend reading it, egging me on, letting me know which bits are working for her. I am being pushed around by my creation. Characters keep saying -’ no me I am your central character’. It’s time to take them in hand and say, ‘No you are the next novel – honest I’ll get to you’, it is time to make some tough decisions.

I do know that I do have a vivid and varied imagination. Now it’s time to apply the magic and just make the novel work. So enough of the procrastination, time to make every moment count and maybe come at it like a puzzle. The months after nanowrimo have been truly tough as the editorial haze nit picking kicked in and I just started to wonder where my story was going. Now that haze is lifting and I am reading to do a more realistic outline and work with it to make it what it needs to be.
Sometimes to help me create the novel I let the characters speak on their behalf. This is one of the potential candidates for the lead role. She is still significantly like this, only she has an aunty, lost parents, a quest, and she is already at circus school. I do like to remember where she came from and her auditions for the role though.

Image: From my Writer's Scrapbook

© June Perkins, all rights reserved.

First published Pearlz Dreaming

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