I’m Writing a Novel (?)

novel write

I’m in the research stages for a young adult book idea that I have.  It just sounds so crazy to me to say things like, “I’m working on a novel.”  Like, that’s something that writers say.  I’m just an unemployed lady with a laptop.

How does one write a book?  I am trying to figure that out.  I’ve written long-form things in the past, but pretty much without a plan.  I’ve come to realize, however, that it’s good to have a plan.  So here is my plan for making a plan:  I would like to have the plot, well, plotted-out before I really dig in to writing.  In my mind this means creating an entire skeleton of the story.  Then to each chapter, I add the flesh and sinew until it is whole.

The biggest issue I have right now is how do you know how a story ends without writing it first?  I really think I need that planned out first (of course, the ending or story points could change along the way once I see how the characters behave) so the story can build to it.  I think about my characters and some of my story a lot.  My characters especially like to keep me up at night.  But those are my static, beginning-of-the-book characters.  How will they end up?

I am trying to be analytical about this.  There needs to be conflict because that is how literature works.  So what is my conflict?  And how does that conflict become a climax and how does that change the lives of my characters (not to mention please my readers)?  I like problem solving and a novel is a giant problem.

I know this blog is supposed to be about my journey into my creative life or whatever, but, guys, it would really be helpful if you could tell me what to do!  Have you ever done this before?  I’ve been reading books about writing.  That’s somewhat helpful.  I just want to get a nice cold hard structure for this book down.  A complete skeleton ready to be made into a fully-formed, life-filled entity.  And I want to attack this “problem” of mine from a rational place.  (Which would not be from the Hemingway place of, “There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  And also much fishing and drinking.)

It may take a while though.  Did you know that Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary in the UK has a live feed of its baby red pandas?!?!  This requires much of my attention (it has audio!).

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4 thoughts on “I’m Writing a Novel (?)

  1. Hello 🙂 I did a quick browse through my Kindle reader and some books that I have that may be helpful to you are Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark, and 250 Things You Should Know About Writing by Chuck Wendig. Happy writing!

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  2. If you want a good book on plots, try “20 Master Plots (And How to Build Them) by Ronald B. Tobias, Writer’s Digest Books. This book identifies 20 types of plots that most stories fall under. Knowing your plot type can help you understand the kind of story you are writing. As far as your ending goes, get a general sense of what you want to happen and write your story accordingly, but be flexible in this. Give your creative self an opportunity to build upon your basic idea. From this process your conflict will come. What do your characters want? What is stopping your characters from getting what they want? Instant conflict. Remember writing is creative, not analytical. So don’t think about it too much, at least until you get your first draft. The first draft is about getting the story out. It’s in the rewrites that you fine tune the story elements and your characters. One last thing, you ARE a writer now! Being a writer has nothing to do with being published or making a living at it. Look at Emily Dickerson and Herman Melville. The thing that makes you a writer is that you write. So charge up the laptop and write what your heart tells you the story is about.

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