I mentioned in my first post, http://dwaneknott.com/2016/10/welcome-to-my-blog/, that I am writing a novel. The content or plot of the novel is not important for this discussion. These are things I learned in my writing journey. Let me say upfront, I did not complete all of the tasks before putting a lot of words on paper.
Decide the topic
I learned deciding on a theme or topic is not too difficult. Each of us can think of many things we might write about, given the time and inclination. I enjoy stories with dragons, elves, magic, and assorted monsters. I selected a topic quickly. The part that took longer was narrowing it to something that would support a novel.
Go to the ending
I learned that I had to decide how I wanted the novel to end. I had to understand the character’s goal. This was easy. Then, I envisioned the character that could reach this goal. It was no ordinary mortal. She, yes, she would need to be strong in magic. The goal was not for pushovers.
Cast of characters
Ah, ha. The girl, no woman, must want to reach the goal. She, once upon the journey, must do whatever it takes to complete the journey. Quitting is not an option. The enabling events are too important for her to quit. She requires a supporting cast, faithful and fearless. They must support her through her trials with or without a smile. I created the supporting cast of characters.
The adventure must occur somewhere. I decided not to spend a lot of time on complicated world development. The quests are taking place on a planet like earth with cities, towns, hamlets, isolated farmhouse, forests, streams, rivers, mountains and plains. No deserts in this works. The map is simple.
I wrote but the writing phase didn’t last long. I had neglected to get to know the characters and what development arc they must go through to complete the mission. K.M. Weiland suggested 100+ questions to ask my characters, http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/interviewing-your-characters/. The interviews gave me an appreciation for my characters as they start their journey.
Writing without knowing the characters
But knowing my characters was not enough. I needed to understand the journey. They would not be the same at the end. How would the transition occur in light of the goal? This was plot and I segmented it into scenes which lead the cast through trials and tribulations to the goal. The challenges along the way force the characters to grow.
I have scenes, as I have learned after writing the draft, that are of no value in moving the cast toward their goal. The second draft will be much shorter or not depending on things yet undecided.
So, what value was this? It wa a journey of discovery to see if writing is something I would enjoy. I found putting ideas on paper and sharing them is enjoyable .
Would I recommend the process I have suffered for other aspiring writers? No. I would recommend reading books on writing, visiting the many sites online dealing with novel development, and following blogs of published authors. However, don’t read, study, follow without writing, putting words on paper. I am still learning. But I have written a novel draft.
I love hearing from you. Leave a comment and I will reply.