Writing Wednesday – So I Want to Write a novel…

Welcome to my first instalment of Writing Wednesday where I talk about my literary prowess & progress… or rather, current lack of it. I want to write a novel… or two… or three. Thanks to a very fertile imagination I have the beginning… the occasional middle scenario & an ending of sorts. The problem is focus & the ability to sit & get my ideas onto paper. Writing this blog entry is procrastination in itself.

First off is my ability to concentrate. I grew up watching eight or more hours of TV a day… I can relate to the Simpsons. Then along came Facebook and its stupidly addictive games & its ever changing news feed. These days I have the attention span of an Alzheimer’s suffering gnat. I may not have been part of the MTV generation (thanks to never having Sky) but I’m sure suffering the same effects.

Secondly is motivation. It takes a special combination of factors to make me write; PMS, frustration at the world, frustration at my unemployed life & a decent amount of alcohol. I wrote the first five pages of my novel in an emotionally-furious, alcoholic blur. I haven’t touched it since. So the trick is to get my butt into gear without needing the other inputs. Besides, if I only write a few pages once a month this book is going to take a long time.

So I’ve been doing a few searches on the internet (more ‘putting of the inevitable’) in order to get some structure & planning into the process. I came across the aptly-named site Novel-writing-help.com with its “9 Steps to Write a Book”.

  1. Prepare For Becoming a Writer
  2. Think about the Different Types of Novel
  3. Brainstorm for Fiction Ideas
  4. Decide If You Prefer Planning or Writing a Novel
  5. Plan Your Novel in Detail
    • Sow the Seeds of Theme and Symbolism
    • Make Viewpoint Choices
    • Create Your Fictional Characters
    • Construct the Novel’s Setting
    • Write Your Novel’s Central Plot
  6. Combine Story Elements into a “Master Plan”
  7. Write your Novel’s First Draft
  8. Edit the Novel for Content & Style
  9. Get Your Novel Published

So where am I in the grand literary scheme of things? I’m about a 5. Although I’ve done a few pages already I’ve not really got a structure, so the next few days I’m going to have to get out the ol’ notepad & start creating flow-charts, character synopsis, story structure etc.

This whole process is a lot more convoluted than I thought. Maybe, by the time I’ve done all my charts, a nice bout of doom & gloom will have settled over me & I’ll be ready to write another chapter.

Well, we can but hope!


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