This week I shall focus solely on the actual novel writing process as it has transpired this week. Something odd happened on Monday. Up until now I have written in a purely linear way, that is I have started at the beginning and written the novel in the order it happens. No idea if this is normal, or odd. Although I have had ideas about later bits of the book, they have, to date remained either in y head or just a few scribbles in my trusty notebook. It somehow seemed wrong to jump around. I suppose I wanted the same experience as the reader whilst righting it. Hopefully not knowing what was coming next and looking forward to the next chapter.
Perhaps when a great idea about a later bit hove’s into view through my sub conscious I should just let it take over, lest I loose the insight or inspiration. But up till now that has felt like cheating. Anyway if writing this novel to date has taught me one thing it is that the plot is a very elastic beast. It’s no good thinking you have the whole thing planned out in advance, the characters and the settings have a habit of changing their and your mind about what happens next. In-fact I have learnt to trust them and my instincts more. I have my major plot points, places and situations I know I need to get to, but the route can be completed without turning the mental sat-nav on. Rather I find it more fun to peer out the window and navigate by intuition. This is probably a bad thing to confess, probably means I am writing it the wrong way, too risky , too prone to wandering off at tangents perhaps.
Hey, but not this week. It’s my damn novel I can write the thing in any order I choose. So in a break from the norm I started writing an epilogue. Why, I hear you cry? Well, it’s complicated. I have many plot strands to incorporate into the planned three books. Some have been started fairly early on, some currently exist just as part of conversations between characters, ideas that will emerge as reality later on. Others exist only in my mind and in some broad synopsis written as planning essays. Some of these are absolutely central to the whole premise of the novel and I need to think and plan how and when they are introduced. Hence the idea of the epilogue, which allows me to come out of the place and style of the book and start to tell/hint of things that both help the reader understand and make sense of what they have just read and set up story’s and events to come. To whet one’s appetite so to speak.
The net result of all this is that last week was the most productive in terms of overall word count, with around 7.5k words, 5k on the main novel and 2.5 for the proposed epilogue. This is still optional, not sure if it is the best way to proceed, but it has been a very useful exercise in getting some of the bigger themes out of the realms of thought and into cold hard words on paper.
In other news, I have added another section on creative writing. This is a place where I can publish the exercises I am set as part of my writing group. You can read the first one here. Apologies for the bad language. Do not read if easily offended….just easily impressed.
See you next week.