How to start a novel?
The million dollar question…. I think in the past I would have been rather methodical about he whole thing. I would have planned each chapter and a word count, created a writing schedule and stuck to it. I would have banged out the words to get the quota.
After all, we are all trained to work like machines and unfortunately we are often told that writing is no different. Bum on the seat, fingers poised, stopwatch on and off you go.
I am sure that such a mechanistic model is very effective. Just like I am sure that SMART goals work and that going to the gym on a regular basis will get your body in shape. These are all proven methods. They produce results.
I am so tired of being SMART. I am exhausted by the punishing targets that I am setting for myself. I have realized that as a boss of myself, I am a real BITCH.
So for this new novel, this first proper novel, I am choosing a new way.
I am retreating into my dream space.
I am resting and allowing the story to come to me. Like a wild animal, my story needs to learn to trust me and in order for that to happen, I need to trust myself.
I need to rest into my writer intuition. I need to trust that I have all it takes to tell this story.
Now, instead of thinking of plotting as Stage one of a project, I am retreating into the dreams. Allowing the fragments of my story to drift to me, piece by piece.
I have set no words to these little pieces of ephemera. I record them as they come in my trusty Moleskine. I cut out pictures or pin them to my Novel Inspiration board.
I am trusting this new process. It does seem rather right-brain and just a little bit dippy but, you know what, I am LOVING it.
Today why not join me in making a writer’s pledge to give your story the space to come to you.
Sit in the clearing of your imagination and allow your characters and their lives to creep out from the shadows and feed from your hand.
Here’s to intuition my friends.
What is your process for starting a novel? Are you a planner or a dreamer? Leave a comment I would love to know…