Thought I’d let you see this one more time…..
No way – a book in a month?? First let me say, it can be done. No you don’t have time or an idea that big – I’ve heard it before (I’ve said it before) but we both know that’s just an excuse. You’re a writer. Don’t expect to write War and Peace or Gone With The Wind – that’s not what this is about.
This is for getting that idea out of your head and writing it down without editing or correcting–I’ll repeat that for emphasis–just get the idea out of your head and on paper (or computer – you know what I mean). There’s plenty of time to revise and edit and pretty it up, this is to write it the first time. What has been referred to by others as the “vomit pass” –get it out.
But my idea isn’t “big” enough. Are you sure? Have you started on that writing down part? It might be a little late to practice for this year–but remember, we get a November annually–have you tried flash fiction? You’re given an image, one shot and you write 100 words on it. That’s what I did for Red Shoes. But once I had those 100 words down, I realized I knew what had happened before that and how it continued. It became a novella from one image and 100 words. If I can do it . . .
Now you know you have that idea that’s been in the back of your head for ages (maybe years) but you haven’t taken the time to stop and really look at it. Now’s that time. Take it out, investigate it, why has it remained in your head all this time? There is the kernel of a story there and you know where you want to take it, or have it take you.
Statistically 90% of the people that have that idea never write it down and of those 10% that do, 90% don’t send it to anyone to try to have it published or take the time to publish it themselves. That’s a lot of stories I’ll never get to read. Think about it.
I don’t know how to start. Okay, the first page, the first sentence can be very intimidating. I’ll let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to write linearly. The reader will never know if you wrote the ending first. Honest, I won’t tell if you don’t. If you have a scene that’s in your head, write it down. Keeping it in your head doesn’t help, but seeing it on the screen can lead to the previous scene or the next one. Yes, eventually you’ll have to connect those scenes, but you already know how that happens. You just have to get it out of your head.
Are you seeing a theme here? You’re a writer, your job is to write. For November, make it your main job, your top priority. Housework will always be there, no matter how many mornings you make the bed, you’ll have to again the next morning (same with laundry). Take the chance.
Another secret here–even if you don’t “finish” it, however much you get down will be more than you had and you will have started. No more white paper fear, no more trying to begin with the perfect sentence. You’ll be past that and into the story you want to tell.
It’s a great time to be a writer–there are so many venues to publishing now, there are so many genres and sub-genres to write and read, the pool isn’t that deep–jump in, you’ll be in great company. And maybe you will have cleared your head . . .
From a non-writer: Very interesting! It never occurred to me that a writer would/could jump around in the story and then put it together. I guess (naively) that you started from he beginning and wrote to the ending.
Maybe Nora can do that, but I come up with scenes that I string together. I know where it’s going, but it’s kind of a “I need to get this down while I know it” thing. Ahh the tricks we pull…