Wednesday, 10 November 2010

And So It Begins...

When I wrote my first novel I started with a character and a setting, nothing else. I sat down and wrote and let the story take me where it wished.

The novel rambled. It wandered off at a tangent and when at last I drew it to a close the ending felt contrived. That novel now gathers dust in the Box-Under-The-Bed.

These days I start somewhat differently. I let the idea marinade in the juices of my imagination – the characters grow and mature, the setting takes shape, the plot forms structure. I jot down notes. Soon these become an outline.

Then I start to write.

But wait. Something else is happening. When I take a closer look I realise that the first couple of chapters aren’t really needed. The third one makes a better opening. By then the voice of the piece has settled, the characters have developed. The action really starts.

What I’ve been doing is writing my way into the story.

So Chapter Three becomes Chapter One (For now).

And this is where I’m at – a new project flowing from my fingertips, the characters arguing with me in my head whenever I give them the chance. (Plus it stops me fretting about WRRW as I wait to hear if I hit the mark with my revisions).

Enough blogging - back to the writing!


  1. Hey Kate! Isn't it a wonderful feeling? You're such a good short story writer, you'll love novel writing and it sounds like you're one of the lucky ones who just have to write. Keep going, it's officially born now.

  2. You know, Kate, I have to agree You grow into your story. Chapters one and two are often lacking the feel of the rest of the book. I have gone back and wrote them over when I'm done with the book.

  3. What a lovely feeling. Good luck with your writing, Kate!

  4. Thank you all for your good wishes.

    I love this stage, the feeling of discovery as the story takes form.

    You'll be able to see how this one evloves from the little progress bar I've put on the right.

  5. How wonderful you can read this and figure it out yourself! Sounds like you're well on your way!

  6. Interesting post, Kate. I love to read about the novel writing process. I think I understand what you mean about writing your way into the story. Characters become real and, in my case, the writing becomes less stilted once I get going.

    It sounds as if your novel has got legs and wings! Happy writing!

  7. I can relate to your process and for that matter, your first novel.

    My first was also pretty bad, but instead of sticking it under the bed, I re-plotted the entire story. Now, I'm on the second draft and it's much better than the first, which isn't saying much.(:

    Allowing the plot to marinade for a while helps a lot. Isn't it rewarding when your idea transforms into a tangible story? Best of luck with your novel. I look forward to reading more about your journey. All the best.

  8. It's wonderful when the text starts to live and breathe isn't it?

  9. Man, do i know how you feel. I did exactly the same thing. Now a book stews for a year while I write other things. I think if you've imagined your characters enough, you never have to actively think about characterising them. They do it themselves. And with me being lazy, that's fine by me!

    Nice blog, Kate. Look forward to reading more!


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