The Writing Process
Hello bookworms and welcome back. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time for another installment of Discussion Thursday! This week, I am going to be discussing a topic which plays on my mind all the time. As you may know, I am aspiring to be a writer, and more specifically, a novelist and I am working on a novel. The writing process is a complex thing when it comes to creating a novel as I have found out through my recent experiences with writing my novel: The Apocalypse. Let’s jump in…
So if you have been following me for quite a while, you have probably come across, seen or even read some of the chapters of my novel that I started to write. I was enjoying it and had made good progress on it. Until I decided to scrap it.
Now you’re probably wondering – Josie, why the hell did you scrap it? First off, I didn’t literally scrap it. I simply decided to start over. The copy of the original still exists and I am never going to delete it. However, I will not be continuing with it from that angle. I’ve decided to go with a new angle.
After a while of writing this novel, basically I started to lose my focus. Everything became too broad. I found myself questioning the world I had created, my characters and my plot. This drove me absolutely crazy, because questions would pop into my head and confuse me. The culprit? Lack of planning. And this is where I realised I needed a writing process and scrapped my novel to start all over.
Planning, in my opinion, is absolutely essential to creating a piece of writing. For me anyway. I know some people can come up with a one sentence idea, or a paragraph of a plot, and write and write until they’ve completed an entire novel. Me? I don’t think I can do this without extensive planning. Some people can take minutes planning a novel, while some can take weeks, months, even years. I’m in the latter.
My initial novel had an idea set in place. That idea was basically the only solid thing about my novel. Everything else was fluid and could have been prone to move in any crazy direction. I love this honestly, because as a creative spirit I can move into any direction I feel and let my imagination run wild. However, in the case of my novel, it got too much. I was confused and left thinking way too long on where my story would go next. There wasn’t a nice flow going on.
So I started to plan. I started out with a simple step. First off, I planned out the world, the setting of my novel. This could range from being incredibly simple and vague to being tremendously detailed and refined. This all depends on the type of book you’re writing. My novel is set as a high fantasy novel, so my setting needed to be fairly detailed. I started by constructing a map. Because who doesn’t love maps, am I right bookworms?
The next thing I did once I perfected this map, was jump into word and start writing a general history of my world that would then lead into the main plot. Excessive? Not in my opinion. The more I know, the better I can write without questioning myself. So I wrote an entire history. It wasn’t text-book style history, but a nice two page summary of events that would then lead and give better insight into the plot that the main character is in.
I have only developed this far, but I plan to do much more. The writing process is an excruciatingly important and loquacious thing. I believe every writer, who is writing a novel should have their own writing process. Basically, a disposition of the course of the novel. Specifically, fantasy novels need a lot of preparation, in my opinion, if they are to be good books. I’ve seen the result of fantasy novels that are not well thought out. Not pretty.
I plan to continue slowly planning my novel. However, I am not going to spend weeks upon weeks simply planning. I’m going to try and start writing, now that I’ve got the general gist and atmosphere of it. I think the best way to for me go about this process is to write, and along the way, plan and make notes of little bits and pieces of information that may not all appear in the story, but will play an important role as knowledge.