First Hint of a Novel
I was a bit excited about this, so I wanted to share it with you all.
I’d been struggling for some time with the notion that maybe I”m not quite ready to write that novel I’ve been working on since forever. Anyway, I’m focusing on short stories for now, because that’s all I can fit in the little slices of time I currently have. But what I really want to write is novels.
And when it comes to writing novels, there’s that epic novel I’ve been working on since forever, as previously alluded to.
But I love the idea of that novel too much to leave it in the hands of the unskilled self that I am now. I want that novel to be something great. But I cannot write great fiction, as yet. I need to know first that I can even write very good fiction. But I can write something else.
So, at some point in the recent past (and I may have mentioned here) I decided to shift gears. I decided that when I get into writing a novel, I will not start by writing this epic behemoth of a thing. I will write something else instead. After all, I had three or four different ideas for very different, other novels to write. So I thought about the ideas, and I felt out which one I felt I could actually start to develop. And one of them I kept coming back to as the idea that just felt right.
I’ll admit, though, I was afraid. What if I could only do that one novel idea, the one I’d been working on since forever already? What if I didn’t have what it takes to even attempt to write something else? What if I couldn’t think of enough good ideas – to flesh out characters and world and plot – to make this other idea work?
I don’t know why I worried so much. All I had to do was think about it for a while. And I did. And as I did, ideas started popping up in my head. Oh, well, this is what happens in the first chapter. But then this happens in the second. This is the inciting incident, the thing that gets the main character started on her journey.
I only have the barest of details yet figured out. Some of the first bases of the world-building that I sketched out a few years ago when the idea first came to me. The first sketches of a few characters. And now the first sketches of how the story opens. I’m still working on the plot – as in, what is the overarching plot, and what does the main character want, and what is the course of the overall journey? But I was delighted to find myself adding a couple new handwritten entries in my little notebook (I call it my Book of Ideas), and that these new entries, their not just for the same old book I’ve been working on since forever. They’re for a new book idea.
The former book, I’ll still be working on it. I can’t abandon it. I’ll still write ideas for it down. I’ll build up my little project file on my computer with notes and articles and ideas and worldbuilding and characters. But my overall focus, slowly, is going to shift in this new direction.