Saturday, October 29, 2016
In three days, the annual madness that is National Novel Writing Month will start. As I have for the past three years, this year I will be working on a novel in my African Violet Club mystery series. This will be the first original writing I’ve done in 2016 (other than blog posts) and it feels strange to say that.
Because I had the three AVC books in first draft form, my priority this year has been to revise and publish them. That’s what I did, but it left little time for writing new fiction. Okay, it left no time for writing new fiction. So this week I hunkered down in earnest to plan book four.
I heard the cogs in my brain screeching as they fought to break the binds of the accumulated rust. There was a period of time when I thought I might not be able to write another book. However, I know that Agatha Christie and Tess Gerritson each felt the same way before starting and that the only way to find out was to try, so I picked up my pen and notebook and started writing things down.
Yes, a pen and notebook.
While I write fiction easily by typing, generating ideas requires pen and paper. Writing by hand uses a different part of the brain than typing does, and it appears that part of my brain is where my muse lives. Any time I get stuck on writing a story, I’ve found it helps to walk away from my computer and sit with pen and paper. Ideas bubble up in my head and flow down my arm to my fingers which are happily scribbling almost illegible letters on the paper.
This year I’m going to attempt to keep a daily progress journal, a la Dean Wesley Smith. At the end of each day, I’m going to write a blog post updating how many words I’ve written, what other progress I’ve made on the novel (this morning I dummied up a cover for the book--yes, I know it looks like Pepto Bismol and needs work), and other activities of the day.
It might not make very interesting reading, but knowing I’m going to make this public will help me stay on track.