Monday, 7 November 2011

A tenth of the way...

I've been writing my new book for the past few weeks, and it's finally starting to get somewhere. I've hit 10,000 words, which I'm telling myself is a tenth of the way. Nine-tenths to go, with the intention of finishing my first draft by 1 April 2012.

I'm taking a whole new approach to writing, and it's proving to be a worthwhile experience.

With my first two novels, I thought of a concept. For example, for my last novel I thought of the impact of a grandmother dying and leaving last wishes for her two granddaughters to broaden their horizons in very specific ways. Then, I pretty much started writing. The plot points came out as the story did, new characters emerged (sometimes unexpectedly), and even the endings were somewhat of a surprise to me.

With this novel, I'm trying to be much more strategic. An agent is only going to see the first three chapters, so I can't waste time getting the story started. I wrote a full synopsis, and then decided to start the story about a third of the way into my synopsis. With each chapter, I'm writing key points that the chapter needs to achieve. Once those points have been achieved, the chapter is over.

I think it's working, but only time - and eventually some feedback from others - will tell whether this book will go anywhere. Despite the strategic approach, this is a story I've long wanted to tell, and my heart is going into each (carefully constructed) sentence.

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