Yay! Ladies and gentleman. I can now proudly announced I have worked out exactly what my novel is going to be about. I've written notes, timelines, synopsis, the whole thing.
I still need to develop the characters but I've worked out all the milestone important points, have weaved together some complexities, and I am very pleased.
"So Damon, after all these years of thinking about writing a novel and talking about it too ... is it your evening course that has spurred you on to do this?"
And the simple answer is 'yes'.
Kate, you were right. You have been telling me for years to do a course ... I was a huge cynic "don't care about other writers, dont' want to go on a course, don't want to share, I'm too cool and sorted"
But here I am. I've actually thrown together some fragments of ideas I've had for years and created a real story that could well work (um, yeah, got to write it yet. Realise this book is a reality still pending).
What drove me: It's about having your mind focused. It's about having to present something on Monday. it's about being able to talk about "my novel" because others on the class are doing that already.
Also, last week the course tutor gave us an essay about plot; plotting, fitting together of different elements important in a novel. I've studied it personally. As a group we studied it too.
The essay isolated 8 important things that must be in a novel. The tutor asked us to write a sentence next to each of these. Before you realise it, you've got a novel! Amazing. Amazing how just taking that structure - that admittedly looked a bit abstract and silly to begin with - really makes total sense ... and by fitting my ideas into that structure ... well bugger me if a novel hasn't appeared. Well, the bones of one.
Sorry, a very self indulgent post on my blog today. Probably a bit abstract. Wonder if anyone knows what I'm going on about.
What drove me II: In 8 weeks time I've got to have chapter one of my novel ready. Not entirely sure what chapter one is going to contain yet though ... Ive sussed out the character basics (the background, effectively) and I've sussed out the 'impulse' (that's how the ball gets rolling with the story, the bit where the plot starts proper) but chapter one has to set things up a bit, introduce characters. Hmmm. How to do that and remain interesting too. A conundrum, a bridge to cross, a bit of a challenge. I love writing challenges though ... and anyone out there who I've sub-edited will know how my mind works in terms of narratives, getting from A to B and helping the reader along (and probably in terms of Damon shouting or sending emails to get his writers to clarify their thoughts and 'line throughs' and to bare their souls a bit more [sorry Julia]). But shorter pieces are different again. I feel a bit adrift at creating a 200,000 word narrative ... 1,000 words are much easier to deal with, you can see the beginning and the end and keep track of that middle bit quite easily ... but when the middle bit is 180,000 words then you've got an entirely different narrative paradigm / situation going on.
Indulge me this morning, won't you. Especially as I probably won't wax lyrical about this kind of stuff again. Not at length.
OK, so anyone out there who's further down the line in a novel or has written anything before ... please feel free to chip in with thoughts or advice right now.