I am struggling. A lot. I really really desperately want to write this book. My first real attempt at writing a full on novel. In fact I am actually struggling to write this post about it. I haven’t progressed much lately with it, I seem to be stuck. The reason for this?
I have no freaking clue how on earth to write a book.
There we go. I said it. Out loud. I have no bloody idea how to write a book. I haven’t planned ahead, prepared, nothing. I just done what I always do and jump feet first blinded by sheer enthusiasm and stupidity. I tell you there’s just no helping some people (some people being me). What on earth did I expect, the words would flow out of my brain and out through my fingers adorning the page with their fabulousness in exactly the right place? A case of writers block accompanied by dramatic background music and solved by a girlie chat/heartfelt confidence boost and a vat of coffee. Et Voila there you have a full completed book just like that! Life ain’t no movie and neither will Serenity ( ha, I wish) be if I don’t get my act together.
But then today I had a little chat with Olivia about what she was doing in school. She told me she was planning her story again. PLANNING. Something I have so far failed to do. For the SECOND day. Meaning the had already planned once before and had come back to it. 2 days of planning. Well not all day for her but considering I was attempting to do this the hard way she already seemed to be miles ahead and then………..then came the light bulb moment.
Her teacher had them doing what I described as a mountain planner. All children received a piece of paper with a mountain on it in the middle of the page. In each of the corners was a box. These boxes helped them give structure to their stories. Whereas I have a foundation built on crumbs.
Starting in the bottom left hand corner you have Opening. The top left hand corner is Build Up. Over mountain and in the top right corner is Climax/Problem. Leaving the bottom right for Resolution. You climb the mountain to build your story then descend the mountain to wrap it all up. Simple right!
Taking the lead from Olivia we had a little chat about what exactly I need to think about to get this book up and running. There are some questions I need to ask myself and answer in order to figure this out. Do I know the answers to them or do I need to put a lot more planning in place before attempting to even think about carrying on? What is point in writing if you have no clear direction aside from heading down a one way street to Rejectsville. So lets start at the beginning.
Opening. How am I opening the story? What first impression do I want to give my readers? Is it opening slowly and building the backstory or jumping headlong into action leaving the reader desperate to catch up? Should I have a prologue, especially given the theme (you can read my flash fiction piece that started this all off here).
Build Up. How am I going to lead up to and into the story? Is there going to be an event that will need building up to? Will I be giving all of the details away so the reader is completely aware of what is going on? Or is it better to keep twists and turns in to enthrall the reader? How is it going to be approached and who is going to be involved?
Climax/Problem. This is where I get into the juicy part of the story. What is the climax or issue? Do I want to have one major one or is my character fighting through many set backs? How does this tie into the main character and how do I want her involved it?
Resolution. Is there going to be a happy ever after? Will the ending tie up all loose ends or set the scene for a sequel or even prequel? What will happen to Serenity in the end?
These are some of the things I need to think about and get some answers for before I take this any further. I have around 2 chapters and a prequel written down however there hasn’t been much of a thought process behind it just a mish mash of ideas. Whilst this may be good for brainstorming and getting some ideas down on paper, without clear direction this book may end up sailing into the sunset to be sunk without a trace!
Do you have any ideas and/or tips for me? Have you published a book before? I would love hear any thoughts on this and all advice appreciated 🙂