Writing Process

How do you get from an idea to a novel?

The writer’s brain is a curious place. Clutter everywhere! Bits and pieces of information float through the ‘air’, echoey voices of half-baked, faceless characters repeat hollow words in the darkness. Or maybe that’s just me…?

If you’re a writer who is living in less of a Sherlock Holmesian mind palace, I salute you! This is the type of post where I can really only describe how it works for me and you can totally ignore this and merrily walk through the well-groomed park of your own imagination. Enjoy!

My writing process doesn’t start with a scene, nor with a character. It often starts with a vivid, slow-moving mental image:

Snowflakes slowly drift by a window. A black bird (pierced by an arrow) falls from the sky. Here. That’s how my current #story began – as a passing thought. #amwriting

@wimpywriter

To go from this to a novel-length story is a BIG ask. This is where the plotting kicks in. I examine the image in my mind for weeks (and months) and start to spin out the story, characters, scenes, etc. from there by asking questions such as:

  • Why is the bird significant?
  • Who is watching the bird?
  • Why is the season (winter) significant?
  • Does it have to be snowing?

I start answering these questions in my (very rough) story notes and move through my writing process from there.

See ya next time 😉

If you’re intrigued by my method, have something similar (or even better) to share, or think this is just overkill, leave a reply in the comments below.

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