The writing journey

I’ll be referencing three people in this post and I don’t have the brain spoons to go locate links, but guess what? They’re in my blog roll. Ha! Sooo, if you’re curious, scroll down and find Joni, Stormcrow and Scott Westerfeld. I think Scott’s blog is ‘Wester blog’. Ok, got my plugs in, kinda.

Joni, who I always call JayNoi, inspired me a long time ago to think about writing. She posts writing tips quite often on her blog and she got me in to that free writing course I took. During that course, I developed two characters, a plot and a few settings. I got so excited about the story that I’d just open up a text document and start brainstorming. I wrote scenes for the class. I had dialogue. I had conflict. I explored the senses. I had the general idea of what I wanted to write and I thought it was pretty cool. I got pretty good feedback in the class and the two friends I shared the ideas with thought it was awesome.

The ideas for the novel were inspired after I read ‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfeld. Stormcrow had reviewed the audio book on his blog and after I read it, I had to download the book. I was instantly hooked and promptly read ‘Pretties’ and ‘Specials’. The creative freedom Westerfeld had by choosing to write in the future is what really excited me. So I decided that’s what I’d do and the few scenes I wrote were set in the future. I also picked a genre I was really familiar with. Crime. I had read a lot of crime novels. James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell and several others who lived in my mystery box of audio books. I loved crime novels, so of course that’s what I’d write. Right? Hmmm.

After I finished the writing course, I tried sitting down and working on my new story idea with my characters living in my brain patiently waiting to be born into the story.

I struggled with how to start the novel. I wrote a prelude to explain the futuristic ideas. I started with a plane ride for my main character. As if the plane crashed before reaching its destination, so went the novel. I never went back to it. Suddenly the thought of trying to figure out the crimes, the crime scenes, the forensics and the Bureaucracy all mixed with the idiosyncrasies of my characters became so overwhelming that I basically put the laptop in the freezer and ran screaming.

The idea to write a novel has never left me however, especially the more books I read. I find that if the book is really good I’ll restart it and really pay attention to the details now that I know the story. I’ll make a mental note of how something was described, or how a few words in a dialogue made me feel, how a character seemed to reach in to my soul and remind me of something I experienced years ago.

Are these crime novels I’m talking about? No. They are books for teens. Scott Westerfeld’s books to be exact.

A few nights ago I googled him and discovered his blog. I read through a comment thread at what the teens were saying and I loved their enthusiasm! I started finding youtube videos of Scott and I believe it was in one of these where he talked about how exciting it is to write for teens. I was inspired. I realized that I don’t even enjoy reading crime novels anymore. Why would I want to write one?

What if I plucked my main character out of her FBI roll and made her a high school student? Why not just create a new character? Well because I love her. I created her. I love her name. I love who she is. I want to explore who she is as a sixteen year old.

So my possible novel idea has taken on a whole new timeline and plot. It’s all changed except for her. The chaos I created for the crime novel is being completely and totally transformed into a new chaos, one I truly understand. Instead of opening up a document and brainstorming, I opened up a document and wrote the opening scene. I’m letting the ideas stay marinating in my brain, waiting for me to pluck a piece out and taste it, see if its ready, decide whether to throw it in the story yet or let it simmer.

I already made the mistake of going back and re-reading and fixing typos. Arg, don’t do that! Just write it, Ro. Get it out there.

We’ll see what happens. I think my character is excited. I feel it. She’s found her place and it’s much more comfortable than the last one. Maybe this time next year I’ll be looking in to how to find an editor. You never know, right?


Filed under I might be a writer, NaBloPoMo 2010

7 Responses to The writing journey

  1. WOW that’s way cool! I’m taking a fiction writing course next semester at college, I’m rather looking forward to what comes out of it.

  2. That’s so cool! I am definitely one for teenage books. I am currently reading The Notebook Haha. Gotta enjoy the teen years while they last right?

  3. Ro

    Kaytrin you’re gonna enjoy it I bet. It’s so fun to create a story.

    Maddie, I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to “adult” books after reading so much Westerfeld. The ideas are just so much more fresh and it doesn’t make my stomach hurt to read it.

    I should be sending the blanket this weekend. 🙂

  4. How exciting! I’ve only recently starting considering my blogging “writing” in the artistic sense. I may have a book in me, but it would be non-fiction. It’s hard to get away from my history in academia to feel confident writing about a subject I’ve never studied formally, but I have the germ of an idea for a book on parenting.

  5. Ro

    As several of your readers have said, you’d write a great parenting book!

    I thought about writing a book about my story, a nice non fiction deal, but yuck, I know my story haha. After deciding not to do the crime novel, I set to work today on the teen novel and there’s a lot of me in it, so it definitely helps to draw on something you already know. I’m just writing, not editing, nothing and it drives me nuts to read it back haha! So far I’ve got over three thousand words. I think blogging is definitely a great start.

  6. I thought I heard someone say JayNoi? 😉
    I love to lead creators into the fold of writing. It’s my job.
    Have you thought about an outline for your novel? This helps with keeping the story in line and consistencies flowing in the right direction.
    Good luck in your writing!

  7. Ro

    As of right now, I’m not sure where the story is gonna go. I’ve been reading Scott Westerfeld’s writing tips on his blog and he wrote about how frustrating it is when he has a scene in mind and suddenly the character is going the other way. He talked about it in an interview too. It was so funny. He said he was writing and Deryn went this way when she was supposed to go that way so he left her there after deleting it, came back and started again and she pulled him in that direction again.

    The same thing happened with my character yesterday. After the opening scene I wasn’t sure what to write next, who the antagonist, is that what the other character is called? Anyway, had no idea who he’d be or how they’d meet and I had her walking home and suddenly there he was.

    Unlike the last idea where I did tons of planning, I’m letting this one develop on it’s own, at least for the rough draft. So I suppose you could say the rough draft is the outline. This time, instead of telling myself it’s horrible, I’m laughing at mistakes and thinking it can all just be corrected. I just want to get it all out there on paper. You taught me that. Just write. Don’t stop. Refine later.

    She’s definitely invaded my brain. She’s clawing to get out and tell me who she really is. It’s awesome!

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