I’ve been writing since I was really small. Too small to really know anything about writing. I had a vague idea what characters were although I’d probably have called them something like ‘story people’. I had no notion of plot and setting. And what was theme to me then? And thus started the pile of uncompleted books under my bed (or rather in a box behind my bed).
Worse still, for a child on this side of the globe, no one ever teaches these things anywhere. At least they weren’t taught at my school. And parents sometimes don’t take children seriously when they say they want to be writers. They laugh it off as a phase they grow out of. They’d rather those kids hunker down and get a real degree. Which is good advice because writing as a sole occupation would definitely be tricky to manage over here. But writing was a phase I never grew out of.
Anyway as I grew, I gradually learned about all these things from the web purely because of interest. But still, the pile of uncompleted stories grew (now, having upgraded to a folder on my laptop). It was strange. I would start planning a book and then suddenly I’d lose interest in it and grab unto a new idea that seemed more promising.
The point is that this first stage, the Pre-writing was where it usually went south. I would spend days, months, years even, laboring over an idea, squeezing out of it characters, plots, settings, theme. I would research for much of that time until it seemed I had exhausted the idea. It was no longer the shiny, promising jewel it began as but now something worn, dry, shriveled, coal. And so that pile grew.
I’m putting my foot down.
Now, this yet unnamed story is one I’ve wanted to write for a long time. I’ve labored over it on and off for over two years, leaving it at times to explore other options but ultimately returning to it. And now, I’ve finally, finally decided to buckle down and write it.
The idea for the story came the way ideas for stories come. Through a little of browsing with intent, combining ideas and from life itself. I have notes for characters, plots, setting and theme down. I even have several scenes jotted down (it has been two years after all). But now, I have to start gathering them and structuring them.
To prevent being tempted to remain in this pre-writing limbo for another two years. I’m giving myself three weeks. Wherever I’m at by this point, I move on to drafting. Then I’ll happily spend as much time as I need editing knowing I at least get to hold my completed novel in my hand, no matter how shitty it is.
I have collected a bunch of materials from the net that I’m finding super useful. I’m going to be sharing some of them here on the blog.
So that’s the plan.
Are there any of you guys who have this problem of getting bogged down in this stage? What do you do about it? What do you think about my plan? Any tips?
Or maybe you’ve also been playing with an idea for a book for a while now. We can start this race together.
Tell me what you think in the comments.
Alright, it’s the end of the post which means:
So at the end of each post on this blog, there will be writing prompts created from something within the post to stimulate your writing muscles and mine. You can make short stories, poems, whatever from them.
If you like, you can send a copy of any work you write from any of the prompts on this site to firstname.lastname@example.org as long as it’s not too long. I’ll return with honest feedback. The most interesting works would also get published on the blog (with permission and giving due credit) so yay for free publicity!!!
SO today’s prompts: