Saturday, March 8, 2008

A novel, creative process

I wanted to extend the ‘creative flow’ theme of my blog entries lately to include the creative process of constructing a story worth writing.

Emma Darcy says in The Secrets of Successful Romance Writing that she starts with a single situation and visualizes it in her head. She asks herself questions about this one scene—like what is happening, why it happened and for what purpose. I like how she equates this part of the creative process to a jigsaw puzzle. If pieces don’t fit or if she has too many mixed pieces, she aborts the project and starts again.

First ideas for my next story have just been put down on paper and I hope it is worth writing! It’s certainly shaping up that way, so I may soon be in a frenzy to get those words on the page. In my previous manuscript I had included a couple who were already married. As I’d already nutted out their personalities and really liked them, I started asking myself those questions of how did they meet and what circumstances drove them into each other's arms. The answer took months to come but now it has just dawned on me and it is so obvious that it just isn’t funny. Actually it’s a bit of a ‘doh’ moment for me because it should have been clear all along.

Not sure if you’ve noticed my problem or not yet. Because this story precedes the previous one, I will have to lay the older one down for a while. The new one is set a decade before but the old one has already helped the new story because a lot of the dramatic ending I have in mind has already been mapped out, but the consequences of that event are revealed in the older manuscript.

Has anyone else had this happen during their creative process or has there been such conflicting ideas that you've just had to abort and start again?

Regards Annie

5 comments:

Rachael Blair said...

My problem is that when I'm a third to half way through a new book, I suddenly think of a BRILLIANT idea for another and lose the incentive to sweat it out on the current one.

Just commented on Suz' blog that I'd love to hear more about your Powerpoint process...

Chelle Sandell said...

I've had several great story lines get set aside because when I started interviewing my characters, there didn't seem to be a strong enough - or believable - conflict. Hang in there! The girls on the Supers board miss your warm weather bragging! Hope things have calmed down around the house.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Annie,
I love your idea of the power point display. Care to let us know how to, and how it works.
Yes, in the earlier process of plotting I have had all the ideas together, characters, plots, subs, only to realise it couldn't work lol.
So I scrapped it all and started again. I usually allow two weeks of thought process. So the previous two weeks wasted, :) Nevertheless, it's usually the last idea one comes up with is the better.
Yes, it does sound like two great novels in the making. lol.... fingers crossed, oh and toes too. lol

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Annie,
I love your idea of the power point display. Care to let us know how to, and how it works.
Yes, in the earlier process of plotting I have had all the ideas together, characters, plots, subs, only to realise it couldn't work lol.
So I scrapped it all and started again. I usually allow two weeks of thought process. So the previous two weeks wasted, :) Nevertheless, it's usually the last idea one comes up with is the better.
Yes, it does sound like two great novels in the making. lol.... fingers crossed, oh and toes too. lol

Annie Doyle said...

Thanks for the comments Suz, Chelle and Rachael. It's interesting to find out how others approach the planning stage.
I will work on the powerpoint idea for my blog soon. It is basically just for pasting the pix into. But watch this space for more details!! LOL
Annie