What do Redwall, thought-stealing chips, and chapter breaks have to do with each other? They all have to do with how I write.
I start with an idea. Ideas for my writing have come from all over. When I was in 7th grade, very much inspired by Brian Jacques and his Redwall novels, I created a Redwall fanfiction squirrel character named Marian. I ended up expanding the idea into my own 19,000 word “mini-novel” called Marian of Rosewood set in a fantasy world populated by animals. For my current WIP my idea came from reading a writing prompt about the last twenty people on Earth. I remember thinking it was a cool idea, and that I would love to write something like that. Then one day at the grocery store, I saw an employee locking up water cooler bottles, and I had the idea “what if the government controlled everything, even water.” I never know what might inspire me, but I do know I prefer to wait for inspiration to strike rather than search for ideas. It isn’t always easy waiting, though!
When I start a novel, I’m not a big planner, but I do prefer to have my main characters established and have a basic plot in place. I don’t outline either, and while I’ve never tried it, I’ve never found it necessary. When I started work on my current novel, The Last Four, I had the basic idea for the novel: Humanity, except for the last four, is controlled by thought-stealing chips implanted by the government. I didn’t have anything more worked out, and preferred to let the story write itself. For my characters, I do feel that they have to have a good, working name to make them real to me. I don’t really flesh out any of my character’s personalities, other than basics. For example, I know that in The Last Four, I wanted Lexi to be the rebellious commander, who is very strong-willed. Other than that, I let them develop on their own. Of course, sometimes the characters become something totally different! When I started, I imagined Lexi to have a temper, but in the end, Solara ended up with the temper. I really love to work like this, letting the characters and the ideas evolve on their own.
I start writing at the beginning of the novel and just work my way through until the end. I don’t even create a new paragraph for a new speaker or put in chapter breaks. I do separate paragraphs if my view point changes, or I start following a different plot thread. Once the first or second draft is finished, I copy a paragraph into a new Word doc and edit that, then grab the next paragraph, and then the next one…until I’m finally finished.
Well, that’s how I write. Leave me a comment and tell me how you write.
This is slightly off topic, but last week I wrote a post called “My Writing Setting” with pictures of my “writing buddy”, Precious. My other cat, Anya, got jealous and had to join me for a writing session. She wanted me to share a few pictures of her: