Writing a Novel – Day 12

Dec 18 2012

Sitting down to think exclusively about one’s book is like meditating for the novice; the mind constantly wanders. Never having been good at meditation, I found the process of recreating the book’s plot extremely difficult. Finally, I gave up and went looking for the notebook where I had jotted down a tentative outline for the novel – and discovered that I had completely veered off course. The original plot had much more drama and conflict in it, and reading literature had completely diluted my writing.

So it is back to the drawing board now. After much thought, I rewrote the first chapter yesterday…not as much of an issue since the first chapter was all action to set up the plot. But now comes the hard part – cutting out nearly all of the rest of it. It is going to be painful. I’ve already started a new version of the book, opening a new file so I can remember I had got to 7000 words in the first try. But I am not going to proceed any further on the computer till I am absolutely clear about the plot from start to finish.

For now, it’s just me and my trusty notebook and pencil. I have a vague idea of where my story is going, but I want to get a lot of the structure down before I resume typing.

1 thought on “Writing a Novel – Day 12

  1. Jeanne Fredriksen

    Vidya, don’t despair at discovering you went off track or that you may have to revise most of what you’ve already accomplished. It happens, and it happens to all of us. Remember, you’re on your original draft, and trust me, there will be more drafts.

    If it makes you feel any better, I’m over 26,000 words into my first draft (the just let the story flow according to your flexible outline type of draft) with perhaps 8 or 9 chapters yet to create. My original thought had been first person POV, but I thought third limited would offer more opportunities. Last night, at my writers’ working group, I found myself writing in first person again, and I liked it. For a moment, I panicked, knowing that if I decided that first person was the better route, the second draft process would have to begin with major POV-centric corrections as well as evaluations of everything – what would still work with that POV and what wouldn’t. The panic didn’t last too long because it’s just a glitch in the process and an illustration (to me) that anything can happen in that first draft. Onward, forward, and upward we go!



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