Month Write. Am I crazy? Yes. But people write books in a month all the time, usually November, but who cares when? I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was little. I’ve dabbled here and there, but that’s it. Well no more! I’ve finished three days so far, and I’m still having fun with it. So what is the method to my madness? Let’s chat. *This is going to be a long one, so if you stay with me until the end, catch the setting of my novel and comment what you think it is about!*
I have tried so many approaches to writing a book that I can’t think of them all. But I shall do my best to outline a few of my past tactics.
💎The write everything down tactic. This didn’t work out so great for me. Technically I have written at least one entire book already; it’s just in order. When I tried this route, I ended up with pages and pages of randomly disorganized thoughts. Spread across this notebook, those post-it notes in my purse, and a few pages on my computer.
This did NOT help me in any way. I struggled so much with trying to form the notes into thoughts and proper sentences, that I gave up. I still have an entire file drawer full of these scribbles just waiting to be sculpted into a story.
💎Shorthand notes on index cards. This sounds like a grand theory right? Put everything you need on the index card and stick it to a wall. A giant wall. A giant wall that has no furniture in front of it. That isn’t your mother’s hallway. I don’t have a wall like that accessible to me that isn’t in someone’s way. So these cards always wound up in piles, rubber banded together, or stuck in an index card box. Forgotten. Well, forgotten for a while. Just long enough that those shorthand notes and bullet points made no sense to me anymore.
💎Hiveword. If you’ve used Scrivner, this is a free online version. It’s not as involved as it’s name brand from what I can tell. But it does give you a place to store all your notes. Characters, Settings, Scenes, Chapter storage. Everything you can need. In the moment. When you remember what was going on in this book after you’ve done all the others. This one turned out like the index cards for me sadly.
💎Just write it! Who needs a plot? I’ll tell you who needs a plot. Me! I decided that all these plotting and planning techniques weren’t working for me so I could just write it. It made sense in my head already; I could just sit down and write it while the movie played in my head. (Yes. All of my stories have movies, and a dream cast. And often the leading lady is played by me in a wig after a Hollywood body sculpting program.) Well, guess what. That didn’t work either! This gave me the worst case of writer’s block I’ve ever had in my life. Like, worse than the time I had to write a psychology research paper about a drooling dog that I couldn’t remember. “Ok brain, I got this. Take a break from writing, and edit what we have already. Iron it out and steam through!” NO! Never do that! It just makes you overthink everything, and if you’re like me, it makes things worse.
So after all the failed attempts, I gave up for a long time. I threw a short story out here or there. I even went to the community college and took a creative writing course to try getting my mojo back. But I was really starting to worry that this wasn’t the path for me at all. And I gave up.
But after a long break, and a little dabbling with the craft again, I know it’s my calling. So dammit I’m going to do it!
This time I sat down and thought about my characters. Who are they? What are they doing? And where are they going? I spent about a week just free writing about my characters. I know what they look like, what their families were like, their nervous habits, and what they want. That’s step one.
Step two was, where do these people exist? They’re not characters to me anymore. They’re extensions of my imaginative soul. When did they live? Where do they reside in the world? If I close my eyes, I can see it. Perfectly, like I’ve been there a hundred times. Step two, setting.
So, I know where these people live, and what they want. Great. Why does anyone care? Well, I care. I have to know what happens to the town of Echo Creek. How do I know what happens? I plot. I thought about what the goals were for the characters, how does that reflect the town? Well, that seemed obvious. It will make sense to you when you read it too.
So here’s where I started on March 1st:
Who? – Nora-Pearl, Jonah, and the town folk.
What? – Protect and build the town.
When? – 1885
Where? – The town of Echo Creek
Why? – Well, don’t you want to know how they get rid of their attackers?
Book 1 – A list of 24 chapters defined by the events that need to happen.
So, what do you think? Comment below and tell me what you think the book is about. And don’t forget to subscribe so you can follow me in my madness.