Monday, 11 January 2010

The Notebook

Okay, so it seems the new year's resolution hasn't turned out so well so far. I have yet to write 500 words. But, I have revised a few poems, a story or two... And I've made a small start on something else.

For the first time ever... I'm going to attempt a novel.

I feel slightly reluctant to tell you this. With my attention span, it is highly likely to fall through. But perhaps it will motivate me, knowing that people know I'm trying. Perhaps I've been unable to write as much as I would like because I haven't had anything to keep my focus. I flit through ideas for short stories, and rarely type them up. So I'm going to try to sink my teeth into something bigger. Try to get my ideas rolling and sticking together, like a snowball.

My aunt bought me a notebook for Christmas. I have a lot of notebooks. I love notebooks. But I hate the idea of my scribbles ruining a beautiful one. This notebook is pretty, but not beautiful. It has a floral design on the front, which is totally incongruous to the subject of my novel.

I've started scribbling some character notes, and a spider-diagram of the main ideas of the story. And if you really want to know, I came up with the story while lying in the bath with my boyfriend. He's good to bounce ideas off. I'm sure he prefers that to hearing me moan about how I want to do a writing MA.

So there we go. I've started brewing a novel in a notebook.

Anyone got any tips?


  1. Wonderful and scary news... loads of good luck. Anjoy the ride!

  2. Not sure I can get over the bath scene image and the bouncing part now looping in my head - yep, I'm that depraved...

    As for the novel writing - keep planning in your note book. Go read the structure advice over at Alexandra Sokoloff's blog. Play around with and have fun getting to know your characters. And then start writing.

    Remember that first drafts are just that and revisions are for the insertion of the best bits. Polishing comes much later. It's okay to go off on tangents.

    It takes time and there will be days you don't want to do it. Never put it away and leave it for more than a couple of days.

    Have fun and reward yourself occasionally with something really nice.

    Good luck

  3. Great news Cap. Keep us posted. I have a feeling I'm going to be jealous of just how well you take to the novel thing.

  4. A good book to check out if you haven't already is "Story Structure Architect" by Victoria Schmidt. It discusses dramatic throughlines and different types of structures which is useful at the planning stage.
    Good luck!

  5. Thanks, Vanessa!

    BT - !!! - Thanks for the good advice. I will check out the blog you mentioned.

    Robin - Thanks, I will keep you all posted. And I'm not so sure you need to be jealous yet... Ha ha.

    Sandra - Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check that out. I've got a copy of 'First Draft in 30 days' and I'm planning to look at 'Making a Scene', too, but I'll add that one to my list.

  6. Err, can't offer any tips, but can wish you loadsa luck. Be brave and enjoy it!


  7. Cool beans!

    Tips? Yeah. Always keep a good supply of coffee.

  8. I've not really got any tips as I've never attempted a novel. I reckon its got to be a real grind, but probably worth its weight in gold.

    Let me know if you need any test-readers, could be a modern classic :)



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