I’ve been planning a
new book for the last while – it’s always hard to say how long for, because some
ideas for it have been floating around for several years. But lately I’ve been
consciously working on the plan.
But stories are built
largely in the subconscious, and so ‘consciously planning’ means a funny kind
of working. Sometimes it means staying in bed a few more minutes in the
morning, sorting out whether any useful thoughts have come out of my dreams and
first waking thoughts. Sometimes
it means putting a question in my mind and taking the dog on a long walk while
that question rolls around, and seeing what answers stick to it.
|My table this morning|
Sometimes it means
using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping) to fight the fear of what
if there aren’t any answers to this question – or what if this story simply
|First page of notes for Raven's Mountain/Facing the Mountain|
But it still centres
around actually jotting down notes, writing out questions and ‘What if?’
answers, drawing maps, looking up random bits of information on google, in
encyclopedias, and asking people who might happen to know.
vigorous, stimulating conversations with my editor, writing friends and other
people involved in the project.
And I can feel the
story growing in me, ready and anxious to burst out. There’ll be changes,
revisions, huge deletions and redrafting. I usually start a new book thinking,
‘Maybe this time it’ll be right the first time – I’ll write it in a few
drafts.’ It’s never happened in under twelve, often closer to twenty, but you never
know. Miracles happen.
It’s time to start
writing. In the end, that’s the only way a story can grow.
Labels: becoming a writer, children's literature, creative writing, fear of starting a story, fear of starting to write, getting started in writing, planning a book, story plotting, writing for children