Getting started… Again

After months of revisions, I’ve finally started something new.

I’ve been mulling over ideas and doing bits and pieces of writing and research, but something clicked over the weekend and I’m ready to dive in for real. I can’t really describe the difference between ‘trying to start’ and ‘starting’ (for me) but it usually involves a character talking (and refusing to shut up until I start typing). This time it’s more of a feeling and a strong sense of setting.

It can be hard getting started on a new project. There are so many decisions to make: which form will best suit the story, which POV to use, which tense, and what tone should it be? Everything is nebulous and changeable. I’m taking some comfort from my realisation that practically everything I write at this stage will be cut or rewritten and nothing is set in blancmange, let alone stone. Still, it can be a little overwhelming, so I’ve gone back to basics and am taking it ‘bird by bird’.

I’ve also printed out the famous E.L. Doctorow quote and put it above my screen to remind me that it’s okay that I never know the whole story when I begin; that I’m not alone in that particular lunacy.

‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’

So, I’m heading back to my tried-and-tested method; 1000 words a day, every single day.

If you’re in the same boat, gearing up for NaNoWriMo or are struggling to find the will to write, Holly Black has some excellent advice here. Good luck to us all!

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