I missed January's IWSG, caught up as I was in a technical problem concerning feedburner not updating my posts. In case you ever come across this glitch, my final solution was to 'ping' feedburner. Magic! My updates began instantly!
Thanks as always to Alex J Cavanaugh and his worthy team who have made the IWSG such a runaway success! (Click on the link to access more posts or to sign up.)
As some of my long-term blogger friends know, I have various novels in various stages of dress/undress. The reason for this is that I'm a PANTSER, which is an exciting way to write, but it does lead to hitting brick walls at 100 kilometres per hour, and kaboom, CRASH!! Pick myself up, rev up the motorbike and try to find another direction...over and over...The bruises and broken limbs stack up, until finally that manuscript needs serious hospital treatment. While that story is taking up a hospital bed in an author-induced coma, it seems like a good idea to begin another novel...(I wrote about the PANTSER/VS PLOTTER here in another IWSG post if you want some more info on this phenomenon).
Well, I don't regret ANYTHING from my PANTSER days. I think the best way to learn to write a novel is to write a novel. I've read plenty of best-selling authors who say they have drawers full of first, second and third novels which until they are famous, no publisher wants to look at, and even then they may never see the light of day. That was probably while they were trying to work out what sort of a writer they were.
Random: Saw this sign at the Library Cafe this morning:
1. A peculiar organism who is capable of turning caffeine into books.
So.., as those who picked up my 'how excited am I?' post about finally embarking on writing what I want to write...chic lit (not a typo) set in Paris...I can report that I am in the process of turning caffeine into a book. First, OUTLINING! D'oh, you say. Well, yes, d'oh, I am busily compiling a hand-written, sectioned book of notes on the main plot/sub plots/characters/settings blah blah...just like all of you clever authors who've been busily publishing books while I've been busily hitting brick walls.
|An illustration by Kanako which suits my genre...perfectly|
And of course there are far too many books available on OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL. K.M.Weiland is one of the best for me. Currently I'm working on character arcs following the advice of Somerset Maugham who said:
"You can never know enough about your characters."
I'm back at work and have all the lovely students I can handle, working on literature like The Crucible and the usual dose of Shakespeare in the form of The Merchant of Venice, Othello...just for starters.
How about you this month? How is your writing going? And please share--how do you approach a new novel/short story? Do you know your characters in depth before you begin your story?