Novel-writing, Step One: Do I really want to write a novel?

I've been enjoying D*I*Y Planner for a while now, so I thought I'd contribute something.

I've just started work on a new novel, and this time around I'm outlining my writing process so I can share it with other people. The first step, I realised yesterday, is asking yourself whether or not you really DO want to write a book, or if you just think you should. So I wrote this blog entry:

The Author Test
http://www.hamishmacdonald.com/blog/?p=34

- Hamish MacDonald
_____________________________
www.hamishmacdonald.com

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

lovely

I read your blog :o) Excellent advice...

Unfortunately, I'm one of the ones that is sure there are many books inside of me... I just never figured out how to go about writing an entire novel.

Can't wait to read more about your process. :o)

♥---♥---♥
my artwork

One page...

...at a time, Sara. The hardest part is finding the courage to sit down and write.

(One page per day = 365 pages a year, approx. the size of today's mass market paperbacks.)

Laura

-----------------------------------------------------
Some people hear voices in their heads.
Writers take dictation.

Novels

Good points, Hamish!

Writing a novel is a lot of long, hard, lonely, and sometimes painful work. But on the flip side, there's nothing like typing "THE END." (Better than chocolate, IMO!)

Stephen King had a quote that went something like, "Most writers don't like writing. They like having written." I think there's a lot of truth to that. Writing, for me, is a lot like giving birth, only there's no epidural and no one bringing you popsicles and asking solicitously about your well-being. :)

Laura

-----------------------------------------------------
Some people hear voices in their heads.
Writers take dictation.

Well, there's the National

Well, there's the National Novel Writing Month in November each month. I've done it since 2002, and "won" three times - 2003, 2004 and 2005. Maybe this November, we can get a DIYPlanner NaNo group going.

Thanks for the

Thanks for the responses!

I've considered NaNoWriMo a few times, but ultimately I like taking my time writing a novel. There are freaky coincidences and deep thematic linkages that happen all on their own when I write over the span of a year-and-some, and I can't imagine losing out on that input from my subconscious (or wherever it comes from!).

~

Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting my process down in a format that I can share with other people. Right now I've got a mind-map of the process, and I've made a hand-bound book with a dozen various tabs for the different sections of the process -- you can see that on the front page of my blog at the moment:
http://www.hamishmacdonald.com/blog/

I'd love to have a downloadable D*I*Y Planner-type kit full of sheets, but as I started work on this book, I realised that I don't particularly feel like doing page layout of all of these as I'm also trying to write a book (and work, have a life, etc.). If anyone would be interested in working with me on this, I'd be immensely grateful! In my mind this is a 'share with the community' project, rather than a commercial one.

- Hamish
_____________________
hamishmacdonald.com

book

Your book is wondeful. I love DIY books. My books have been filled with images and related artistic texts... But your idea is inspiring. I wish I could look through it :D
♥---♥---♥
my artwork

Thanks! It's mostly empty as

Thanks! It's mostly empty as yet. Last night's writing session involved copying all my notes from various places into this one book - which felt great! Nice to have something visibly coming together, which gives me confidence about the story gelling, too. (You'd think after three books this wouldn't come up, but it does.)

I've posted a mind-map of my process here:
http://www.hamishmacdonald.com/IdeaToNovelProcess.pdf

Each of the black tabs in the book corresponds with one of the six steps in the process, and the white tabs are for all the tasks inside those steps.

I imagine this all being some kind of kit at some point. Like making your own lightsaber. (God, that was geeky. Forgive me.)

- Hamish
_____________________
hamishmacdonald.com

:swoon:

A European man who makes books and is GEEKY :swoooon:

geeky is the new 'sexy' ... haven't you heard?

Sorry... I'm in a goofy mood today. Looking forward to checking out the PDF as soon as I get some free time today :P

♥---♥---♥
my artwork

Goofy / Geeky / Sexy

Call me strange ( OK, you are strange !! ), but I think geeky and/or goofy is very attractive in a lady.

I value my own child-like qualities, as opposed to my childish qualities which I continue to work at controlling / reducing / eliminating :)
-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

;P

I fear "Normalcy" like the plague... If I ever lost my sense of humor (no matter how bizzare it is) or my odd habits, I would feel dead inside. It's the quarky things that make each person truly unique and interesting... whether its an obsession with European accents or paper planner paraphernalia :winkwink:

♥---♥---♥
my artwork

:nudge:nudge:

Say
no
more
!!
-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

why be normal

Ditto! i agree with ya here. I also avoid normalcy... why be normal? what IS it? but yeah, i gotta be quirky.

*looks over at her corporate zombies collection she bought*
/innowen

quirks

At my "corporate" job I had to dress a certain way and carry "professional" gear... I always managed to sneak something fun into the mix... like my HelloKitty desktop images (until they droned our comps), and my covey planner had stickers in random places... nothing like a funny lil monkey sticker to brighten your day during a 2 hour boring meeting :D

It sounds strange but... getting layed off from there was a blessing... Self-expression is becoming a road to happiness for me :)
♥---♥---♥
my artwork

where can I get....

...some monkey stickers?

-- Bob

Secret Source of Monkey Stickers...

Stickers ... the best place to get them... is either scrapbooking aisles or teacher aisles. Michael's and OfficeMax have several varieties that I've been tempted by. I liked sticking the "Yay for You" or "WoW Great Job" ones on day's that sucked... as a small motivation to get through it all.

♥---♥---♥
my artwork

Monkey Business

Thanks again Sara. You are quite the resource person! While publicly I would tell my friends that the monkey stickers would be for my kids (they love Curious George), in the quiet comfort of my own office I would stick them on everything. Ooo Ooo Ahh Ahh!!!

--Bob

curious george

I hold a plethora of information... the majority is useless facts ... like 'horses have no muscles in their lower legs' ...

since you mentioned curious george... you might want to check out your local Target (thats Tarjayyy for us fancy folk). The "dollar" area near the entrance of my store had TONS of curious george and family guy things... magnets, stickers, pens etc.

♥---♥---♥
my artwork

Man With The Yellow Hat, too?

Ahhhh, I wish we would have had this exchange yesterday as I visited our local Target just last night. Its funny how this site has changed my shopping habits. My task was to purchase a package of Nestle Toll House Cookie dough, but I took a detour through the "home office" aisle first. My "five minute" shopping jaunt turned into a 45 minute perusal of everything paper.....except monkey stickers. Drat! They did have some pretty cool 3 x 5 reporter style notebooks, though...

--Bob

Google Monkey is Your Friend

(: Warning--> silly monkey link -- Here -- Warning--> silly monkey link :)
and/or
Here

-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Sexy Geeky Girls...

I agree, geeky women are definitely a big turn on...

Sara did I mention I have a European accent too. ;)

LOL wow sard... pulling out

LOL wow sard... pulling out ALL the stops on us american women... aren't you?

interesting... maybe?

I ended up at this site HERE and I thought I would share it. Maybe there is something there that someone will find helpful. :)
♥---♥---♥
my artwork

Apparently, those 50 tools

Apparently, those 50 tools are also available in book form, for those (like me) who would rather read them in paper form. (I spend my whole day in front of a computer, and sometimes there's just something nice about paper.)

http://tinyurl.com/2w5n2g

Tammy, who's NEVER been treated like being geeky is sexy :-(

--
Tammy Cravit
http://www.wordsofwonder.net/
http://www.tammycravit.com/

50 Tools

Thanks, Sara and Tammy! I just took a quick look, but it looks really interesting. Hmmmm.... maybe we need a DIY calendar that lists a new rule each week?

BTW, I came home with a bag of expensive goodies from Levenger the other day and explained to my husband how I was going to re-design my planner (using Circa and a lot of the suggestions I've seen on this site). I said I was a geek, and he said he thought it was "cute." Not exactly sexy, no, but hey, he didn't run away screaming! :)

Laura

---------------------------------------------------
Some people hear voices in their heads.
Writers take dictation.