Fire the Critic and Build a Novel

It has been nearly two weeks since I last posted on here. Last week I was on holiday and my blog is now looking rather neglected. In truth I enjoyed taking a break from writing as I noticed a lull in creativity and everything I wrote felt a bit stale. My brain needed to be recharged so I injected it with a good amount of fiction and over the past week I’ve read three books and just started on my fourth. I’ve been listening to music I haven’t heard in years, went on long coastal walks, drank lots of wine and caught up with my favourite TV shows. Now I’m feeling really inspired, refreshed with ideas and ready to write.

At the moment I am taking part in June Novel Writing Month and pushing to get that elusive first draft completed. In truth I started the novel years ago and it has already been through the mill a bit. Since then the plot has changed completely thanks to losing everything that I had initially written. It was a story I was incredibly proud of so was devastated when I lost all 15,000 words. When I went back to rewriting, I literally lost the plot and all enthusiasm for the story I was trying to tell, convinced that it would never be as good.

So instead of grappling with the beginning and getting nowhere, I jumped to halfway through the story and pleased to report so far so good. From what I’ve gathered so far is that writing a novel is all about knuckling down, making sure you are committed, dedicated and excited about the story you are telling. I haven’t meticulously planned my novel, mainly because I like getting stuck in and allow the ideas to flow and see where the story takes me.

I have chosen not to edit as I go, ignoring that annoying little voice in your head which likes to tear your work to shred before it’s even taken form. To silence the inner critic requires a lot of discipline as the temptation to go back and edit what you have done is just plain hard. However by allowing the writing to take over and abolishing the critical side from the initial creative process has allowed the story to develop into something rather interesting.  Now the novel is slowly, but surely taking form.

I read somewhere that you need to visualize your novel as a sky scraper. You need to get the foundations in first, such as the plot then add structure and reinforce with words. Once the bare bones are up and stable, you can then start making it look pretty.

So this week I will also be taking part in Friday Fictioneers. After gaining some pretty good and honest advice a few weeks ago I am looking forward to putting that to use.


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