The Beginning

Like I’ve said previously, when it rains it pours and recently my mind has been a flash-flood of ideas and plans. Everything from straight out art, to a computer game, and now a novel. It feels like I dont know where to start, what to pick or even how to go about any of it.

As it turns out, Im going with a trilogy (I dont exactly start small, which could bite me in the ass later on, but hey, I dont have anything to lose, so why not?).

I think everyone, at some point in their lives, is inspired to write a book, or books in my case. Im not sure what triggers off the overwhelming urge to put pen to paper (or fingertip to keyboard), but lately story lines are a-whirl in my head. Every time I get an idea or plan in my head, its off to my iPod Touch I go, using the in-built (and really useful) Notes application to take down my ideas.

Im very lucky, because Mum has been a writer for a long, long time now. So I was able to borrow several resources from her (and will be borrowing a few more next time I see her) to get an idea of where I need to start. Im reading the book ‘Becoming A Writer’, by Laurel Dumbrell. Some of the advice is quite useful, and Im already doing a bit of it without thinking… She recommends starting a ‘personal journal’ (ha, I originally wrote ‘personal journey’ there… also quite appropriate), and I suppose Ive already done this by starting a blog/s (hm, that reminds me I need to do a technical post at some point over at Pending Tech). In fact, Im using this entry as a warm up before I start.

Her other recommendation so far, and one I feel is rammed a bit down the poor reader’s (ie. me) throat: join a writing group. I actually disagree with this, not because it wouldnt be useful to get other people’s input or inspiration, but for the simple reason not everyone in the history of the written language has had a ‘writers group’. In addition to that, I simply dont feel the urge to join any such group, partly because Im paranoid of plagiarism, partly because Im intending this to be a hobby. No pressure, no hassle, just the pure pleasure of writing for the sake of writing. Thats not to say I wouldnt love to be published and make a few extra bucks on the side (Id be lying if I said I wouldnt love that), but thats not the reason Im doing this. Im doing it because it feels right, and it feels like this compulsive urge, and because I would love to share what I write with the world one day (when it’s finished).

I chose a trilogy because a) I like a challenge, and b) because I feel stand-alone novels dont always go deep enough into the story, nor explore the characters in enough detail. I recently re-read an old favourite of mine, the Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. Excellent book (excellent series, for that matter), and I have read it more times than I can count (I started reading science fiction/fantasy from a very young age), but I got to the end of it feeling quite unsatisfied with it… It just felt empty, and hollow (from my point of view). I am a huge fan of the Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan. This series is 11 books so far, with the 12th being release posthumously (sadly, Robert Jordan died before he could finish the 12th and final book in the series, and Brandon Sanderson will be finishing the final book, split into three volumes), and the amount of detail and depth to this series is breathtaking beyond belief. And since most of the books I read this days are series 3 books or greater, going back to a single novel is a bit strange. Im hoping using a trilogy will enable me to properly explore the world of my characters, and develop them to a point where they jump off the page.

Mum suggested I write a synopsis for my book, but I dont think Im even at that stage yet. Im going to sit down and plan a general overview of what I want my book to be about (science fiction), connecting plots and characters. Im thinking a mind-map will help to put this down in a very clear and relatively concise way, not to mention names for characters… I like the name Saul. A random bit of inspiration triggered off the thought and it seems to stick. So Saul it is.

The next few months will be planning and research and planning and research. Im quite excited by everything (the reality of writing a book hasnt really set in yet), so at the moment Im full of dreamy-eyed optimism (I found it quite ironic I wrote that entry and a week later Im dreaming about writing a book!). This is only the beginning, so its going to be an interesting ride.

I think I’d better hold on…

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One Response to The Beginning

  1. Marianne says:

    Hi Adam, Am so glad that you are delving into the world of fiction and that you appreciate the books that I’ve loaned you. As i said in my text message this morning I have another three that might be useful as well. Will give them to you when I see you.
    Yes, you are dreamy eyed about it all. I can certainly tell that, and it’s wonderful to see your passion for it. I know you disagree about a writing group, and for now you need to do what you need to do to make you feel comfortable in your writing habits. It can be a scary thing to read your work out for the first time. The first time I did that in townsville, I actually thought I was going to pass out from fear. I was putting my ‘baby’ on the line, something very close to me, (a poem of course) so wanting critique for it was terrifying. Not all groups are good groups. There are some that have people who want to critizise you and undermine you and then you could be frightened off for life. However, I have never had that happen to me. Most writing groups are a wonderful source of INSPIRATION. They critique your work and help you to see where you might be going wrong with your work. Writers try to help other writers succeed, they really do. They are invaluable people to know, trust me. It is an awfully lonely thing to do on your own. Not that you want them to hold your hand, but to be there and help when you need it. And you will, don’t forget that. Even now, after around 12 years of writing, I still need their input. Not that they pressure me, not in the slightest, but just to inspire and encourage my abilities. And even if you just want to do this as a hobby, thats good too, but you want to BETTER yourself. I’m STILL learning and I soak up everything I learn. I can’t believe how much I’ve improved after all this time. AND, more than anything else in the world? I write for LOVE of it, pure and simple. That urge you get to put pen to paper is something that is absolutely part of who I am and I think I would die if I could never do it again. When I write, and I get it right, really, truly, right, I get an overwhelming sense of sublime happiness and I always strive to get that feeling again. And if money or prestige comes AFTER that feeling, then it is just a bonus, not absolutely necessary for me, but nice just the same.
    Also, the Sword of Shannara book is part of a series, though it does stand alone on its own. And yes, your first ever fantasy book that you read was ‘Lord of the Rings’ by Tolkien when you were just nine years old. I was very impressed, biased of course, (I am your mother after all) but still impressed.
    And one more thing before I go Adam. If you want, I am more than happy to give you honest feedback on your writing, if you so desire. I mean that, BUT, I will be honest and tell it like it is, ok? I would love to be a part of your writing life, just know that, ok? Cheers for now Adam, much love to you and Fran, love Mum.

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