The Beginning

September 28, 2009

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…