Friday, February 20, 2009

Picture Worth A Thousand Words?

Some of my February has been spent writing a new novel, but not as much as I would have liked. (Never as much as I would have liked.)

I thought I was going to sit down and start writing the first draft on February 2nd, but found myself terribly blocked. After a couple of frustrating days I realized the reason I was blocked was because I didn't know enough about my characters or the world they lived in.

So I pulled out a flip chart and started taping pages up on the walls of our guest room, until I had covered just about every available inch of wall space with blank pages. I labeled one for each of my main characters and started writing what I knew about them. I had another page for plot points I knew I wanted to hit, for characters and situations I wanted to bring into conflict. Conflict is one of the main things I'm looking at/for right now. Where can I bring opposed viewpoints together to clash in the story? It's been an interesting process.

For the first couple of days the kids would walk into the room and chuckle (after an initial wide-eyed response). And the wife doesn't mind at all. In fact, I think she's hoping that when I take these sheets down the tape will peel off some of the paint so that I will then have to repaint the room. She's never been happy with the shade of green it is now. And yes, the whole room is covered with pages.

So anyway, technically that's writing. I'm not really drafting any text for the story, but I'm writing down everything I know and using that to figure out what it is that I still need to figure out so I can get to writing. Right?

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