Following the advice in this series has prompted you, among other things, to find time for writing, create a better writing office, schedule your book project, plot your novel with a central theme and story problem, keep your story from winding up in a drawer, define your characters, and plot your novel in three acts. At this point, you couldn’t be more ready to write your first draft.
Not so fast, partner. You still need to saddle that horse before you can ride it.
There are parallels, I assure you. :o)
How to Write a Novel to the End: What Always To Do Before You Write a Novel
There’s something in the make-up of most writers that causes us to want to rush into publication. Add to this the fact that these days opportunites can compell us to move quickly, before they slip out of our grasp. Never mind whether we’re ready or not, We need to ship.
I can tell you that I’ve judged a lot of books for literary contests and reviewed countless more, many of them traditionally published novels, and some seemed dashed off by the writer. These works were usually well-edited and neatly executed. The fault lay elsewhere.
As if In direct counterpoint, the self-published novels I’ve read for contests or accepted for review have largely disappointed me in their attention to detail, namely with regard to PUGS (punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling) but sometimes excelled in another area.
What does it matter if a story is technically proficient but the writer’s heart is missing in the writing? And what benefit does it provide a writer to pour your heart into your novel only to have the reader be constantly thrown out of the story by errors?
But I digress. The point here is that we need to take the time to fully imagine our stories before committing them to writing. A manuscript is a lot harder to change once you’ve written part of it, so thinking every scene through just ahead of writing it keeps your story fluid. The role of imagination in creating vivid story scenes can not be overstated.
Each of us will have a different writing process, but in my case, I try to end a writing session at the end of a scene. Besides rewarding me with a feeling of completion, this provides me with a jumping off point into the next scene, and I can spend the time between writing sessions visualizing what will happpen next.
I love visiting my story world throughout the rest of the day, while folding laundry, digging in the garden, or making dinner.
Using your imagination in this way takes much of the drudgery out of writing, a fact that is sure to yield results in inspiration. Another bonus to this method is that, when you sit down to write, the words flow more readily than when you don’t have time to think things through.
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- What does it matter if a story is technically proficient but the writer’s heart is missing in the writing? Click to Tweet.
- We need to take the time to fully imagine our stories before committing them to writing. Click to Tweet.
- The role of imagination in creating vivid story scenes can not be overstated. Click to Tweet.
It’s All About You
If you already use this method in your writing, perhaps you would share in the comments how it has benefitted you . The comment link is at the top of the post below the title.
- Previous Writing Well Article: Pantsing: Writing by the Seat of Your Pants
©2014 by Janalyn Voigt