Tonight’s post is going to be short because I’m coming off the high of creating a rough outline for my first novel.
Yes, it’s official!
I am writing my first novel and intend to have it completed within the next few months. I have been playing around with endless novel pot ideas for more than a year, wanting to write a novel but never fully committing to an idea. If you’ve been planning on writing your first novel for some time, perhaps you can understand the drama that comes with committing to an idea.
Tonight, the magic just happened.
I came up with two character ideas as I waited in a food court at the mall. My daughter was getting her nails painted in a nearby salon, and I was just sitting in the center of the food court under a bright skylight when two characters came to mind. I could hear them. I could see them walking by the stores. I knew just how they would interact in the world together, and most importantly, how they would clash.
I admit to rushing home, a bit absentmindedly, because my head was spinning with the lives and thoughts of these amazing characters. I could see the first half of the novel playing out in my head, so I got right to creating a loose novel outline that consists of chapter numbers and bullet points.
Those bullet points may not make much sense to me when I reread them tomorrow and start writing my first novel. I simply allowed the thoughts to fly freely from my mind to my fingers, trapping them in my computer as they raced out of me.
It was an adrenaline rush that I haven’t felt since I wrote my last short story. That was while taking the Gotham Writer’s Workshop Fiction I course, so it’s been months since such I’ve had that experience. It’s the rush that makes fiction writing so addictive if you have it in your blood.
That’s where it stands right now. Two imperfect yet intriguing characters and a sketch of five chapters with some rough plot points. I don’t know how my first novel will end, but I am so excited to finally have an idea that intrigues me enough to start writing. I can really see myself spending months with these characters, which tells me that it’s time to stop talking about writing my first novel and start actually writing my first novel.
My next step is to decide whether I want to work with my idea more by following the Scrivener novel-writing template provided by the Fool Proof Outline eBook or if I want to simply start writing in true “pantser” fashion. I talked about this book and the concept of “pantsing” in my recent blog post about novel outlining strategies, so feel free to look back to that discussion if you missed it and want more details.
Regardless of whether I jump right into writing or spend more time playing with my idea more, I will move from Microsoft Word to Scrivener for the creation of my novel. I find this fiction writing software the most efficient because it allows me to store character charts, virtual plotting index cards, brainstorming and research in one convenient place.
What About Writing Your First Novel?
Have you been dreaming about writing your first novel? Are you struggling to settle down with one idea like I was for so many months? I encourage you to determine what is holding you back so that you can start writing along with me.
Let’s get our novels out into the world!
If you have already completed at least one novel, I would love to hear your tips for writing a first novel with less stress. It is an exciting process, but I’m also very nervous about the process. Please share your ideas and experiences to help us beginners!