Thursday, September 15, 2011

How a Book is Born

Today I want to blog about, get this, writing! Not school for once. Today my AP history class gave me a great concept for a book, and I'm so excited to see if it will go anywhere. That and the fact that I'm at an interesting place in my WIP has me thinking about the different mind-sets that go with each stage in a book's development. I image different writers have different steps and really different feelings about them.

For me, the first stage is when I get the "concept", which is even less than the idea. The concept usually just consists of a subject, for example with my current WIP the concept was "I should write a book that combines too things that fascinate me: reality TV shows (I hate watching them, I just find the idea of their existance interesting) and boarding schools (which I love).

Sometime pretty soon after I think of a concept I get the "idea" which usually tells me a little about the plot and a character or two. At this point I'll start making frantic notes about every tiny thing I might want to incorporate into the novel. From here I basically wait a few weeks or months or longer, compiling lists of scenes and character and setting descriptions and making note of songs that have the feeling I want to invoke. I don't really "outline" though. Throughout this process I am SO VERY HAPPY with this unborn idea that has so much potential, since I haven't had the change to actually write and screw it up yet :D Most writers probably feel that way at this stage.

Once I start writing, for me, the first chapter or two is fun. It's new and exciting and I think I'm a genius. Somewhere between 5-10k words I start hating every single thing about this idea and my writing. The beginning is the hardest part for me since I'm still not sure I can finish and I doubt myself a lot. The miserable mindset generally stays with me until I hit my magic number, 30,000 words. My current WIP is stalled at 20k, and I'm currently stuck between hating what the novel is and being madly in love with what I hope it will be. From 30k until the end I have sporadic moments of Complete Writer Devastation (CWD) but everyone has those. Leaving the project for a few days usually helps a lot.

Towards the end this weird phenomenon happens in my brain where even though I'm so excited to finish the book, I also get a little depressed because I know editing is way harder than writing and I know I'll miss the characters when I'm done drafting. But finishing is still the best feeling in the world.

Too bad none of my three in-progress ideas right now are anywhere near done O_O

Do you agree with my stages and mindsets? Do you feel totally different? Tell me things.

- Nicole

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