The idea of ‘plot’ can refer to various narrative techniques and literary devices: setting, time, point of view, focalisation, characterisation, sequencing, genre, etc. I will come to all of these in the course of ‘the year of writing my novel’, what I am interested in today is creating a bare bones list of ideas that will form the basic plot of my novel.
As part of my writerly research, I went to the library to review the first page of several novels – my purpose was not to write a whole book review. I was particularly interested in what hooks a reader into a story, what keeps them keep reading, and how are first pages written and constructed to do just this.
I read Mary Ellen Jordan’s 2005 memoir Balander: My Year in Arnhem Land and was interested by the act of remembering – how and what we remember and how we convey this to others.
Here is my critique of her book.
I already have three ideas for novels. Two come from short stories I have already written, but feel there is much more in them…they are the spark of novels to come; and the third idea is one I have been milling around for a while now, wondering what to do with it. One is definitely young adult historical fiction, and this is the one I am planning to work on this year.
I think I need to work on plot, but I have no idea how to do this. Continue reading
As you know from my previous post, I intend to write a novel this year. I wonder who of you has the same desire. Feel free join me in this experiment and give your own novel a try.
I have bought Louise Doughty’s A Novel in a Year and plan to work through this week by week. While I will not post the content of her book (for obvious copyright reasons) I will post my writing in response to working through her weekly suggestions. Her book is aimed at helping you get ideas and draft material for a novel. Why did I choose this particular book over other equally helpful writing guides? I guess this one spoke to me, to my style of and ideas about writing, plus I like the idea of working through week-by-week tasks – it breaks down the idea of writing a novel into achievable steps, and I have a strong feeling that this will be both useful and exactly what I need.
My focus this year will be to write a novel. I have the opportunity now to work part-time and spend the rest of the time writing. I want to take full advantage of that and throw myself into it whole-heartedly…but how do I start? I have written many short stories, but am not entirely sure I know how to write a novel, though I do have ideas for at least three novels floating around in my head. This year is the time to put at least one of them to the test!