Writing a novel can be a daunting task. I know because it’s taken me 7 years to complete my first one. However, writing is easier for me now, than when I started. I realize that there are many of you who want to write that first novel, so let me lend my acquired experience to make your journey easier.
I have 10 steps that I realized I have used to complete my book. During the next 10 weeks I’m going to provide you with the actual and specific tools that have used. I’m going to put them up on this blog for you to see, and I’m going to give them away to you for free! Yes, free because I want you to be successful! I know that they will work for you some of you are more computer literate than others, so my tools are going to help you no matter what level of proficiency you have in software or hardware. All you need is a desire to learn, and a willingness to implement the steps.
Ok here is step one: collect and surround yourself in inspiration.
In this first step, I want to explain what this is. Why it is important, and how to do it.
What does this mean? I mean it sounds so ethereal, so right brained. It is. As a Christian, I derive a lot of importance from the Bible. Regardless of one’s faith, there is a passage that I think applies to us as writers period that speaks to this issue of surrounding ones self in inspiration..
Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
The thing I want to focus on is the phrase, “the things which are seen were not made by the things which do appear.” As an author, you are bringing the world you create from your mind into the real world. Whether it’s to the printed page, or like George Lucas’s Star Wars to the big screen. Your novel is the substance of something that no one has seen yet. It’s just an idea a thought. But it’s a powerful one. It’s unseen, covered, hidden. We need to begin the process of bringing it from your mind into the tangible world. This process is similar to when storm clouds gather: the super cells are forming, winds are racing enough to create a storm, but it requires the right environment to do so.
Or imagine for example that you are in space: planets are formed by grabbing the dust and debris caught in their increasing gravitational pull until these individual elements gel, coalesce, and become dense enough that a planet is formed. The planet itself then generates its own increasing influence on the space around it. Likewise, your novel is the same. In this case YOU are that raw piece of rock that’s spinning in the vastness of space; so fast that you know a book is in you waiting to get out. But like that planet you need to reach out and grasp those other particles of dust and debris, and bring them into you to feed your completion to become the life giving planet that is forming.
You need to collect inspiration. So collecting inspiration is the act of reaching out and feeding your imagination and the creative fire that fuels your imagination for your story. It’s the act of gassing up the car of your writing. I hope that gives an idea of what collecting or surrounding yourself in inspiration is.
Why is this step important? Because without the fire, to bring the story out. It will die. You need fuel to do anything. To live. To work, to function in society, you need energy (I like the word fuel) to propel you, to motivate, and move you. You need fuel to write your story. If there is no fuel for the writing of your story. You will not write it. It is as simple as that.
Ok how to feed the imagination of your story?
Gather the ‘star dust’ of images, and music, words that resonate with you; anything that powers your imagination to help bring into reality your world Think about the subject or theme of your book, then type into Google that subject area. Let’s say its dystopia. Then select the images and videos option and see what jumps out at you.
YouTube is a wonderful source of music and video that can inspire. USE IT! Find that music, that picture that ignites your mind to write your story. It’s your star stuff, bring it ‘into you’ and let it fuel your imagination. George Lucas for example was inspired by Flash Gordon. (http://www.moongadget.com/origins/flash.html)
If you take a look at the link you will notice how similar some of the ideas are. Again for me a scripture comes to my mind that again affirms my point.
Ec 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
What’s ‘new’ is the fact that the world, the people, etc. are ‘new’ to US. They’ve not see the unique take we have on a story. Taking elements of the past and mixing them to come up with something tasty. (you are a literary chef). That is your job as an author. Gather the star stuff.
Use Pinterest. Type in your ideas in the search engine and again see what images evoke emotion in you. Write to capture that emotion, that image, the feeling that it conveys. Keep these things with you.
I make CD’s of music that reminds me of my fictional world and listen to them in my car. Keep images on your desktop, change your ringtones on your phone. GATHER THE STAR STUFF! Watch movies and read books that reflect what you want to create!
Next week we will be going over step 2.
Until then, gather the star stuff!
Go back into my earlier Blogs about inspiration and about writing. Keep checking back for more useful tips. http://donovanmneal.wordpress.com/category/on-writing/
and check out my preview trailer for my new book, The Third Heaven: The Rise of Fallen Stars coming out in a couple of months!