- Books for writers
- FAQ: I’m a new writer: which book should I read first?
- FREE Nail Your Novel Instant Fix: 100 Tips For Fascinating Characters
- My writing process: the picture tour
- Nail Your Novel: A Companion Workbook
- Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and how you can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence
- Reviews of Nail Your Novel
- Who’s tweeting about Nail Your Novel …
- Writing Characters Who’ll Keep Readers Captivated: Nail Your Novel
- Writing Plots With Drama, Depth & Heart: Nail Your Novel
- Email me
Posts Tagged getting ideas for a novel
It doesn’t yet have a title, but I know its setting. So until something better comes along I’m calling it The Venice Novel.
I have a main character. He doesn’t yet have a name. I don’t know what he looks like or how old he is, who his friends and family are – except that these people will cause as much conflict as comfort, of course. They can’t be in the story if they don’t. Some of them will change, some will not.
For some reason he’s male because it feels right. This is not the time to interrogate my instincts, so male he shall be. If later he feels insistently feminine, I’ll switch him.
In any case, his gender is insignificant compared to his problem.
This problem is the touch-paper waiting to be lit and I understand it very clearly. At the moment, this simple-but-complicating problem is germinating the whole novel.
It’s too early to write formal scenes yet. I don’t know much of the plot. But certain essential beats have come to me in flashes. I’ve written them in a file called ‘Rushes’. One of them may even be the opening scene. Whether they make it to the final cut or not, they’ve told me a lot about him.
I’m reading other fiction with an altered brain, my invention function in overdrive. I’m second-guessing like mad. I read four short stories the other day and – without even meaning to – invented alternate endings for each one.
While driving, I surf radio channels for random ideas. I do that anyway because I hate being bored, but now I am on a purposeful hunt through the chattering spectrum of songs, interviews, reviews, current affairs and the whacky community radio station that sometimes plays recordings of trains. An undercover soundtrack is taking shape. The latest addition is Howard Jones. (Don’t ask. Yet.)
Today I left the house an hour late, and happened on a programme that gave me a sub-plot. It was a missing link, an extra lens for examining my theme. Less loftily, it’s a welcome source of humour and characters. A chance gift from the ether, because I left the house an hour late.
Where do novels come from? How often are writers asked that?
They come from moments as random and unrepeatable as snowflakes.
Thanks for the girl pic grisha_21
What do you do when you’re gathering ideas for a novel? Share in the comments!
If you’re hatching a novel too and are wondering what to do with all those ideas, you might find my book helpful – Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books And How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence. Book 2 is in the works!
authors, beginnings, being creative, community radio station, creative writing, creativity, deepen your story, fiction, getting ideas for a novel, how to be more creative, how to get ideas, how to start a novel, how to start writing a novel, how to write a novel, inspiration, literary fiction, literature, My Memories of a Future Life, new novel, Planning, publishing, random ideas, Roz Morris, self-publishing, starting a novel, The Venice Book, The Venice Novel, Venice, writing, writing a novel - Nail Your Novel, Writing Characters Who'll Keep Readers Captivated: Nail Your Novel, writing life, Writing Plots With Drama, Depth & Heart
- Join 20,059 other followers
- Thriller writers – your first pages: 5 more book openings critiqued by @agentpete @anniesummerlee and me! November 29, 2022
- ‘When creative is your job title, you have to keep earning it’ – author, poet, sculptor and memoirist Guinotte Wise @noirbut November 20, 2022
- How do you make a career with your writing? Lessons from several years of author interviews November 11, 2022
- How to make good decisions about book cover design – interview with Jessica Bell @iamjessicabell October 20, 2022
- Becoming you – how to develop confidence as a writer October 14, 2022
- What you can achieve if you try something a little scary… how I became a memoirist and novelist by @expatapple September 16, 2022
- How to master back story – book now for my mini-course, September 21st September 14, 2022
- Join 20,059 other followers