Friday, September 22, 2006


Whilst I appreciate that planning isn't writing, it's the nature of this particular non-writing beast that not-planning guarantees my not writing (alas). So, looking at my notes (my plan in paper form as it were), I see that I actually had wanted to Have a BIG Story Idea (see below) in Feb. 2006 - and it's now nearly October.

That is disappointing. Still, I'm very pleased to announce to both you and me...

My Writing Plan: Start writing novel in January 2007

Now, the do-ers and engineers amongst you might ask: why not write today?

The thinkers and reflectors amongst you would understand.

And the procrastinators would cheer (eventually).

I know, I know. But small steps - allow me to take small steps, please.

If I'm being honest, I am slightly terrified (oops, yet another wrong word combination!) of starting to write my first novel. That's why I've put off looking at my writing plan for several months, because it would mean that, yes, I could get started!

So, here's the plan(*). I'm going to commit to it. You have my word.
  1. "You could get started"
    For me this translates to start writing this (and other) blogs.
  2. Write!
    Update my blogs, and my various diaries (online journals)
  3. Learn how to write better
    - Read novels on subjects similar to what I want to write about
    - Read about other writers (their experience and motivations)
    - Attend writing classes and workshops
    - Talk to other writers
    - Read 'how to write a novel' - see my 'How To' Reading List
    - Read about writing via online websites, ezines etc.
    - Read magazines, newspapers etc. with a particular eye for writing ideas be it character photos, situations, character types etc.
  4. Have a BIG STORY idea
    Develop it in terms of point of view, setting and no. of characters
  5. Find a good place to write
  6. Make time to write - get organised
  7. Write, write, write! Right?
    - Do the necessary research, and prepare an outline
    - Write my 1st draft - 1000 words a day
    - Rewrite, revise and polish the manuscript
  8. Get the book published!
    Research into and identify two or more literary agents or publishers I believe will want to publish my novel (identify individuals)
  9. Create a personalised submission package
  10. Send my novel to a publisher/agent and get it accepted
  11. Go to the bookstore and pick up my book
    (Try not to look too smug. Remember, JK Rowling.)
I can't tell you how motivating it is just to publish this plan on this blog.

Writing my novel, or rather starting to write my novel feels much more likely, because of it.

Now published writers and those struggling to get their novel published will probably be amused at the emphasis I've made on some of the above activities. A lot of detail existing for straight-forward tasks, perhaps, and hardly any detail existing where it really matters.

Well, this is my world view of writing. My attempt to write my first novel. My thoughts about the process as experienced at the time.

I'm sure if it doesn't quite work like that, I will be sure to find out sooner or later.

Here's to planning, to writing plans, and to writing!

Note: the plan above is based on backward-planning some of the key activities involved in writing a novel, gleaned from the books mentioned above. I'm sure every writer has a different way. Mine might change too. But I have to start somewhere. And, yes, it beats writing (today)! :-)

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