Monday, May 30, 2011

How Do You Write a Novel?

The writer's group has just started on a hurculean task: writing a novel.

We have decided that, as a group, we should plot, plan and provide a synopsis for a novel in order to improve our writing and planning skills. Tonight we examined the pros and cons of four ideas and made a decision on which one we should take forward as our first project, and came to a conclusion.

One idea was a comedy about a teenage wizard. Although we liked it, there wasn't enough of an outline or an idea of where the plot would go to make it immediately workable. It would take a lot of effort to work out where the conflict was and what the boy would do, so that one has been put on the backburner for a while. Another one was about a series of murders, but seen through the eyes of people feeling threatened by the killer's presence. As this would be more of a character study, we have left that one for later too.

That left us with two viable alternatives: a murder mystery and an SF action adventure. Of the two, we plumped for the murder mystery as it is more straightforward to plot out and we know tha the murderer will be revealed by the end, even if he/she/it isn't caught and jailed.

Between now and next Monday we are all tasked with a job to either give more background to the story, or to come up with plausible plotlines and characters. Once this is done, we shall move onto a more detailed plot summary followed by character timelines and a full synopsis. We don't envisage actually writing the book, but it's not an idea we're rejecting.

I shall keep you up to date on how we get on and what lessons we learn along the way.


KLo said...

My mother and I have been talking about writing a novel together for years. I finally wrote out two story arcs today (the bright side of being couch-ridden, I guess lol), which is far more planning than I've ever done for my writing before...I usually just start and end up wherever I do.

Milo James Fowler said...

Sounds like a very cool process, collaborating in this way. But I would have gone for a SF murder mystery...

Elise Elleneth said...

Can I submit mine to you? Haha! Truly I have some idea but I am not sure how to start... well, I do but I haven't time yet and I have a lot of hardships in action scenes and information. It is more like a CIA or other secret government. The first book probably more on the love story about the girl but a little include about the actors' work (the undercover) also? If maybe you are interested? I could make some summary? I make sure my summarize are detailed. I don't have the time really so, maybe you are interested about? Or do I could submit? It is a dream of mine but my dreams delivered it so clearly and I already finish this book in my brain, just to write it the need and become a book but a Film is truly my target. LOL! I know how ambitious I am :) Ok, maybe a little info what am talking about? It is about a girl with a 5 year old son. I want to make her love life a little mysterious if what happen to her marriage. It's like, he meet this guy on Snowfall? But end on Snow also. This second guy on Springtime? And the story ends in Spring also. But really an actions include there. Kin of High Tech actually. The girl gets involve to the mission by government, and I will not yet mention why she then at Bad guys side, of course there is a story how. Also there is a story how she met this second guy and why she went to bad guys. It looks like a worldwide crisis because few Powerful country sents their best agent to help out like Japan,China, Russia and some agents around the world. I need to make some story of this agents. Like a Russian supermodel/actress/Agents... A Yakuza/agent guy? A circus performer/agent cute China girl in Disney Land USA? And more details anyway! Haha! What do you think Mr. Martin :) More power to you!

Martin Willoughby said...

Elise: We're only doing this as an exercise for ourselves rather than actually writing a book for publication, but thankyou for the offer. Hope you can get it to work as it sounds like a great idea.