New novel worries: How do you know when an idea is worth #writing?
As I run down the final stretch of publishing Valley of the Bees, I am itching to get started on my next novel. I don’t want to waste all of this momentum I have built while writing my last novel. After all, gathering and maintaining momentum seems to be half the battle of writing!
My first problem was what to write. Luckily, I had plenty of ideas. I just couldn’t seem to choose one. I was ready to write one novel one day and a completely different story the next. When I finally settled on an idea that held my attention for more than a couple of days, I thought the battle had been won. A vibrant story world has taken shape in my mind, and my main cast of characters is coming to life.
Then I realized: I have no plot!
Where is this story going?
It’s an essential question to answer! There is no story if there is no plot. Who wants to read a novel-length document full of interesting characters who meander aimlessly through an interesting story world? It might be interesting for a bit, but engaging? Will you want to finish reading the book if it obviously has no point? Can I pull off a Seinfeld with my next novel?
This is where I am today. I’m freewriting my hands off trying to determine where this story is going. I like the characters and the setting enough that I think I can live with them long enough to write a novel about them. But, what is the novel about? Where is my plot? What am I going to do to my characters, and what are they going to do about it?
I’ve almost reached the point where I want to stop taking notes and just start writing the scenes that are begging to be put on paper. I just hate to start writing a novel without a plan. I learned a long time ago that “pantsing” never gets me anywhere. I have to plot first if I hope to finish someday.
But then again, maybe my writing process is evolving on me, and I should just go with the flow. What do you think?
Check out my fundraising website to learn how to get a signed copy of Valley of the Bees!