Anyway...welcome! In celebration of my recent news I'd like to offer you all a glass of champagne rather than a coffee. Yes, I know it's early so I'm also serving bucks fizz, and orange juice and sparkling water for those of you who are driving/teetotal/in charge of small children. And, while I'm here, I'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you for your support, help, advice, listening ears, comments and general encouragement over the last two years. I am extraordinarily proud to be part of the novel racers group and I can honestly say you're the most fantastic, supportive writers I've ever met.
*feels a bit emotional*
Right...on to business...
As some of you know I'm currently working on various ideas for my second novel. Normally I'd just grab the first idea that enthused me and get writing but I'm having to quell my fervour a bit and think carefully about whether or not the idea is a good follow-on from novel 1. According to my agent a second novel has to be 'even better than the first' (so no pressure then!) so I'm really wracking my brains for that perfect-fit, killer idea (and God does my brain hurt!).
The main thing, though, is that I fall in love with the idea and the characters. 80,000-100,000 words takes a fair while to write so I'd better be in love with the book (as least initially) if I'm going to be able to return to it day after day without wanting to my laptop (and head) against the nearest wall.
So now, with the germ of an idea floating around my brain, I'm starting to ask various questions to see if the book has 'legs' - i.e. is the idea good/big enough to sustain an entire novel (and my interest). I'm flicking through my 'how to plot' novels and asking myself questions like:
- What does the main character want more than anything in the world?
- What is her greatest fears?
- What obstacles must she overcomes?
- Who or what is her greatest adversary?
- How does it end? (I always need to know the ending even if I don't necessarily know what happens in the middle)
- Might might the sub-plot be?
So my question for the group this week is...
With so many ideas to choose from how do you decide which one to turn into a novel?
Other things to think about:
What thought processes are involved in your choosing one idea and rejecting another?
What questions do you ask of your novel/idea before you put pen to paper?
What are the warning signs that what you're planning/writing isn't working?
Okay...so that's a LOT of different questions. Feel free to pick and choose which one(s) you want to answer.