When I’m writing a crime novel, I devise a mind-map to ensure that the red herrings, time lines, and clues are all available for the reader to find and follow. The mind-map ends up looking like an intricate landscape of an imaginary realm, with roads leading to dead-ends before finally revealing the answer sought by the travelling reader.
However, writing contemporary fiction is a different beast altogether. I can’t tame it with time line restraints. No, instead, with these novels I sometimes only have a character in mind. I don’t know where they are going, or why they have revealed themselves in the first place. I do however, have a hook in mind; the reason behind the character and the novel.
Today, I’ve moved from sitting at my laptop,where I’ve been writing solidly for almost two hours, to now sitting outside, penning this blog post in a notebook. I’ve dried-up you see. I couldn’t see where the character was going or what she was thinking beyond the word I was typing.
But that’s okay. I’m travelling this journey, discovering surprises around every corner, and turning down roads I didn’t even know existed. This journey is exhilarating and keeps my sorely bleeding fingers glued to the keyboard, until I hit a dead-end.
That’s life, you see. Not every journey leads us to somewhere new or where we’d like to be. Sometimes we have to double-back and erase part of the journey, or sometimes we have to take rest stops to break up what could be a tedious trip. Sometimes we have a map, and at other times we are lead by our noses, taking in the bohemian lifestyle, and enjoying the nature and people we meet along the way.
All in all, writing a novel is a process of stringing thoughtful and challenging words and ideas together, until they begin forming the start of a journey a reader is intrigued to travel, and we as authors wish to devise.
Right, I’m now ready to return to my novel, having spent this interlude with you. Thank you for keeping me company – I’m off travelling again.
Happy Word Flow One & All