I’ve recently been working on a synopsis for a book idea I’ve had for quite some time.
Pump the brakes! Let me back up and tell the full story. I actually started writing the book several years ago BEFORE I even put a summary together that would give me guidance in developing the idea. That was a terrible mistake and after seven chapters in, I hit a wall. At that point, I tried to salvage it by trying to do re-writes. Ha!! That was mistake number two!!
I’ve always loved writing short fiction and poetry. And I usually don’t brainstorm on paper when developing my short stories. I sort of weave the idea together in my mind, and then start writing. When I decided to make an attempt at an actual novel, I thought I could take the same approach. I knew everything about my main characters, how I wanted the story to start and even how I thought it would end. What more was there?
Well, I’ve found that “organic” writing doesn’t necessarily work for me if I’m writing a novel. Because I was not certain on how some of my idea would play out, I was left stumped on how to continue. I hadn’t thought through some major points of my story and it came back to bite me in the ass.
So I stopped writing. I loved my idea and characters so much, I was willing to take a hiatus until I sat down, organized my thoughts and committed to a synopsis that had a clearer vision. Not that I wanted to outline each and every detail of every moment in the book, because I love the spontaneity of writing fiction. I love when my characters speak for themselves and make choices that I never would have thought of for them. I didn’t want to lose that but I still needed more preparation.
Right now I’m still working on the final brainstorm before I start writing a thing! I don’t even know why I thought I could do it without thinking everything through first. To be honest, I feel even more confident about my story now that I’ve worked on the summarization and can’t wait to put words to paper.
As an author, how do you prep for your upcoming novel or work? Or are you an “organic” writer and let the words and ideas just flow as you write?