Driving to work one day I passed by a bar called “Full Moon.” It was this cool bar that backed up against the woods. Most people probably would have ignored the bar. Instead I thought to myself, werewolves definitely own that place.
The idea captivated me. My brain metaphorically jumped down the rabbit hole and ran with the idea. Would I want to be a werewolf? Definitely. Well as long as I was the cool kind and not at the wolf’s mercy like Lupin was in Harry Potter. I’d want to be able to control it, to be one with it.
But did it have to be a wolf? What if I could be any animal? Hmmm. Not so sure anymore.
But wait, why settle on one animal? Why not just be able to change into any animal form? What would that be like and what would I do?
And so began the thoughts that inspired me to write a novel!
When I sat down to actually write my novel it didn’t go well. I knew where I wanted the story to end, but I wasn’t as clear on how the main character was getting there.
So I toiled away at the beginning of the book trying to work my way through the forest to get to the other side. Literally. At one point my main character was just walking through the woods and drawing. Why? No idea. I was lost okay? I knew where I wanted to go, but not how to get there.
After another drive to and from work I could picture the ending of my book so clearly that in a moment of frustration I said screw it! I’m writing what I want to write and damn all the people that say I’ve got to start at the beginning!!!
I grabbed a notebook and furiously started writing. I was sucked in, enthralled by the magic of the idea that had so feverishly ensnared me. Finally answering the need to get the scene down on paper was like a weight lifting off my chest.
With the end of my novel completed I didn’t feel stressed out about the beginning anymore. While writing the ending I had managed to piece together the middle of the story in my mind.
Several car rides later I started fleshing out new scenes.
A year or two worth of car rides later and I was pretty sure I finally knew how it all began.
If you’ve got an idea you’ve been toying with in your mind, don’t wait until you’ve got the whole story figured out all nice and tidy with a bow. Why? Because it likely isn’t going to happen. You can dream on a storyline f o r e v e r and think you’ve got it all figured out, only to write it and realize part of it isn’t working.
What I’ve learned is that to get anywhere towards completing a novel for the first time, you’ve got to do one thing: WRITE! In the words of Jeannette Walls, “just get it down!”
You’ve got an idea for a scene? Write it!
Yes, this isn’t the most efficient way. I get that. But I also feel like so many people hold back on actually ever putting the pen to paper because of the feeling that there is a correct way to do it and they aren’t sure if they can do it that way yet.
After all, we aren’t like poor Bilbo and Frodo from LOTR, we don’t have to write the entire novel perfectly the first time, all by hand, in a fancy font, and with a quill and ink. Though I feel like that would be somewhat awesome for like a few lines.
Be confident in your idea and dive in! I’m a big believer that if you work hard enough at a story, it tends to have a way of working itself out, whether you start at the end or the beginning doesn’t matter. You’re going to likely have plot overhauls either way when you are starting out!
So where did I start? The end, where for me, it all began!
In a totally unrelated subject…
I bought Faber-Castell Polychromos! The apple picture below is my first drawing with them. I don’t typically work with color or with colored pencils for that matter. I think it got overworked, but it is a start! I enjoy that I don’t have to take out a lot of materials and mix up a bunch of paint. I just open my tin and go!
Lastly, remember that puzzle I was working on? (See a picture and a line of foreshadowing in previous post). Yeah I had to let the puzzle go. Turns out my sneaky dog, Lilly, has been pilfering puzzle pieces.
The other day she got super bold and ate a handful. Which cued us in on the fact that no, the puzzle gods weren’t just messing with us. The missing pieces were in our dog’s belly. We had to give up on the puzzle because 1) it would now never be able to be completed and 2) we didn’t want Lilly to eat any more pieces. UGH! SO SAD! Now we will never get the satisfaction of finishing it!!!!