The Process of Creating a Novel - Part 2

25/10/2019 14:33

Today, I'm going to answer a question that I get asked a lot - where do I get my ideas?

To be honest, I don't so much get ideas as they get me!  It feels more like being a conduit for the stories, that they are telling themselves to me and I'm translating that through the action of my fingers typing on a computer.  And sometimes my translation is pretty poor!  I know what the story, or the scene, or the dialogue should look like, but I just can't express it properly.

So, that's how the story is told - but how do I begin?  Sometimes a character just appears in my mind fully formed - the title character in 'Rathia' was one of those.  Sometimes I am inspired by my reading to try my hand at something similar - that was how 'The Curse of Mannerley Manor' began.  But quite often I have a vague sense of a scenario and then have to search out the details.

Nano Nineteen is proving to be one of those!  The initial concept that presented itself was of a married couple, separated for an extended period, who find themselves changed by their experiences when they are reunited, perhaps irrevocably.

With the initial idea in place, I began working out what the exact situation is.  How have they been separated?  What are the experiences that have shaped them?  What world do they live in and how is that impacting on their lives?  What social and political changes are affecting them?

In answering these questions, I came to realise that this was not a simple domestic tale - although it is that, too.  This is an epic, a saga, a story that can only be told over multiple volumes.  One of my life-long ambitions has been to write a story that spans multiple books, and this may be the one.  And it came to me as a very vague concept!

Next time, I'll look at how I get to know my characters, the driving force of the story.