The deeper I get into this novel the more I am bombarded by all sorts of ideas and impressions that come and go like koi rising to the surface in a green pond. I examine each one in turn and decide whether or not I will use it in the novel. It’s a heady time but not unusual when beginning a project of this scope, or fiction in general.
One thing I have learned is to trust my confidence and instinct. I’m not saying I am infallible, but after doing this a while and selling a few pieces you learn to start trusting your instinct. Many new writers I come across either have too much confidence for their current talent level or they don’t give themselves enough credit.
The novel I am working on now is tough. It is outside my comfort zone. It’s a challenge. But with all that, and even though I am bringing some amount of professionalism and experience to the table, I am being somewhat taken aback by the huge amount of crackling creative energy that is demanding attention.
But this is normal with any new undertaking. When a writer begins a new story, novel, whatever, he is always opening floodgates of creativity. I like doing research for projects. I like learning new things. As I delve into topics it opens new avenues for scenes and plot lines I had not previously considered. Not all of them will be used. Some have to be discarded. That’s where intuition, for want of a better word, comes into play. (Confidence, instinct, intuition, they are part of the same dynamic decision making process you have to develop when you write. A sort of awareness by extension.)
As I write and think about this novel (and I am still in the “thinking” phase more than the “writing” phase, though neither one ever really ends) I am also realizing this is going to be a marathon. Especially since it is like nothing I have ever attempted to write before. I can’t sprint through this story and hope everything falls into place. This is turning more into a puzzle. All right, all stories and novels are sort of like puzzles. You have to put things together coherently so your main idea will come across to the reader. But in something like this which is outside my experience a little bit, not only am I being bombarded by ideas I am also just standing by and watching the whole thing come together in my mind. All the little pieces tumble past the sieve of instinct and intuition and find their place in the story.
It’s like an accretion disk of matter that through its own gravitational power slowly forms the shape of a living, breathing world over time. It’s actually kind of neat if it weren’t for the fact it’s also stress-inducing at the same time.
And so the race begins. The evolution of the novel while I slowly go bonkers, haha. What fun.