Writing a novel: the beginning

In the interest of being honest and open, and sharing my entire writing journey here on my blog, I suppose I should say that I have started working (mainly thinking) on a new novel!

It’s really exciting, but something in me hesitates to talk openly about it, simply because it is still all so new and fresh in my mind. Writing is such a vulnerable act and especially at the beginning, it can be a little scary to talk about it. I’ve already tried to explain the rough plot outline to two people who nodded but didn’t say much else, and then I realised that perhaps talking about it at such an early stage wouldn’t do much for my confidence.

Side note: does anyone else find that talking about your work in simple terms makes it’s sound so, well, lame?

But, despite the self doubts and fear, I really am excited about this new journey and having had the idea so early into the new year, I am looking forward to the roller coaster of emotions and motivation that will come with 2020 as happens when you commence a new project.

Being a big picture person, thinking of ideas and what I like to call ‘montages’ in my mind, is always my favourite part of being creative. Actually putting pen to paper to form the montages… that’s a different story.

So, I have a notebook with some scribblings and potentially the opening page. I have some ideas and a sense of what the story is about, who my main character is and what she wants. The rest is yet to come!

I will do my best to chronicle the journey on my blog and promise not to let writing about writing distract me from actually writing.

And finally: out of interest, does anyone have any tips or ideas on how to organise your writing when you first start a novel? I’m very much a ‘write as you go’ kind of person, and that definitely caused me a lot of trouble with my last book when I had to weave together lots of separate sections. It was a nightmare!

I’d like to stay more organised this time round. Should I use spreadsheets and timelines? Should I plan the whole thing before I start writing? (That’s probably not going to happen). Please share your advice and experience, and I’ll probably just do the same as I did last time – get excited and write the bits I want to write when I write, with no regard as to chronology. It’s all part of the fun.


  1. […] As mentioned before, I am definitely not a planner when it comes to my writing, so I set off writing my new novel the only way I know how: not in chronological order and writing the bits/moments that I was most excited about. Fortunately, the structure of my novel means that I will be able to move things about quite easily, I hope, so I’m not too worried about getting everything in the right order straight away. I find it easier to write what I enjoy first, piece together and then see where the gaps are. […]

  2. […] terms of writing my short stories (and my new novel!), I have been going at a good pace and really enjoying the extra free time during this strange time […]

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