Sunday, February 24, 2013

How To - Writing, the First Step

"So Marti, what is the very first step to writing a novel?"

If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked this question....but what an honor to be asked!  The same question escaped my lips not many years ago as a fledgling-author attending the first writer's seminar of my life.  My guess is that every writer has been similarly perplexed at some point during their career.  Fortunately, we are all part of a thriving team of creative thinkers seeking the same "correct" process.

So what is the first step?

Anyone asking that question will receive as many varied answers as there are stories waiting to be written.  Let me give you my take on the subject.

To begin, open your mind and lose any expectations.  I say this because stories have a magical way of weaving their own tale when the author is willing to step aside and allow the plot to evolve.  Ideas are genuine and valuable even when they make no sense at all.  Eventually, the fabric of creative thought weaves itself into a beautiful quilted story.  Because of that phenomenon, it is critical for every author to be prepared to capture ideas, thoughts and images as they reveal themselves.  The method for being the "tool", whose job it is to capture these revelations, varies with each author.

As a "tool", I chose to write with a pen on actual paper held within the confines of a plastic cover...aka: a notebook.  Indeed, I keep a notebook with me at all times and have been known many-a-time to pull over while driving to jot down dialogue that suddenly sounds or an image that appears, all within the confines of my very active mind. 

The notebook - my lifeline within the pool of imagination I swim in daily.  There is freedom that comes with having the ability to allow creativity at any time, in any place.  This freedom comes with having some way to facilitate the ideas that present themselves.  Of course, if the "tool" is not predisposed to writing long hand, anything else that allows some form of note keeping works.  It is simply a means to record the ideas as they come to mind allowing the author to draw on these documented ideas at a more convenient time. 

To say that my notebook is invaluable to my writing is the grossest understatement.  So many revelations are inscribed there.  I am thankful daily for the chance to preserve creative thought as it is gifted to me. 

And so this is my offering - the first step - a keeper of ideas documented within a journal. 

Happy writing and may creativity be gifted daily ~

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