Onion Wrapping

This process of building a novel is fascinating.

I am oscillating between certainty that this attempt is ridiculous. Who am I to write a novel?! It will be awful! Then I swing back to completely unfounded confidence. This will be the best novel EVER!

I read once, that to write a good story, you need to hold both of those beliefs simultaneously; thinking “this is the best story ever” helps you write it, and thinking “this is ridiculous” helps you edit (that little nugget of wisdom came from Chris Baty’s NaNoWriMo book, I’m pretty sure).

Today was a good day though. After exhausting my girls at an apple orchard, complete with a hay ride and a pumpkin patch, I worked on a few new characters that emerged from the brainstorming I did last week.

I discovered some people that need to be there for the story to make sense, to move other characters into position, etc.

By fleshing out these formerly missing characters, my thin plot has already become richer. It’s like the old layers of the onion metaphor, but in reverse. Each block of time I devote to thinking through this story, or its characters, or the challenges posed by the plot (a pandemic) adds more complexity.

It’s really FUN!

Now I know that I’m the big nerd I always suspected of myself. This is way better than playing Wii 🙂

3 thoughts on “Onion Wrapping

  1. oh yes, it’s addictive… :)))and wait until the writing begins. then characters come out of the woodwork, filling in where you had no idea… it’s so much fun! and yes, definitely, Prairie Apocalypse will be the best novel ever!!ta love (thanks honey) for the comments! today is a much better day, as it rained last night and I love rain! and a good night’s sleep is a tonic too. as for the hair, it had been since last June for me, but I let it get long, then hack it off. I’m thinking though this is a good length, and I’ll go a little more frequently. maybe next spring? :))) sounds like you had a grand time with the little ones! such a good season is autumn…

  2. I agree; it is addictive. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember; characters would assault me with their stories while I was in school trying to pay attention to the Algebra lesson. 😛 I too go back and forth between thinking my novel is utterly horrible to thinking it will be a NY Times bestseller 😛

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