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Monday, February 7, 2011

An Introduction

Good morning! Hope you all had a nice weekend. I changed the name of my blog today to "Novel Beginnings". I thought it was a bit more clever than my former title, which I put down just because I couldn't think of anything else at the time. Hope you like it :).

The Basic Idea
Today I would like to introduce you to my little story idea. My novel will be about Maggie, a woman in her late '20s who runs a pretty successful flower shop in the town of Melas, CA. It's not a very small town like in so many stories, but it's also not particlularly large. People know each other. They run into each other at the grocery store, at the Starbucks, while taking their dogs for walks. But there's also plenty of people in town who don't know each other, or don't really notice one another as they trudge through their lives with their blinders on. Maggie is the key to helping certain people connect through a unique gift of hers. What this gift is, you'll have to wait to find out! I intend this novel to be in the light romance category, with a healthy does of humor and a bit of the paranormal.

My Progress So Far
I have already taken a first stab at writing the first couple of pages, but after that exercise (and some more discussion with my loyal supporters, a.k.a. my husband and Lessa), I think I am going to start fresh. I was just reading some info about starting to write a novel here: It was very helpful because it warned me agains some very common newbie mistakes, particularly writing all the backstory first. That was the first thing I wanted to do, mostly for my own benefit, because I don't even know Maggie's whole backstory yet or exactly what her character's like yet. Is she spunky and outgoing? A little shy but strong-willed? Dramatic or down-to-earth? I don't know yet.

Also, my husband and I are looking to buy a new computer, that way we don't have to fight for who gets to use it! So once we get that I will have much more time to write and hope to have a first page to show you guys in the not-too-distant future. That's goal #1!

Questions For The Writers Out There
How do you get started on a new novel? Also, do you have any Web sites or other resources that you think would be helpful? I have a notebook where I jotted down some plot twists and the basic storyline. But it's a bit daunting to stare at the blank screen and find a way to begin. Also, how do you decide whether to write in first person or third person? I originally wanted it to be told in first person, but now I think I want to have it in third person with a narrator because it's easier to describe the visuals of the scene that way. I know there are no right or wrong answers to all of these, so maybe the best thing to do is just try a few different opening scenes and see which feels the best and gains the most momentum.

Also, I am always looking for other writers/bloggers to follow so I can learn from their experiences as well so I welcome any of those suggestions as well. Thanks and have a great day!


  1. I plan somewhat obsessively. But even for all that, I still have at least 3 or 4 false starts before I find a beginning that I can continue with.

    (And even then, that beginning often gets thrown out during revision).

    So to answer your question: I don't know.

  2. For my own work "feels right" is always the best gage. I know a lot of very talented writers have processes they follow but I usually just jump in and make mistakes until I like it.

    I'm actually a little jealous. Writing the begining pages is so much fun! There isn't anything to stay consistant to or lead toward or away from s you can write anything you want. Absolutely anything.

  3. Wow Adam, you're definitly a planner. But that's a really good idea. I don't think I can just totally jump in without having an idea of the sequence of events. Obviously it will change, but just to have a plan will help a lot.

    That's a great way to look at it, thanks Taryn :).

    BTW, we bought a new computer (our 2nd) last night and it should be here in a couple of weeks so then I can really get working. Now my husband and I won't have to fight over who gets to use the computer!

  4. Hurray on the new comp :) And yeah, I'm trying to think of particular places I have seen good writing advice and the best ones are all blogs-- and no, I don't have specific examples, as there are too many :) I would say go through the blogs that I follow; they're all writers that I connect with, and a lot of agents, too, whose advice you really need to follow if you're hoping to get this one pubbed someday.