Now that the main thrust of the promotion for my second book “Great Places for Kids’ Parties (UK)” is almost over, it’s time to turn my attention to my debut novel, which I hope to get back to soon. It needs a heavy edit, fact checking, a change to the ending and proofreading. The prospect is quite daunting as I haven’t touched the book for several years. In fact, I haven’t written any fiction for several years so I need to get myself into a totally different mind-set. In preparation I’ve been reading a useful textbook about novel writing in the hope of recapturing some of the skills and techniques that I learnt on my writing course.
The writing style for fiction is so different than for non-fiction but it’s also much more creative. With non-fiction I try to present the facts in an interesting, reader-friendly way, but with fiction I can do so much more. For example, I can:
Develop the plot
Build up suspense
Have fun with dialogue
Become absorbed in my characters etc. etc.
With regard to the last point in particular, I’m looking forward to recapturing the buzz that I felt when I was writing my first novel. I can remember becoming so absorbed that my writing became like a form of meditation and I would escape to another domain. I almost became the main character as I entered her world and shared all the emotions that she was going through. I would also get a tremendous feeling of excitement as the plot developed.
I use the term ‘my first novel’ because I have already started my second novel with about 8000 words penned, although about 50% of it is in outline form. However, up to now I haven’t experienced the same buzz that I experienced with the first novel. I’m sure that this is partly because I have been so focused on the non-fiction work, which is why I’m anxious to return to the land of fiction.
I am looking forward to using a lot of the techniques that I learnt on my writing course and will be re-reading my course notes as well as text books on fiction writing in order to refresh. I’m hoping that by brushing up my skills it will put me in the right frame of mind so that my creativity starts to flow again. At the same time, however, I won’t let adherence to the suggested methods stifle my creativity. I believe that the text has to flow naturally but it’s good to have the ideas in my subconscious as they will then come into play whilst I am writing (hopefully). If I come across any interesting techniques I will share them via the blog.
Of course there are the small matters of ongoing promotion for my two parenting books and client work to deal with but, apart from that, I intend to work flat out to get my novel ready for publication. I’ll be posting excerpts as I go along.