Life is a serious bummer sometimes. There I’ve said it. I know, I know… For such a chipper person, I sure have some Debby Downer ways of looking at things on this blog, don’t I? Except that, I really don’t. What I really just did was summarize about every manuscript that has ever been submitted to me.
Life is a serious bummer sometimes.
There it is in bold, in case you missed it a few sentences ago. I mean, let’s face it, it has to be or we’d never hit the climax in the novel, right? If we didn’t have to climb a mountain, we couldn’t possibly appreciate being on top, could we?
Okay, so I’m over-exaggerating a bit. I’m completely aware of that. What I’m actually getting ready to do over here is plan a new novel. (This post is seconding as a little freewriting exercise.) Recent events have left me pretty well second-guessing every little wordlette that springs from my mouth or fingertips, and when that happens, a writer has two choices: give up or push on. I’m choosing the latter.
Hopefulness is overrated.
Not really, but it just seemed like the proper subheading to follow the last one. In actuality, though, writers have to be the most hopeful people in the world–we spend countless minutes and hours and days and weeks and months and even years writing on one manuscript. Then, because we haven’t given ourselves enough of a beating, we turn around and give it to others to assess. Not good enough? Okay! Let me put on my editing boots, stick a daisy in my hat, grab a red pen, and make this puppy shine! Then, once people get tired of reading it and tell us it’s great so that we move on, we create a proposal and send it on down the line, hoping for “a significant deal.”
However, before all of this sunshine can happen, first we have to start somewhere. (Note: I’ve already written a post about where to start your novel, but now I’m reconsidering how to start a novel.)
I’ve done standard outlines, summaries, spreadsheets that break down the manuscript into acts and pinch points, the snowflake outline, freewriting, pearl writing, and even just not writing. (That final one has been the most successful for me in terms of consistent results, by the way.) This time, though, I’m going to try something different: actually writing. Oh wait. No. What I meant was, I’m going to try character sheets and Pinterest boards.
Visualizing the end.
By golly, I sure hope you guys are at least getting a tiny chuckle out of this post, or I’m going to have to remove it before someone buys me a straightjacket for safety reasons.
Anyway, so, I’m going to start small and play with an idea I have for a picture book series… or maybe a chapter book series. Either way, first I’m going to write down some preliminary notes on the grand scheme of the series, then break that down in to main characters (thus, the character sheets). Once that’s done, then it’s time to set up my Pinterest board.
So, for those of you who have used Pinterest to inspire their stories for quite some time now, can you share some of your experiences with me? Is it beneficial? Is it a waste of time? Do you usually set your idea board to public or private, and what made you decide?