The Beginnings of a Process

Happy Nanowrimo, writer friends!

How is it going so far for you? Yesterday, I dove into fiction writing for the first time in a very long time. I watched Adrienne Young’s Instagram stories about story development in the morning, which ended up dictating what I would do for the rest of the day. If you don’t follow Adrienne on Instagram already, I highly recommend doing so. I’m not a YA or a fantasy writer, but I really relate to and value her content about being a writer and the writing process.

After watching her stories, I realized that what’s been holding me back for the past several years is this idea that the words will just magically come to me and there’s no other way to enter into the story. I felt like that’s how my first novel came about and so that’s how the next one will as well. I never even considered there was an alternative.

In her stories, Adrienne talks about how long she spends in the story development phase, sometimes up to a few years. During this time, she is jotting ideas down, thinking about characters, making playlists, doing research, and even using lucid dreaming to help build her world.

I never considered that there were things that I could do other than just drafting the book itself.

So, this sent me in a different direction than I originally intended. I opened up the Scrivener project that I started a year ago with the spark of an idea. I looked over a few passages that I wrote in my notebook. And I realized that I could spend time fleshing out these characters, this setting, and the backstory before I ever sat down to write the first sentence of the draft.

So that’s what I did. I started filling out character profiles and writing down bits and pieces of scenes. I know that it’s dark. I know that it takes place on a college campus. I know that it’s about society’s expectations of women. I know two of the characters, vaguely. Maybe three.

I’m still working it all out. And that’s the miracle of this discovery I’ve made. I’m actually spending time on this story that has been in the back of my mind for over a year now.

Yesterday I wrote 2,000 words. It was mostly bits and pieces, and some of it was even copy & pasted from research I did. It’s not exactly the Nanowrimo draft that I hoped for, but maybe it will be something even better.

Maybe I’ll be able to completely overhaul my process. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll come up with something that works better for me.

I’ll report back on progress in a week. We’ll see what happens next.

Thanks for stopping by.