Starting my new novel draft

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The pen has hit the page! Or rather the finger has hit the screen (I’m finding myself doing a lot of writing on my phone at the mo). I’ve been planning an idea for a novel draft, and recently I decided to jump in and start producing some content.

With my previous abortive attempts at novel writing, my mistake has been to neglect the planning. With one idea, I managed to get 26,000 words done before stalling completely, but sadly I couldn’t salvage much of that work because there were giant cracks in the concept. With my current attempt, I’m using the A Novel Idea iOS app as a planning aid, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a tool help structure and store their writing ideas.

My current novel idea originated from a screenwriting piece from my second year at university, a scene lifted from one of my old novel concepts about psychic superheroes being hunted down by an evil autocratic government in a dystopian future. The feedback was that the writing was fine, but the concept was basically The Matrix with the serial numbers filed off.

However, all was not lost, as I had a bit of an epiphany. The story would be so much more interesting if I flipped things around. The protagonist should be a normal human in a world where everyone is psychic. Working with this concept, I wrote my short story Beyond Thought, which fleshes out the world and characters that could become central to my novel draft. I plan to include Beyond Thought in my Resolutions collection, but I will also repost it on here.

I have done a lot of structure planning for the novel, but I still have a lot of elements to peg down. However, I decided that I should start getting some words out rather than over-emphasise the planning and never start writing. The approach I’m going to try is non-chronological writing, that is, taking scenes out of the structure and treating them as individual short stories. This will make things feel more manageable, and also play to my strengths as a short story writer.

I’ll keep you updated with my progress, and I’ll have the Beyond Thought short story on here to give you a taste of what’s to come.

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