A new year deserves some new aims.
My main goal this year is to be paid for being published. In 2012 I wanted to be published, and I was, three times, but I didn’t stipulate the being paid bit. Well, the time has come where I’d like to earn some money from my writing.
Time to step up a notch.
So this involves a lot of submitting (and by default a lot of writing – short stories, flash fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction) and market research of where best to send my work. Which with the old internet is of course a lot easier than it used to be. (You don’t even have to find out the editor’s name anymore! Although it is always nicer to be personal.)
My other aim? realisation? determination?, is to put the bits that I have for my first novel into some kind of file and to just write more bits.
It’s not a genre novel. It may have a plot (in fact I’m pretty sure of it) but it’s a character driven, magical realist book so I don’t think there’s going to be a traditional sort of outlining process.
The only way to do it is to do it. Much like any other story.
At any rate, it’s a start. I don’t know how to write a book and I think the only way I am actually going to learn how to do so is to just write it. I suspect every book, much like every story or poem or whatever, will be different anyway.
I have two characters (one is the main protagonist, the other the antagonist, although it may be that they play both roles simultaneously, one for the other). There’s also a voice, a woman’s voice in fact, an African (not Arabic/African) woman’s voice even though the book is perhaps set somewhere in the imaginary Middle East, (or the Sahara) and somewhere in the imaginary South-East Asia.
I have some clear images in my mind, birthing points of scenes that are crucial plot points integral to the life and development of the characters and the story.
I also have a ‘map’ or ‘score’, of two lines which are the character arcs, which will pace the novel and delineates where the characters intersect and where they never meet. I come from a performance background so that seems like a sane thing to me, to have a choreography that I can follow.
I don’t know where it starts and I don’t know where it ends. Situation normal really, so nothing too scary there.
I’m not a plotter and not exactly a panster either. A bit of both, maybe. But mostly, I’m a door opener. A window peerer. Sometimes it looks in, sometimes it looks out. That’s where the stories come from.
These are my commitments.
Into it I go.