Writing is usually easy for me. When it’s not, the writer’s block is either a physical impairment [illness or fatigue] or just being unable to imagine a scene. For the former, I go to sleep. For the latter, I might draw the scene, as I did in an orange notebook with my first novel, A Story About Self-Confidence: What’s In A Name?, a month~long story at Eville Medical in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”
The thing is, I only drew about ten pages.
Most of my brainstorming takes place in my mind, so externalizing a scene isn’t usually a big deal for me, because I’m not interested in describing the nuances of a location. When I described the Scribe Conference Room in Chapter 03, all I did was describe the logistics within, where there’s a window on one side and the table is large enough to seat people on opposite sides. I don’t care if the table is brown or blue. You can imagine that if you want, otherwise, those details don’t matter to the story I’m telling.
Drawing out the logistics of a scene is what mattered to me.
If I can visualize how the scene starts, the rest typically will write itself. This is where there is a cross-section between reality and fiction. Whether I’m writing fiction based on my reality or the Imaginarium theory, where “The Story” has happened independent of myself and I’m just reporting on it, in both cases, I have to at least partially understand the scene before I can write about it.
I only really needed to sketch a few scenes.
In those scenes, I drew out sketches and wrote my thoughts on that sketch. As I conclude my edits and wrap up everything related to the novel, I’ll publish those sketches in the Google Doc. They may be helpful to other writers in part because they’ll show how I wrote the novel throughout the month, but they’re somewhat disingenuous only because I didn’t need them that much. Only the first few pages were necessary. The rest were just practices in writing more methodically.
For my next novel, will I draw things out in advance more?
Perhaps. When I wrote this novel, I started with the beginning pitch, had some milestones I wanted to reach, had the ending somewhat in mind, but let the characters guide the story along. If Sammohini had screwed up particularly badly at something, I wouldn’t force her into a particular situation just to get her back on track to my idea of how the plot would unfold. I’d let her find her path. I did wing certain scenes as a result, but I enjoyed writing and reading the results as I wrote, as I imagine you’ll enjoy as you read. As I write more novels, I’ll figure out a better system of plotting out scenes so maybe I can include some details, but for now, I’m happy with what I’ve written and where I’m at with my fiction writing.
Before I start novel 2, I’ll do more research.
I have some books I want to finish reading, I have some things I need to clear out of the apartment [even though I’ll stay here another year, I need more flexibility when I move next], and generally, I want to have more time to structure out the next novel. I already have a rough idea for the novel I want to write next. I’ll just need to scope it out so I can write it without any chance of burning myself out. Maybe writing the same number of words [60,000], over the same number of chapters , with the same word count per chapter [2,000], but writing it over the course of three relaxed months rather than one intense month?
If so, I’ll probably draft up the scenes before I start writing.
If so, would I commission an artist to help me realize the scenes? Maybe. It might be easier if I just figured out some kind of drafting software where I could drag and drop items like conference room tables and chairs into a room, so then I could write a scene both using words and maybe visuals, but that’s the major convergence between what I want to do and what’s popular. I am just as guilty of watching videos online rather than reading as anyone else, but I find watching videos almost always lack in substance compared to reading. Sure, you see more of the scene, but videos recorded around a scene seldom as dig deep into my psyche as a paragraph written around a scene can. If that means I’ll live in a creative squalor, slaving away at a salary job so as not to sacrifice my creativity for the views, then so be it.
I will write what I believe in and draw it out when I need it.
I might record an audiobook of this first novel so I can give that extra audio dynamic and to help advertise the novel more, but let’s say I get additional attention from those recordings. That probably wouldn’t be as satisfying as sitting at my writing desk and imagining how Sammohini would act and react in certain scenarios. For me, scene-building brainstorming and imagining primarily takes place at the keyboard in the word processor, but when it becomes a little too difficult to describe with the words I know, then that’s where it’s helpful to draft up the nuances.
Otherwise, drawing scenes for scenes I know fully is just awkward.
There’s a scene toward the end of the novel that takes place in a patient room. I was having a bit of trouble visualizing the scene. Through serendipity, I needed to go to the doctor that day, so between seeing the nurse and the doctor, I took one hundred photos and imagined the scene in that doctor’s office, then wrote the scene almost effortlessly when I got home.
If you’re stuck, drawing that imaginary world can help, just like exploring reality.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium and my personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: This was my second essay title topic I wanted to write about after I completed the novel.|
|Related: Other 2019 Novel writings.|
|Picture: I find drawing to be too time-consuming sometimes, so a picture like this is much easier for me.|
|Written On: November 29th, 2019 [12:11am to 12:48am, 37 minutes, while listening to Splendor & Misery by clipping..]|
|Last Edited: November 29th, 2019 [2:50am to 12:54am, 4 minutes, with Grammarly.]|