Getting Started

My thoughts have started to turn to the next novel.  (Really I should’ve been working on the next novel for a few months now if I were religiously following the whole butt in chair school of thought, but between trying to finalize the current novel, selling my house, work, family, and other annoying issues, I haven’t been.  Shame on me.)

After next week I should be happily homeless and querying the first novel, which means I will be ready for #2.  And since I have no idea if anyone will like #1 (so really shouldn’t keep going on the follow-up novels to that one), I’m going to try a completely different idea for the next novel.

This one’ll be first person POV, a female main character, and more futuristic than alternate world.  (I’ve already written a short story with her, but she really wants her whole story told, so…)

I think a lot of the themes I like to explore will still be present in this novel, but, if the short story is any indication, it’ll definitely have a different flavor to it.

Anyway.  In honor of starting the next novel, I thought I’d share a few helpful links:

PCW on What’s Missing:  A nice discussion about whether you actually need a perfect idea before you start writing (you don’t) and about how she gets from lousy idea to great final story.  A little quote:

“It’s the final product – the total impression made by 90,000+ words of novel – that’s going to be meaningful and inspiring and interesting and deep. Not the log-line.”

So start that novel already.  (And I’ll say that, at least for me, the idea that got me started on my first novel is not at all the idea that I ended with.)

Also, here’s a good post by Chuck Wendig on 25 Things You Should Do Before Starting Your Next Novel.  It’s very funny, but a few quotes that really resonated with me:

“Try to build the world around the story instead of building the story around the world. That’ll provide a more focused — and more relevant — approach.”

“Just to be clear: you actually have to write the thing. Which means all this stuff? Do it. And then stop doing it. There comes a point when you have to stop outlining, stop researching, stop thinking and dicking around and fiddling with your intellectual privates in order to put pen to paper and finger to keys and write that book.”

There are some other good quotes in the article, too, but for some reason I’m feeling slightly puritan this morning, so I didn’t bring them over.

Anyway.  Hope all y’all are enjoying your weekend wherever you may be in the world and either the first bits of fall or spring as the case may be.  (My two favorite seasons as it turns out.)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
This entry was posted in Advice, My Writing, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.