“But what happens if I just end up with a series of disconnected chapters?” I hear you ask.
And that danger does exist, I won’t lie to you. Particularly if you’re only writing every couple of days or so, if you’re just dipping into it and then dipping out of it when the whim takes you. But if you’re making a point of writing intensely and going at it each and every day then that risk will lessen.
(And if you do end up with some chapters which don’t fit the overall narrative, then that really isn’t something to worry about. They can be repurposed as short stories, as chapters in other books. You have them written down and, if you like them, there will be ways you can use them.)
If you’re writing every day, here’s what will happen:
You’ll write a confrontation between two characters one day and you’ll bloody love one of those characters. Maybe you’ll love both of them. The next day you’ll write a different confrontation for that character, or a second confrontation for both of them. The third day you’ll do the same.
It won’t be long before you have a real sense of who your central character is. You will understand what motivates them, what their desires are, what their needs are. You will, without thinking about it, have created some of the world around them – just to give the character context – and you’ll be well on your way to forming an arc.
What does this character want in the first confrontation you wrote? How is that different to the fourth and fifth confrontations? What around this character has changed? What about him or her has changed?
Once you have that sense of the character, that sense of the people your character deals with, and what they’re trying to achieve, then you are on your way to creating your plot and you are on your way to creating your novel.
Go on, try it.
If you’re still wondering where to begin, then take character A and character B and write some dialogue between them. Write an argument. See what happens…
Next time (which may very well be in two weeks actually) we’ll have a look at plots.
My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free! A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!