I have sort of begun a new novel. So far all I've written is a lot of notes on Post-Its, but it's a start.
I'm not ready to describe what the novel is about, because the aboutness hasn't yet gelled into a concise explanation, but the pieces have been knocking around inside my head for more than a year. I hadn't written down any of the ideas until this point, so what I've been doing this week is simply getting everything from my head onto paper. I find it very helpful to work with pen and paper at this part of the process, though I can't explain why (and my handwriting is atrocious).
I know quite a bit about the characters, but they're still lacking names, which means that in the notes they're all referred to by letter designators. I have many components of a plot, but not yet enough that all sticks together properly. I want to make sure I can construct a whole plot out of this idea before I start the first draft. There's also research that I'm going to need to do before beginning. So I may be in this pre-writing stage of writing for a while, in order to be confident I can get the writing part right.
Venturing into an unknown story is a little intimidating, but mostly exciting. It's a nice change to be at the starting end of the novel process after so much revision. It's been a long time since I was here, and I was a much less experienced writer the last time around.
I don't have a real title, but for the purposes of being able to refer this novel as something, I'm calling it INCONCLUSIVE. That's more fun than "Untitled", and it has some relevance to the story. I'll let you muse on that while I get back to scribbling on sticky notes.
Good Stuff Out There:
→ Karen Bender writes at the New York Times' Opinionator about The Emotional Power of Verbs: "Form your characters in terms of actions that will reveal their interior lives. If you want to describe a dress your character is wearing, think about how she is moving out the door in that dress. Is the woman walking, hurrying, sauntering, floating?"