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A Question for Fiction Writers

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message 1: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Wilson (C_E_Wilson) | 54 comments Hey everyone, my name is C. E. Wilson. I've always wanted to write a book. I've written and failed miserably twice. Last year I wanted to write a fiction book that wrapped Scripture directly into the message.

My question: When you wrote your novel(s) did you plot it all out? Did you wait on God to give you inspiration? Did you hammer it out like you couldn't get it written fast enough?

Me, I waited for inspiration. I wrote a chapter at a time; but then, when I started writing I had to hammer it out. Just had to get that chapter written. That's how all of my book Baqash felt. Now I'm writing Darah and it's the same way. I wait for an idea, a chapter, to come to mind and then spend two hours typing around 2,000 words.

How did writing your novel happen for you?

message 2: by Anna (last edited Oct 20, 2016 04:01PM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 114 comments I have always written fiction for one reason or another. I wrote stories for my children and so on.

Mostly, the characters play around in my head and so I have a notebook with the start of their story and I have an ending planned from the beginning and then as I type I drag them towards that ending, though they usually go off at tangents. It's like trying to control teenagers.

My time travel book was inspired by the Watch Night sermon in St Paul's Cathedral in London. Past and Future were mentioned so many times that on the long drive home (I was the passenger, I hasten to add) a story formed about the past (for one of the characters) and the future (for another character).

You are amazing if you type 2,000 words in a couple of hours. Do you then go over them and polish them?

message 3: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Wilson (C_E_Wilson) | 54 comments Agreed about the greatness of God. "God is me to reach your people," pleads my heart.

I try not too be critical on the first go round or I stall out while polishing my sentences. I had just come away from my final re-write of Baqash and started Darash (Book 2) and stalled immediately. I was too focused on getting every sentence perfect. I love to word-smith which bogs me down. Each sentence must have "that" feel. Each word carries weight. How can I craft the shortest, most impactful sentence possible?

message 4: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Wilson (C_E_Wilson) | 54 comments On mobile "God USE me to reach your people." I have a love/hate with autocorrect. Lol

message 5: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Bush | 12 comments Hey Chad,
The idea for my first novel came to me while reading another great author. I, too, wanted to wrap my story in scripture, so I made one of the main characters a devout Christian who can't help but talk to his partner (one of two characters whose POV the story is told through) about God.
When I started writing I knew where I wanted the story to go, but not necessarily how I wanted to get there, so since I was out of work due to an injury, I would just sit down at my laptop and let the words flow. In a little over a month I had spit out a rough novel with a little over 115000 words, which I later pared down to roughly 110000 before publishing.
With my 2nd and 3rd books, yet to publish, I'm going a different route and plotting out chapter by chapter to see what kind of difference it will make.

message 6: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 114 comments For each book I write, I have a large notebook in which I write a chapter plan just before writing the next chapter. It doesn't always go to plan!

My books are written for the whosoever.

message 7: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Bush | 12 comments I also keep a spiral notebook while writing, but I use it to log in the chpt #, whose POV its from and a general description of what happened in that chpt so I can go back and look for any info that i might need in later chpts. My mind isn't as good at recall as it used to be!

message 8: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 114 comments And we writers have so many different 'worlds' going on in our heads, Nathan. That makes it more difficult to recall whether Mr Bloggs has brown or blue eyes!

message 9: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Wilson (C_E_Wilson) | 54 comments I forgot the name of one of my characters halfway through and changed it. I need to start a notebook too. Good idea.

message 10: by T.C. (new)

T.C. Slonaker | 13 comments I think everyone is different, but I got my idea one day while running, and then I just basically sketched out the series. As ideas for scenes came- for any of the 7 books!- I put them in and organized it all later. It was totally God, because I am NOT a haphazard kind of person.

message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris Staron | 11 comments C.E. wrote: "Hey everyone, my name is C. E. Wilson. I've always wanted to write a book. I've written and failed miserably twice. Last year I wanted to write a fiction book that wrapped Scripture directly into t..."
I find it really helpful to write it as a short story or screenplay first. Then you know who people are and how they interact with each other. What are their core struggles? What imagery will wind through the whole novel?

Some people also find writing scenes on index cards to be helpful.

I find it helpful to keep the plot twists to myself until the book is written and that keeps me excited about the book. Others prefer chapter by chapter analysis.

message 12: by Joel (new)

Joel Thimell | 22 comments My novel, "Long Road Out of Ur," is a Biblical fiction which tells the backstory to Abraham's call to the Promised Land. So I knew the ending before I wrote the beginning.

I approached it like a backwards mystery story:

1) Why did Abraham lie twice about Sarah not being his wife?
2) How did Abraham become a great general?
3) Why was Abraham so loyal to Lot?
4) Why did some of Abraham's family come along to the Promised Land while others stayed in Mesopotamia?
5) Why was Lot unable to flee to the mountains when Sodom was about to be destroyed?

After determining the answers to those questions (and many more), I decided to tell the story through the voice of Lot to create a unique perspective on everything.

Finally, although I had an outline before starting, I allowed the characters to breathe and develop which changed the direction several times.

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