Starting a new novel is always so exciting. Everything feels shiny and fresh, and you just know it will be the best book you’ve ever written.
I love that moment, before the inevitable self-doubt sets in. I don’t have any particular rituals when I sit down to write a new book, but I always sketch out the obstacles my characters will face and how I want them to change and grow by the end of the book.
I also think about their backgrounds and their internal conflicts, either as a result of their history or character traits. I often don’t have a picture of my protagonist in my mind, but I do need to ‘know’ them: their fears, their likes and dislikes, and what they want out of life.
I’ve tried both exhaustive planning and ‘pantsing’, and I usually fall somewhere in the middle.
Part of the joy of writing is the little surprises along the way – characters who turn up out of the blue, or plot twists you knew nothing about. But I also need to write towards something; I must have some idea where the narrative is taking me. And, of course, each book is different. Some unfurl naturally, while others must be wrestled into submission!
Either way, no matter the book, nothing can eclipse that wonderful feeling at the beginning . . . except, maybe, writing ‘the end’.
Talli Roland writes contemporary women’s fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine).
Talli is trained as a journalist, but she soon found she preferred making up her own stories–complete with happy endings. Talli’s novels have been short-listed as Best Romantic Reads at the UK’s Festival of Romance and chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.