I had a dream
No this isn’t my take on MKL Jr.’s speech, but my book did start with a dream. I’m not going to go too much into it because I’m still writing the first draft but that is what I woke up with.
A dream about a situation.
That was about a year or even 18 months ago. Which seems incredible to me as I write this because it seems like just yesterday that I woke up and started writing. But that’s not the truth at all.
A dream about a situation…and…I mulled it over in my head a bit. And from that situation came a character. She called to me. When I think of her the picture that comes into my mind is her standing a little ways in front of me, turning back and reaching out her hand to me. It’s a gesture that says, “come with me on this journey. Let’s go together.”
She came fairly fully formed to me in terms of what she looks like, what her ancestry is, and the inciting situation.
Then came the What If game.
For those that aren’t familiar with this game, the What If game is a series of what ifs, which expand on the initial idea.
Ex. What if China decided to invade North Korea, and what if South Korea let them, and what if the US decided it didn’t care and stood by and watched, and what if Russia decided to make a huge land grab at the same time, and what if we found out later that this was all previously negotiated in secret between Russia, China, South Korea and the US so that when the US decided to make a play for Canada and Mexico, they wouldn’t have any true barriers from any country with a military that counts?
I could keep going on that for an hours but you get the gist.
[Parenting tip: this is fun to play with a three year old and usually involves dinosaurs.]
So that is how my first novel began. It took about 12 months for me to noodle and take notes in my phone enough to decide to actually write a novel, and then another three of listening to author podcasts for me to really get going on it.
So don’t be discouraged if you have been noodling on something for a while, and you think maybe you want to write a book but you haven’t started yet. One day you will have gotten that boulder rolling enough to carry you over that first hump of starting. Just believe in yourself.