In my experience people often avoid giving critique to poets because poetry is deeply personal. Is this true for you? My best poetry comes from the stories I’ve written and those in my head.
Through poetry I can be myself and pretend to be someone else or both, and use double meanings. I often make up stories within the poem, based on people I know and people watching.
…. undergo the daunting task of writing a novel. She prefers writing short stories. Is she avoiding hard work or is short story writing, like poetry a different skill set that can lend itself to novel writing?
The challenge of writing a novel is keeping the thoughts in my head and carrying them onto other chapters to connect them. Much like the way I linked the ideas in my picture book from one page to another. After some thought on this, I decided to change one of my picture books into a novel.
Pictures in a picture book tell the details of the story, interpreting in depth what is written on the page. It does some of the work for the reader, and of course this can be interpreted in more depth. I’ve integrated this into a picture story map strategy.
In fact, I have different story maps that work in parallel to each other as the story is told. Because in a novel, one must consider the perspectives of all the characters. It’s exciting because the outcome can vary depending on the attention to detail you give to the characters and the setting, and the choices you make.
This is when feedback is important – what to keep and what not to keep- like a choose your own adventure series. The story can go in any direction. Picture maps make this task easier because I draw sequenced pictures of different alternatives to the story. It’s quick!
I’ve focused on my picture book ‘Colour My Ball’ for my novel idea. (See the clip below.) I’ve used material from my main novel that I’ve been writing for years now and added to it. Originally, it was an adult’s book. Sandra, from WordHugs suggested that it would make a great novel for young people. Can’t recall what age she suggested but it’s lending itself more and more towards young adults. Establishing the audience is important because this will direct the novel.
It’s tricky… I prefer not to write about the storyline just yet because by doing so might set it in stone. I know why I’m writing it and this is the greatest power that gives it direction. I look forward to publishing it so that I can hold it and read it. It will be like looking into my life and the lives of my family members for the first time.
I’ve been using Scrivener and adding my work to my Fastpencil writing tool, and have found that this works well. I enjoy my time at my favorite cafe when I can write with no distractions. I usually sit at the same table – it’s usually not occupied – and there are other regulars who do the same. Last Sunday I had tears in my eyes after writing two chapters and had an ‘aha’ moment. No one seemed to mind.
Do you have a favorite place to write?