Starting a Novel


I have finished a big project. I’ve done lots of small housekeeping and bookkeeping chores. And I have to face it. The decision of what novel to write next.

Deciding What to Write Next

This is the hardest thing to me: what to commit to. I’m playing with ideas, but nothing has struck me yet as worthy of a year’s commitment. I like the ideas–sorta. I like the beginnings of a characters, but I don’t love them yet. For me, these are the drudge days of writing, not knowing if anything will come of the day’s work. No progress on a real draft, no real character development because that was a dead end trail, or this is interesting, but I can’t find a setting that works.

  • I’m looking at novels I like to see why the worked.
  • I’m listening to books on tape while driving.
  • I’m trolling for characters.
  • I’m searching maps and old maps and drawing maps for settings.
  • I’m re-reading how to create character conflict.
  • I’m working, but it seems like I’m going nowhere.

How do you start a totally new novel?

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