Notebooks and Story Boards

Now that I have a completed Manuscript I'm reflecting on how The Longing came to take shape in this beautiful notebook, the cover of red and gold embroidery (the photo doesn't do the colours justice). The way the button and thread held together until looped out of the way. The cover opened like a trifold to reveal pristine, cream velour pages. It seemed a shame to spoil. In fact the notebook had been a gift and for a long time remained untouched. However, it came to be that this was naturally the only place to start writing my novel in the initial stages. Opening the pages some two maybe three years later, it's interesting to see how the original storyline evolved from loose jottings to the story that The Longing eventually became. My notes and ideas hesitantly took shape and a life of their own. Some things I'd forgotten, like certain plot points were tested for credibility and changed when I felt I couldn't make it work, or didn't feel right. As characters developed and evolved, names changed for a better 'fit,' although most names that popped into my head, stayed the same. Names that reflected a time and place, or age of a character. That somehow slotted in to my fictional families.

I had a story board (part of it is shown below) that decorated the back of a door for about 12 months or so as the first couple of drafts were written. First draft(s) are notoriously rubbish and should never see the light of day or shown to anyone. They are for the writer's eye only! Which is why my story board came into it's own. It acted as an anchor, a reminder of my storyline. A 'feeling' for the characters. Random comments that expressed key themes or pointers. There were some days when staring at the board for inspiration was the only thing I could do. Seeking the right turn of phrase, clutching for a particular on-the-tip-of-my tongue word. Chapters that were resistant to being formed. Moving chapters around until, hmm, I might just have something worth sharing here.

Now starting on a second novel, this one appears to be evolving differently, more organically and free flowing. A couple of days ago, a thousand words in an afternoon, with an idea for my main characters, along with a story arc. The following day, a rough outline came together. Soon, another story board will develop. For now thats all I know. I have a working title, I know where the setting of my story will be, and how it will end. That's all I'm going to say - for it is a work in progress.

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