People frequently ask me what it takes for me to really begin planning out a novel and they’re not just referring to ideas and inspiration.
Nope! People are usually referring to the actual tools that help to put the novel together.
I often have a smile on my face when faced with this. I always ask them, “Do you really think I will give you a fantastic answer?” They don’t know what to say to that so I usually press with, “Do you think you will be satisfied with the answer I give you?”
For me, the answer is as simple as ‘ideas’ and ‘inspiration’.
“The answer is really the simplest and one you will never expect!” I tell them. They get a little excited here, albeit a little nervous for having missed something that is apparently so obvious.
“It’s a good pen and a lot of paper.”
Really. Don’t laugh; it’s the truth.
When I first want to start penning something new I do just that; I use a pen and scribble it out on some paper. It could be something as vague as a quote, a short scene, the description of a character or a concept.
This means that basically, on these scraps of paper I can scribble out just about anything.
Numerous other writers like to pen their ideas and works in beautiful diaries that make them feel cosy and at home but, to be quite honest, for the amount of scribbling I do to put a novel together I think those beautifully-crafted diaries would be a waste of a perfectly good diary and a waste of much-needed money.
A pen that is easy on the eyes and that doesn’t give me hassles is also a must. I want something that can help me get things down in the fastest possible manner, without unsightly blurring smudges that makes it even more difficult to decipher my scratchy handwriting.
The effective thing about this simple tool is that I’m able to use it anywhere and everywhere; never do I have to worry about needing electricity, or having to pack it away in a hurry. There’s also something very personal about writing something in your own hand-writing first and taking a good look at it. Since we usually type a lot faster than we write we usually keep up with the words in our head a lot better by typing. This can be really useful but sometimes we tend not to think about our words enough when they’re escaping us so fast.
Any aspect of the writing process can take place in a suitable space, quiet or filled with music of your choice, a good pen and paper and your inspiration.