Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Groundwork

Writing a novel is a marathon. And before you run a marathon, you have to train. You run every day, you eat healthy food, you drink lots of water. You slowly build up your endurance over a long period of time until you're finally ready, and then you run a few practice 26Ks in training before Marathon Day.

You lay the groundwork for a successful marathon.

Writing a book is the same thing. You do character analyses; you do outlines; you plot out your novel on index cards and whiteboards. You write a draft, then revise it, then revise it again.

And just like running a marathon, you could try just running one as soon as you buy your first pair of running shoes, but it's much better and easier, and you have a better chance of finishing, if you lay down some of the groundwork first.

What groundwork do you do before drafting your novels?


  1. I wait until the novel demands to be born and then like an old fashioned midwife I get to work.

  2. I've published short stories, but a novel is long hard work..

    Look forward to your challenge run…
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  3. That's a really good question I would love to answer, but you left no room for those who have not yet written a novel.

    Here by way of the A-Z

    A-Z 2012 (#49) - Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 - Poetry
    A-Z 2012 (#861) - Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 - Haiku

  4. I'm a pretty crazy plotter. I try to have most of the research done and I know exactly where I'm going before I begin. I don't know if this is always good for me but it's the way I do it:)

  5. I really don't do too much in advance of writing the novel. I usually envision the first or last scene first then I let the characters walk around in my head first. Then I write :)

  6. Great post. You're right, a writer does have to prepare, although the ways they do so differs from writer to writer.

    I don't do much plotting, but I do work through things in my mind and do character studies. I also read a lot of craft books.

    Excellent "G" topic,
    Michelle :)