I'm working on my first fiction novel. I've written nonfiction for years through my blog and also nonfiction books and manuals. Switching into fiction has been fun and a bit of a learning curve. Here are 6 things I've learned on my journey so far:
1. Writing fantasy is a lovely escape from the real world. I can take normal day stuff that is inspiring and incorporate it into my story. Or I can take normal day stuff about people who drive me crazy and incorporate it into my characters. It's a lovely revenge when I feel helpless about current events.
2. Writing is a very passive, non-active event (except for fingers typing on a keyboard). I am challenged by having to write a highly active story with characters who aren't sitting around at all. Writing, then, has inspired me to get out and be more active in the world. It's a backward kind of thing that makes me smile.
3. I struggle with inventing new conflicts. I mean it's all been said already! Now, I've started to second guess myself. Am I getting a scene from my own creative voice or from some book I read a long time ago and forgotten the book but am remembering the scene. To get past this challenge, I've learned to make sure I am energetically connected to just the creative voice of my story. There's an energy protocol I use to do this. I can tell when I've forgotten to use it and I'm sitting in front of a blank page or words that aren't original.
4. Being creative with my words is something else I'm learning. I once asked on FB for a word to describe something bigger than a twig but smaller than a branch. Everyone jumped in with suggestions! It was a lively discussion. No one said the word I came up with though (stave). However, it jogged my own creativity.
5. It sometimes takes a lot of back story or research to come up with one line in my story. I've read many books about forests and trees for my book The Power of Trees. I've probably used all that information in one paragraph. But I have found that having a website where I can add more information from my research has satisfied that part of my process. No one else may be interested, but as a reader I always want to know the backstory of the author and of the story itself. So that's what I've created.
6. When I get stuck writing a chapter or scene I read "how-to" books on writing. Something in them will spark an idea or a new approach and off I go. Otherwise I don't bother with those books. Got to leave something for an editor to do!
Now it's your turn...what's one thing you've learned from being a fantasy writer?