Every writer creates their novels differently and each of us will go through a slightly different process. I am not sure there is one right way. As I begin work on my third novel, for me it is about an idea popping into my head and then it finds a spot to percolate. First of all, I consider myself a storyteller learning the craft of writing. This is perhaps why the story finds its way into my head and then the challenge is turning the story into a novel. Something to read rather than hear. I took a walk yesterday afternoon taking pictures both in my mind and with my camera. The pictures I took which will now become part of my storyboard and then hopefully come alive in the story I create are shared below.
I create a storyboard, a frame or outline first in my head and then on paper, well actually a word file that becomes jam-packed with ideas, research and pictures. I know the beginning and the end as for me the first part to come alive is the plot. Who are the characters? Where does the story take place? Those take hold after the concept of the story. Once the frame is developed the story begins to take life both on paper and in my head. The story takes on a life of its own in my mind and pulls information from past experiences, thoughts and ideas linking to what I want to create. The magic of the filing cabinet that makes up our minds is filled with countless experiences and the more we live and experience life the more information to draw from in our storage compartment. Everything that happens can find its way into a story or a piece of writing. I research character and setting filling in my frame that will guide the story and provide substance to character, setting and plot.
Yesterday was a day about setting. The setting of this story will be important to the characters and the plot. More so than in my other books. The setting will help the reader understand my characters and contribute to the plot as well as conflict. The story is clear in my head so to fill in my frame I took some pictures to create the vision for the words I want to create to tell the story. Without a question I find writing is a lot harder than storytelling.
As I was envisioning the setting, trying to take in the environment, camera dangling down from my neck, I saw the picture I wanted to take. Two or three times I took the camera up to capture the scene and each time the screen was black. No image. I checked to see if the camera was turned on and it was. I tried again and still nothing. Adjusted focus and still the black screen is all that appeared. I was and must have looked confused, unsettled as a man walking by simply said, “You will need to take off the lens cap.” Has there ever been better advice to a photographer than that.
All picture are taken in the beautiful historic ‘Exchange District’ in Winnipeg, Manitoba.