Spontaneous Novelling

January 30, 2010 at 6:00 AM | Posted in Writing | 7 Comments
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Many people like to write a plan before starting a novel. This has its many benefits, like you have less chance of ending up with untied ends and confusion in plot muddling. There are, however, some more rebellious subjects among the writing nation (including moi) who are either too impatient (me), work better without a plan, or just like to ‘go with the flow’.  Many who have gone without a plan know that it most probably will take more drafts to create a flawless draft this way.

However, there are more extreme aspects than just ‘winging it’ altogether. How about if you went through a whole novel never knowing what the ending would be, what would happen in the middle or who the person in question would meet along their journey? I know – it sounds über-scary to me, too, but wouldn’t it just be darn awesome to see what it would end up like?

That is why I propose an idea for the whole concept of novel writing altogether, or just as a writing excercise: forget the page-by-page-plan, forget the random musings you thought would be a good idea earlier, forget that you have an urge to give a character a shiny new Mini Cooper. Start not knowing anything at all.

What I think would be a good idea is that, before writing a novel, you get so many people to write down characters/plot points, or just even single nouns on their own. If everyone writes an idea down on a slip of paper, you can pick a piece out one-by-one, and include each point as they are chosen.

The outcome? Well, it could go either way:you could end up with a best-selling, most unique novel of all time, or you could end up with a load of garbage. The main point is that it breaks you out of a routine – it makes you broaden your horizons to new ideas.

So, bloggers – are you ready for the Spontaneous Novel challenge?




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  1. I’ll try it. :D

  2. I am more than a little intimidated by the thought, but it actually sounds so awesome that I want to be a part of that. So, I’m in. :)

  3. Ooooh, sounds scary but I bet it’s gonna be an exhilarating ride!! :))

  4. That’s totally how I wrote my novel (and now my next one). Outlining is for wimps, I just jump right in with no set path! Ha! :)

  5. I’m a whimp. I’m definitely sticking to outlining–even if I do love editing. ;)

  6. My first novel was exactly that. Super fun but a LOT of work to make right in the end… :p

    But it is definitely exciting, like going backpacking to an exotic country type of exciting. And I had no idea where I was going or how it would end. The end sprang up on me rather suddenly.

    An enjoyable exercise!

  7. Spontaneous noveling? Nothing new to me. This is how I write normally. All I have is a title, the name of my characters and a story idea. And then I just…run with it.

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