My way of writing a novel is one that works for me. It starts with a beginning, some characters, and an end. I get the first chapter written and know where it needs to end up by the last chapter. There are a few ideas for making the meat of the book a memorable one, but most of them are yet to come from observation and getting out to public places.
I am constantly taking pictures of interesting sights that may work into a plot. I’m very visual and getting home to see those pics can produce all sorts of story lines. Recently I attended a baptism at a church I had never visited before. Looking back on the images makes me want to incorporate them into a story.
I also listen to dialog– at the store, swimming pool, or any other place likely to produce interesting lines. A few of my favorites the past few weeks:
“I don’t understand why they have checkout lines for 15 and under, you are way older than that.” (From a 8-10 year old who had not comprehended the correct meaning of the sign.)
“How did Sarah get to be 12 years old? I hate how fast time really flies.” (From a 30 something parent watching her daughter begin to spread her own wings at the local water park.)
“You had to pay for that?” ( A son observing his dad’s new bald look.)
“You could make this same amount at home for a dollar and then sneak it into the theater.” (A young girl observing the price of a medium bag of movie popcorn.)
“We should make a list, Daddy” (A daughter expressing her displeasure over as dad’s random shopping methods.)
So just in the past week I have some good setting ideas for plotting my second novel: A church, water park, movie theater, grocery store, and a barber shop.
If you see me in public talking into my phone, please interrupt. I’m not talking to anyone, just recording my most recent inspiration for new plot points.