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.IMG_0058

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.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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