Let's say that you've decided to begin a new novel. A brand new, shiny delicious novel. Where do you start?
Do you use Word or something more like Scrivener?
I've seen several posts about this recently, and as someone who's never used Scrivener--and someone who's about to begin a shiny new novel--I'm wondering if this is something I should explore. I usually just open Word, crack my knuckles, and go for it.
Do you write by hand or on the computer?
I've done both in the past. I start in notebooks, and move to the computer after a week or so, because I'm so much faster at typing.
Do you take notes first? Outline?
I'll admit that I've never done this. So I'll ask you: If you take notes, what are they about? I've been forced to outline in the past, and while I see the merit in this, it is very painful for me. Very painful.
Do you have a character or a plot point as a jumping off point?
I always have a character in mind. They begin to form with a name, and then I start to fill them out in my head. I don't do anything as deep at character interviews or characteristic sheets or anything like that. I usually just make them up as I go. (Yes, I revise a lot afterward.)
Do you start at the beginning or write out of order?
I'm one of "those people," and I write whatever scene I have in my head. I can write in chunks, and then go back and stitch all the chunks together. I usually write the beginning scene/chapter one after I have about 60 - 80 pages of other stuff.
Do you set a goal for completion?
I always set a goal, and I always include some of my writing pals as cheerleaders. I find that this helps me stay on track, and gives me a sense of accountability.
When starting a shiny new novel, how do you begin?