What are the first steps you, the author, typically take when setting out to write a novel? I have a general plot, but I cannot possibly outline the entire storyline. (I always hated outlines in English class) Yet, the mountain seems too massive to climb in order to get my plot to flow. You can call it writer’s block, I guess. I’m really struggling here, but there’s a story inside me dying to be told!
So, how do writers manage what I’d call the “1000 jigsaw puzzle pieces of plot” in their minds? I tried file cards, but I struggle to limit how much to put on a card and/or I find myself inserting too many additional cards between two cards I thought were undeniably sequential. I tried a spiral notebook, but soon I have pages and pages of plot snippets buried somewhere in that notebook. Nothing is working for me.
I mean, take Clancey or Mishner, or heck even Arthur Miller. How did they get ot all together without going insane? Where does one even start? I keep spinning my wheels as I struggle with this. So many false starts, so little time! Last, have you found any good reference books that tackle this issue? Any recommendations?
Some writers say they go where their characters lead them. But, at least for me, I have a vision of the story - start to finish. However, I am going insane with managing this and sculpting it into a story. I will be buried in a mountain of file cards! Help!
All suggestions and tips welcomed…before the nice men come in their clean, white suits, to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time… oh, sorry!