I'm not worried about the deadline (yet) because I'm starting early and hopefully will have a (very) rough draft finished before I move in mid-October.
There are so many things I love about starting a new book. (Which might possibly be why I've started so very many in my lifetime, but that's another post.) Here's a quick list of why I think this stage of writing is awesome:
- Brainstorming -- At this point in the writing game, nothing is set in stone. I can change character names, locations, birthmarks, plot points, the color of the love interest's hair, whether or not my protagonist has superpowers. And you know what, it doesn't affect one single word, because none have been written yet. I get to have total control of the world I'm creating, without making more work on the back end.
- Research, research, research -- Going along with the previous point, before the book begins is when I get to do most of my research. It's time to learn everything I can about Greek islands, mythology, cross-country running, travel from Los Angeles to the Aegean, underwater life off the coast of Florida, or traditional beliefs about mermaids. I immerse myself in these topics, because often little bits of research will lead to wonderful plot ideas. Once the writing begins my research becomes limited to those little things that come up as I write. But in the beginning, I get to discover it all.
- Creating characters -- This is my favorite part! I get to create whole people, everything from their hair color to their athletic ability to their astrological sign. This is when I make my character collage, flipping through magazines looking for pictures of people that look like my characters, stuff my characters might own, places my characters might visit. It's like putting together a puzzle of enough things to tell me exactly who this person is. And they don't get to be all closed off and defensive, like real people. (Well, except for maybe Nicole. She's pretty closed off. But she has good reason.)
- A blank page and limitless possibilities -- Nothing is wrong with on page one. There's nothing to fix, nothing to tweak, nothing to rework. The instant you start writing you go from a moment of perfect potential to a reality in which your words and pages and scenes and chapters are going to need revision. Sometimes a lot of revision. But at the very begining, you can believe that everything is going to come out perfect the first time. (Experience has taught me that this is never, ever the case. I can still hope.)
That's it, those are the reasons why I adore starting a new book. (Adore is my word of the week, apparently.) What about you? Any writers out there want to share their thoughts on starting a new book (both pros and cons are welcome)?