I’m now getting into the flow. This section I’m writing is set in the English Civil War and it has been really tough to get into. I think it’s because the whole period from 1640 through the protectorate to the restoration is immensely complex. It’s all about politics and religion and the role of parliament. In some ways, what happened in this period both inspired the revolutions in France and America and protected us from having a similar upheaval.
I found my writing process interesting too. I read straight through my book on Plot and Structure without really doing any of the exercises. I then sketched out a big plot with cards on a cork-board and some big sheets of paper covered in writing and arrows. Then, I found that I didn’t need to go much beyond the big-overview level. I know there are methods for working down from this big picture to actually planning individual scenes.
But I found that once I knew where my characters were supposed to be going and how they were meant to be developing, I could start writing. If I felt myself wandering or lacking in inspiration I just have to look up to the wall and see which direction I should be going in.
Also, I’m thinking ahead now. When I’ve finished the civil war section, I want to go back to the beginning and write some of the scenes that introduce the historical section. What’s happened is that I can see the whole picture of how the book should hang together and I’m quite keen to get on and write it now!