Getting started writing something isn’t usually a problem for me. Is my stress because I have to write a novel and I’m terrified I won’t be able to do it? What am I doing?
I have my handy dandy notebook with separate tabs for different purposes:
Work calendar to record daily progress: total word count, total pages.
Possible titles for the finished work that may occur to me as I’m writing.
Chronology: list of chapters and main idea for each.
Characters and Events: list of names and things I don’t want to forget and may make reference to at another place in the book.
Theme, Situation: To help me and progression to remain focused.
Plotting: what is going to happen from beginning, through the middle and to the end of the story.
Characters: Notes about the characters to which I can refer as I’m writing so I don’t waste time going back to look up the details I need.
Outline: a flexible plan for what I want to do so I can stay on track, brainstorm more conflict/tension that builds character strengths and a better organized story.
References: what I’ve found in my research and where I found it.
First draft: I print out daily what I have written. There are things I know I will cut out, but at least I will have a beginning point from which to build.
At the very front of my notebook is the genealogy of the characters I will be writing about. Between all of these things I have gained some insight into what I want to do, where I expect to go with my story. I have broken the novel down into parts because maybe the key, at this point in the game, is the breaking down into doable parts that I will join together through the revision process.
So, the writing block with which I started today has given way to production.