“And once when she saw him pick up a bird that had stunned itself against a wire, she had realised another world, silent, where each creature is alone in its own aura of silence, the mystery of power.” — D H Lawrence
Writing is an act of war between your brain’s hemispheres. The first couple of posts were a very quick look at the logic and logistics behind the novel. But beyond all of these there are the higher abstract levels of working out what it is you are actually writing.
I’m sure it must be wonderful to sit and pen a muse inspired novel start to finish, but I wouldn’t know about that. For me it’s a struggle of evolving what’s happening, identifying what does and doesn’t work, and finding ways to improve it. As with a great many things in life, being a good writer is about learning to ask good questions. If you can’t ask good questions, you’ll only ever luck on good answers.
If you know your premise, you have a good starting point for a story. Now there are a lot of people with very strong opinions on what exactly a premise is. It’s one of those topics that seems to inspire rules. As always, rules are guidelines and intended to help. The harsher the rules, the more they’re attempting to be a constructive constraint.
Take the time to review what others have said on the subject. LMGTFY.
It might hurt your brain a little to go through the differences between an idea, a concept and a premise. But they’re actually pretty important. Communicating well is about clarity of thought and being able to distil something into its most basic form is a skill. Waffle masks insecurity. Confidence is displayed in simplicity and clarity. Take a look at Larry Brooks (him again) explaining the differences between these terms.
You’ll have to practise the evolution of an idea into a premise to really get it. It’s so fundamental to everything, because it’s the whole framework on which a novel will be built. Built it on rocks forged of frustrated hours