Hey guys, I have been recently pondering about how there are countless ways one can start a novel. At the moment I am working on my next novel and I am enjoying exploring this process of creating different beginnings for the book. I am also experimenting with first and third person.
The thing is with the beginning of writing a novel we have to experiment and start writing so that we can work out what we think will be best. We need to not get paralysed by the thought of so many options (haha). This is a hazard isn’t it? When you get frozen by choice. So, don’t do this, just start writing.
Beginnings are so important – and another good thing to do is to read other books you have enjoyed the opening of. Work out why you love these and think about whether you can incorporate this into your work.
So, enjoy the process too. I am enjoying the creative process and simply exploring options at the moment.
If you are curious about my current book it is available for sale on Amazon, and all online outlets as well such as Book Depository, Barnes and Noble and other outlets. 🙂
Thanks for reading! Until next time! Go forth, enjoy your creativity! 🙂 Suzanne
Soon, my novel Where the Sun Rises will be published. It has taken me four years to research, write and edit it, develop the characters, plot and travel to the middle east to gain on the ground knowledge.
My novel is set within the battle for Kobane that happened in 2014 and 2015, it went strangely for exactly six months and two days. In this battle, Kurdish fighters including Kurdish women of the YPJ fought ISIS to regain Kobane, a Kurdish homeland. The battle for Kobane was a pivotal battle that ultimately lead to the demise of Daesh in Syria and beyond. Kurdish women have been fighting equally to men for the past two decades in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, yet the world knows little about these women.
This is the first novel which brings to life this battle, and from the unique perspective of the female fighters. Where the Sun Rises explores this successful battle through the eyes of two female Kurdish characters, Karin and Roza who choose to fight Daesh (ISIS) after their brother and husband are killed. These two best friends take up arms to defend their families and homeland. They then have to embark on a recovery mission for friends captured by Daesh.
How did I come up with this idea?
While working as a lecturer at UQ in Brisbane, in 2015, I became fascinated by the story of the women who took up arms in the battle of Kobane. I wondered what would it be like if we could see this battle from their point of view? I wanted to bring this alive to a western audience and shine a light on what these brave women are doing within the Kurdish forces in Syria.
Over the following three and a half years in writing this novel, I conducted more than 2,000 thousand hours of research and travelled to the middle east to see and experience as much of it for myself as I could. I watched documentaries, watched footage of battle and the frontline, read articles, looked at maps and researched culture and language to be as authentic as I could in recreating this reality. I wanted to express the stories of these phenomenal women who took a stand against ISIS and fought ferociously and in the battle of Kobane.
UN Peace Keeper Soldiers, Adrian was talking to me about with the war in Syria, this is at the Golan Heights, border with Syria. This picture was taken in 2016 when the war was still raging over the border. A week after this picture was taken a few Daesh men crossed the border and were killed.
I wrote part of this novel while undertaking a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Macquarie University (graduating in 2017). The manuscript received high praise from its external readers:
Dr Toby Davidson: Macquarie University
“The manuscript is compellingly written, well-paced dramatically with a strong research component that helps it ‘feel real’ at a sensory as well as at a logistical level. High creative achievement is evenly spread across the manuscript. Sensory memories accessed through scents and tastes are used brilliantly (for example an orange evoking a memory of a sibling’s death and the return to real life in the markets). The physical strain, tenderness and revulsion of war are superbly captured… Ultimately, this is a worthy story, written with care and dedication. It is an ambitious, compassionate and powerful novel.”
Dr Lynne Spender, UTS Lecturer
“The author has taken care to accurately present the reality of the lives of Kurdish women and the dramatic choices they make as fighters defending their land. The story is remarkable for the authenticity of the detailed portrayal of the geography, the intimate lives of the women fighters and the ferocity of the killing in which they are involved…Action sequences are described in detail and are convincing. The author makes good use of the senses to convey the sounds and smells of battle and death and contrasts it with the delights of singing and dancing, the smell of freshly baked bread and the taste of goat’s cheese. Recollections of peaceful days and olive groves are neatly woven into the narrative, as are the reassuring pots of tea… This is an admirable piece of work.”
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
— Virginia Woolf
I am not sure all of our soul secrets end up on the page, but I do think a lot of our inner world, memories and impressions of life come alive with our characters and plot lines. The voice of a writer can be heard long after they have passed, on the pages of their work.
Here are a few pics from the Greenleaf Memoir Writing, where I spoke about writing therapy and memoir writing. It was such an excellent evening, meeting all the women at the retreat and talking about the interconnected nature of writing therapy and writing your life. 😄
Some amazing and lovely writers were present. It was a fun and stimulating night of chats and inspiration between all of us. 😄
If you’re curious about how writing therapy can free you, my book is available for 99 cents for 6 days on Amazon. Click on the link below or check in your country! I would love to receive any reviews if you have the time. Have a great day!
I just wanted to do a short post talking about how it is when you are a creative person. We need to create. I was aware of this, this week. If I felt frustrated with certain things I sat down this week and continued with my novel I am writing.
When I step into the world of writing and creating this world for the reader, my frustration disappears and I am elevated. I think people with any kind of obsession or passion would say that when they do it, they feel free. It would be the same with a sportsperson or a musician when they play their instrument. This was how I felt as I was creating more chapters for my novel.
Elizabeth Gilbert said in her book Big Magic, if I am not creating, I am destroying something in my life (paraphrased). 🙂 This is quite true. A creative person needs to create, so I wanted to encourage readers of this blog who write or do other creative pursuits, find some time for this, this week. You will not regret it. I bet you have twenty minutes when you can do it! 🙂
I am also providing my short story and poetry collection for free from tomorrow (Sunday 11 March) for two days. If you download it, it would be so great to receive your reviews! Thanks so much again. Go well! Suzanne 🙂
This is my Creative Collection of Short Stories and Poems. 🙂