Writing A Novel: A Guide And Record Of How I’m Going To Do It

Writing A Novel: A Guide And Record Of How I’m Going To Do It

It’s been about a month and a half now since I began an adventure and as yet, I’ve not really told many what I’m doing. As I sit here and type, I even have a hesitation, something akin to having had a few miscarriages previously and waiting to announce a pregnancy until it’s well enough along. Being a man, assuredly male, I can convincingly say I am not pregnant, but I have begun an exploratory effort to birth out something seemingly as difficult–I’ve begun to write my first novel.

The use of notecards is essential in design of a literary work. More on why in coming posts.

The use of notecards is essential in design of a literary work. More on why in coming posts.

That’s not saying I’ve actually begun writing anything. Nothing of what will be the book, provided I finish this process from beginning to end, has dare been written yet. In fact, everything I’ve read so far suggests I should not even begin typing “the book” for several more months, and some might even argue, YEARS.

What I intend to do in a series of posts is document this journey in hopes that others shall find peace, confidence, clues or helpful tips about what to and not to do in their own right/write.

It is my desire at this writing to supply information about how I:

  • Got interested in my topic
  • Did my research
  • Read about how to write a story
  • Went from idea to concept to premise and beyond
  • Wrote a fictional novel

So many factors will depend on my success or failure. Things like:

  • Available time when I should be doing work for clients
  • Available mental time
  • Available information
  • Available drive

Lots of things. And many more not on the above list.

Writing a novel, it appears, is not for the faint of heart. But after multiple sessions now with my counselors, my sister, and other confidants, the greatest thing that’s happening here is that I am mentally getting “unstuck.” I’m told I’m breaking free from the things in my life from the past four years and clicking things into another gear. That’s not me saying that, that’s the general observation. And if you read any of my past history, you will see that’s a big, big step.


So what’s the plan? That’s a good question and one I’m going to seek to sum up here.

First of all, I’m going to type out a series of posts for the site(s) daddyclaxton.com and claxtoncreative.com and maybe another one to be announced later, and begin to include regular posts as I go throughout the process. I also will include information on Twitter @daddyclaxton and @claxtoncreative. I have some additional tips and ideas that shall come from that later.

In those posts, it is my intent as of  April 21, 2014, to begin providing regular information about the process. That will include reviews of the books I’ve read to get me into this mess, as well as ones I’ve bought and read word-for-word religiously once I left port. And I shall share other insights from reviews of existing literature.

Once I’ve established enough about the materials used to get into the process, I will begin to write ABOUT the actual process. Where does one begin? How does one begin? Where’s the middle? What’s the end?

I also shall write about the tools I’ve found to go through this process. That in and of itself has been a lesson.

There will be discoveries and set backs along the way, things I cannot forecast right now that I shall address as I come to them. This is, after all, a journey. And a journey in life isn’t any fun, nor decent, if it goes from start to finish exactly as expected?

So it’s time now to close this initial post. The seed has been planted. Water has been poured on the ground. It’s time to see if anything can break through to the surface.


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This is an image of the tree line from the new County Road 510 Bridge near Marquette, Michigan.



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Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander, a selfie from camping for 13 weeks in 2022 on the Claxton family land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northwest of Marquette.

Donald J. Claxton is
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Hello, I’m Donald J. 

I refer to myself as “The Timberlander” because I love off-grid living and woodworking.

My Great Pyrenees, Maycee, and I enjoy spending our time in the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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