Monday, June 14, 2010

First You Must Envision It

To decide to write a book takes vision. Do you have the vision?

Great! Your vision is the first step you'll take to writing a book.

Now, do you have the ability to envision it?

This second step is crucial. Your ability to envision will be the determining factor in your ability to actually write a book.

Vision vs. Envision

These two acts seem interchangeable; like the same word but spelled differently. Don't be fooled.

A vision is what Shakespeare was talking about when he wrote, To be or not to be, that is the question.

While envision is the journey to the destination.

If you think back over your life you will begin to see the differences in these two words and the importance of one over the other.

When we were young, we spent a lot of time honing our ability to make visions. We were asked questions like, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" So, we knew immediately that the vision comes first, but that doesn't make it the most important of the two abilities.

But, when we were young, we were rarely asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up and how do you plan on making that happen?" So, we went about our childhood making visions without envisioning them.

Envisioning pops up here and there throughout our grade school education. It's a subtle plug. Most of us probably didn't make the correlation until the day after our high school graduation, or even our college graduation.

When you were young you were tied to your parent's ability to envision your life for you. Most of the time we were comfortable with how our parents envisioned our lives. It's when we had to take over and envision our lives for ourselves that the envision muscle showed its strength or weakness.

Your ability to envision successfully for book writing will be determined by what kind of life you currently lead. Basically, are you married? Do you have children? Don't forget about yourself. You might already be envisioning worlds for several people outside of writing a book.

Envisioning is the hardest part of writing the book.

You have to wake up with your vision and then find the time to sit down and envision every aspect of this fictional world you are creating; from the visual to the emotional aspects of your new world.

Envisioning is like a mind FK. You probably already have a lot of envisioning you're doing in your own life and don't realize just how much energy you're using to keep your life static, don't worry, when you start envisioning for your book you will realize how much envisioning you are doing for everyone, or everything else in your life.

Once you finally sit down to write, you might find that it was easier to expand your vision than to widen your capacity for envisioning.

Maybe, you will have enough energy and time to envision the first thirty thousand words of your book right away. You've set up the scene. You've built an imaginary world for your characters. You've detailed every aspect of your main character's life and emotions. Now, you have to see it through to the finish. You have to ride your character's roller coaster. This will require you to pull up emotions from your past to impose on your writing.

Don't underestimate how hard it is to envision the first thirty thousand words. Thirty thousand words is a lot, even if it's only a third of your story; depending on how long you plan your book on being.

Maybe you've seen it through, a couple of times even. That's great!

Did you remember to save a little bit of that envisioning power for querying? It can be difficult to maintain your ability to envision your characters leaping off of published pages for strangers around the world to read. It's only difficult because you may have depleted all of your mental happy juice (serotonin).

Step back from it all for a bit, detach yourself a little because the query process is a whole new rollercoaster.

You've got a story that you want to get out there in the publishing world. Maybe the reality of the quest ahead of you won't hit until your fifteenth form rejection, or maybe it won't hit until your forty-fifth form rejection.

Either way, you must envision it. Take your vision and envision it.

You've envisioned the life your living, the book you've written, now you will need to envision the process to publication. You can do can I?


  1. I hadn't thought of "envisioning" my book. This makes sense though; how we first just see it, then have to create it. The hard work, for me, is in the querying. That and the synopsis was almost more painful than the actual writing; but sending those devils out into the publishing world is even harder.

    An excellent topic.


  2. Donna,

    The query process is a killer isn't it? I agree about the synopsis as well. Turning a book into a short story is hard.

    I once came up with a really creative query and then realized it wasn't quite what my story was about and wondered if I should rewrite the whole book. It's a struggle at times, but I try to keep my sense of humor about it all, when I can't do that, I call family.