Thursday, May 19, 2005

Writing "Zion", a Journal

Welcome to Writing Zion, a timeline of a journey that started out as a diversion, and turned into a passion.

What is Zion? A city? A mountain? A destination for Morpheus and Neo? My Zion is a book, a story that's based on actual events that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina over a hundred years ago.

My story, the one behind Zion began in the summer of 2004. Browsing through my latest Writer's Digest magazine, I discovered the existence of a certain Yahoo writer's group. I rushed to my computer and signed up as fast as I could on dial-up, and spent the next few weeks reading posts. Most were interesting, others boring, but one in particular caught my attention: a post about an annual event I knew I had to take part in.

It's called NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and it's held every November. I've written short stories, a few articles for work and a bit of poetry, but I had never considered something as ambition as a novel! But with my husband in Seminary and buried in homework, my children grown and flown, I had little else to do than pay attention to my two rotten Terriers, so writing a novel sounded a bit more interesting.

But what does one write about? Where does the inspiration come from? I hadn't a clue where to start, so on a trip through the Blue Ridge mountains one Saturday, I brainstormed with my husband and came up with at least several questions to ask myself:

1. What kind of books do I like? Answer: Fiction
2. What kind of Fiction? Answer: Regional Fiction, particularly the Carolinas (F.Y.I , I'm a Spark's junky)
3. If I decide to write regional fiction, what story would I want to tell? Answer: Something that ended up changing my entire perception, what became Marching to Zion, a story based on real events recorded in the bio of John L. Girardeau.

I had my story, but how does one go about writing a novel? That's where the lessons began. I started with another Yahoo Group, (First Novel), a couple of books, my Writer's Digest magazines and began the journey into Zion.

Next Post: Creating the Story.
For more information on NaNoWriMo, go to

1 comment:

krista stevens said...

I hope other ppl are allowed to leave comments on your blog. :) Hey, I really enjoyed reading it! You did a good job. It's really interesting! I'm now looking forward to reading the novel....Keep it up; you're doing great!