so you want to write a novel...
What’s keeping you?
Is it a story inspired by real life? Your life perhaps?
A flash of brilliance that made you say “I can do that!” Or, “I have a better story to tell.”
Some are born story tellers. I have a friend who wakes up at least twice a week with a fully formed novel ready to set down on paper. Fortunately, she makes notes and puts those ideas aside until a time when she is ready to develop them.
I am jealous of her creativity. For me, I hear something I definitely don’t agree with and begin to plot my revenge by building a character to prove that person wrong. Or, I watch someone not valuing their potential and develop a plot in which she discovers her strengths and moves on with her life knowing her true worth.
Some want to honor a family member by sharing those personal memories that had an impact on their lives. Family histories can impart adventure, someone overcoming adversity, members whose story is lost in time. It can also be a way to thank someone for their love and support.
Others want to work out a solution to their life and by placing words down on paper, they can analyze their thoughts and, in sharing them, illuminate similar concerns of others.
"You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page"
"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot."
- Stephen King
"Half my life is an act of revision."
- John Irving
“If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write."
- Somerset Maugham
"If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word."
- Margaret Atwood
"A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song."
- Maya Angelou
"Write your first draft with your heart. Rewrite with your head."
- Mike Rich
"Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic."
- J. K. Rowling
Selling a Pulitzer Prize winning book doesn’t make someone an author. Everyone can put thoughts, ideas, dreams down on a page, and that exercise where thought and dreams become a reality is what authorship is all about.
My first novel took 25 years to write. And I only began to write to see if I had a story to tell. Not to win a prize, agent or publisher. Simply to express my thoughts on a specific topic. My advice is not to sabotage yourself, simply put the words from your thoughts on the page. You will be surprised by what you see.