Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Writing a Novel

      Is this the first book you've ever written? Are you wondering where to start or what to do? You've come to the right place. Writing a book can take over your life, and possibly make you crazy. Talking to characters in your head, mumbling to yourself, crying while typing that last tender kiss before sending the hero off to war. This is all normal. For writers at least.
       To write a novel you must actually finish the story, type the highs and lows and the climax all the way to The End. The point is to actually finish. Pay no attention to making it perfect, ignore the voice that tells you to polish the scene you wrote last night before starting on new scenes. Get through that first draft. It'll be ugly and if you are like me you'll leave not so helpful notes to yourself like Put exciting fight here, and Stuff that adds emotion here. 
      You now have a first draft? Great, congrats you've accomplished something many people do not. Go read a few books as a reward. :) Now lets polish. Go back through and fill in those holes. Put in emotion, exciting fight scenes round out those character and plot arcs. Now put it away for at least a week or so, once that week is over read it through, did you make sense? Was that the story you wanted to tell? If not, rework chapters, characters, verbs even. Think you're ready? Almost!
      If you read my last post you've learned about accepting critiques. You'll need to be ready because now you need some. Find a friend who likes to read, or another writer, maybe an acquaintance who's great at English, ask then to objectively read and send you feedback. Sometimes it helps to guide them, What did you like best in this chapter, what made you laugh, what questions do you have about the story, how would you rate this book. . .
You are free to rewrite and rewrite as you please, polish that baby and make it shine. But know when enough is enough. Don't get stuck here. If you are unsure, put the book away for a while and work on another, later pull it out and reread. what do you think? How does it feel? You can rewrite again, send to a freelance editor or prep for a query letter and synopsis of the novel, but those are entirely different beasts. :)

For extra help I recommend attending conferences. Wouldn't you know, we are having a hands-on, two day workshop this coming weekend, more info on the right side bar.

Best of Luck to Y'all


Donna K. Weaver said...

Yes, and if you were a rank beginning like me, and that first book is also your learning project, there might be a LOT of those edits because as you learn things you have to edit them in or out.

Canda said...

I think I do so many revisions because I don't know all the things to look for at once. So when I learn something new, I revise and do that thing. Then I learn another new thing and revise for that. On and on and on. It's getting better though and can incorporate many things together now--sometimes even on the first draft.