There’s no right way to write a novel...
Some thoughts for aspiring authors:
I honestly believe that stressing over the process, the HOW TO of writing a novel, is why so many people fail to ever finish one. I remember reading a statistic some years back that suggested nearly 81% of Americans harbor dreams of authorship. Of that 81%, only around 5% ever actually do it.
Now, it's important enough to note that when analyzing survey results, a number of those people might have answered yes because it just sounds good to say they want to write a book. But many of them never really would have. It's like answering the question:
Would you like to be the CEO of a multi-million dollar company?
Who wouldn't check yes?
But very few of us are willing to do the work or make the sacrifices necessary to see that dream become a reality. It's a fleeting yes. A quick checkmark. Maybe even a little superstitious.
Writing a novel is HARD. It's why writers are notorious procrastinators. It takes long hours, intense thought, sharp focus, research, and so on. Then comes edits. Revisions.
Writing a novel takes a ton of determination and a willingness to stick to it. To press through the mid-book doldrums and steer a wide path around distractions... i.e. social media.
But for those who DO have what it takes to finish a novel, could it be that the HOW TO is what keeps them from staying with it?
Let me be clear: I am not advocating the release of a sloppy book. I believe in striving for excellence in all things.
But for me, my earliest years of writing were full of anxiety over the process itself. I spent hours studying the habits of successful authors, watching YouTube videos on what were suppose to be guiding lines, but often felt very rule-ish.
Don't use adverbs,
Revise all passive prose.
Outlines are necessary.
Writing a novel should take a minimum of X amount of time.
Only write what you know and have experienced.
Describe characters this way.
A book MUST start in action.
Prologues are a must.
Never include a prologue.
Don't use contractions.
Only use SAID as a dialogue tag.
Use more interesting dialogue tags.
It's no wonder new writers are overwhelmed and barely accomplish anything before calling it quits. To be fair, maybe the problem is that in our eagerness, we try to consume it all at once. We pour over article after article, and take no time to digest and process each thought. And I would imagine this has only been made worse by our immediate access to internet advice. While well meaning, and at times very helpful, the abundance of writing help available online can be incredibly confusing. Even contradictory at times, because so much of writing depends on style and preference.
That isn't to say that sound advice shouldn't be sought. There is often a measure of truth in the advice offered, as countless writers have gone before us and gained wisdom. But an equally wise author knows when to take the advice to heart, and when to throw it out and follow their instincts.
This is what I'm trying to tell you: there is no ONE right way to write a novel. We must always be learners, you and I. And forever teachable. Please don't misunderstand me. But in the end, if what is stopping you from ever finishing a novel is the every growing, wildly overwhelming collective hum of well-intended advice out there on the WWW...it's time to turn off your devices.
Quiet the noise and start telling your story. You can worry about fixing it later.
Take a deep breath.
You can do this.
Progress has been made on Songs (Book Two)!! <<< Name TBA
I FINALLY made it to the library this week and found that they've reopened the tables for working. This is a GAME CHANGER for me!! I'll be there every morning (hopefully!) for a couple hours typing away.
So much is happening in life these days. So many changes and big, scary steps forward. I keep repeating again and again: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path..." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I'm praying for you. Will you pray for me?