Let me be the first to say. I am no expert in writing a novel.
Yes, I have spent the better part of a year penning probably around 100,000 words on my first novel. But it makes me no expert. This is a learning process people.
I still struggle with grammar and commas are my nemesis.
When I first got the idea to write Broken/Beautiful World, I pretty much surprised myself. I never had any inclination to write a novel and even marveled at the people who did.
In college, I was interested in writing short children’s books and also wrote a little poem about a skunk and had it illustrated and printed a few years ago for my daughter.
But a novel. Seriously. No.
I ended up writing the first draft of chapter one in a few hours. Then I stared at it. Should I tell anyone? What does this mean? Do I need to write another chapter?
Google to the rescue.
Search: How do you write a novel? (Yep.. it’s a true story. Cross my heart.)
And guess what… “the Google” came though, as it often does. First, I found some blog posts about plotting and structuring a novel. Then I found (affiliate link) a book that I actually bought and read which was very helpful.
Great blogs that have advice on writing:
After a few chapters (and confessing to my husband what I was doing) I sought out a critique group. You can find this online or locally in your city. And I have to say, the support/help/criticism/ripping I have gotten from my group has been invaluable and helped me grow a tremendous amount.
Some of the best advice I can give from what I have learned– don’t feel too embarrassed or territorial to keep your writing to yourself. I found I was so close to the story that I often didn’t see weakness or flaws in it. But others pointed them out right away. Taking much of their advice under consideration has made my work stronger than it even could have been without. Even if you don’t end up changing your story, I recommend pondering the advice of others. Often there is at minimum a kernel of truth in their words. Let it sting for a few minutes and then read it again. Most likely, they are correct.
Right now, I have Broken/Beautiful World off my editor and am sure she will give me a ton of work to do when I get it back.
But I’m looking forward to it.
Have you ever tried to write a novel?
Image Credit: © peshkov / Dollar Photo Club