Buried somewhere within this website is a deformed, missing link of a blog about Passive Voice. I intended to write a blog that was informative and entertaining. (Eventually I’ll finish it and then we’ll know, won’t we?)
But since it’s been a while, I figured it’s time to throw something on the grill again.
So, let’s talk about THE NOVEL.
Yes, that evil beastie that every beginning writer fears. It’s the largest obstacle a writer can face.
I mean, for the most part, we can all tell a story, right? Some better than others, sure, but just about everybody has the capacity to tell/write a short story.
But a novel? How many people have mentioned, off-handedly usually, like a New Year’s Resolution they’ll eventually get around to tackling, that they would like to write a novel?
Writing a novel is like running a marathon.
You know what? Forget marathon. It’s an Iron Man competition. It’s the you’ve-crossed-the-finish-line-and-accomplished-something-even-if-you-lost type of race, where in the end, winning doesn’t really count, it’s just making to the end.
I’m still a long ways from the end of my race. I’m sitting at just under 20% of my desired word count. (I’m shooting big, because I know I’ll have to cut at least a third of the junk away in just the first round of editing.)
But I still feel like I’ve done something.
For the last two years, I’ve attempted novels. I trained up a bit, did some stretching and just went for it. Little did I know that you just can’t do that.
Sure, there’s those lucky few whose first books sell like crazy, *cough* Twilight *cough*, but the guy I look up to wrote a couple of novels before one sold. In fact, he nearly threw away the novel he started because he thought it was crap.
It took a Constant Reader (i.e. his wife) to save the first few pages of Carrie.
(Who’d you think I look up to? E.B. White? Haha!)
Two years later, published a few times, with a couple lengthy stories under my belt, I’m finally making headway in the race. I know if I keep pushing, if I run through the ache in my brain and put the words down, I’ll at least cross the finish line.
For all you other “newbie” writers out there, remember, that’s what the first novel is about. It’s training. Think of it, in another way, as learning to ride a bike. Short stories and such are the tricycles of writing. It’s how you get the basic method down.
The first novel is the big kid’s bike with the dinky training wheels attached. You hate it the entire time you’re riding it. You feel like an idiot because you’ve got training wheels and you’re constantly trying to talk your folks into taking them off and trust you. You know you won’t fall over.
But you do. You want to throw it away, forget ever riding that evil bike.
Eventually, you get over it, jump back on and learn how to ride without training wheels.
I’ve started several novels. None of them went anywhere past, maybe, 10-15 thousand words.
But I know, just know, that this one will cross the finish line. Even if I have to drag its dead, lifeless body the whole way.
Then again, I write horror….. that could be a good thing!
Alright. I’ve run out of steam. Time to pep up the engine with coal and get something done. Like, more possibly pointless and useless words written down.