Just to start off, if you haven’t read my bucket list, you should. It will inspire you to make your own, which in turn is good for your self-preservation. Anyway, near the top of my bucket list for this summer is to write a novel, and to be frank, I’m having a hard time with it.
I’ve written a whole rough draft, but I’d like to call it raw. Seriously raw. However, now I have an urge to go back and edit the whole thing, changing every story line and character in it because I want to rip out the pages and spit it out to see the junk I’ve written.
Yet, please know this is all new to me: I’m young and I’m used to writing shorts: poems, flash fictions, prose, etc. Not a 100,000 word novel that has to make coherent sense throughout the whole thing. I usually write my works in under ten minutes, since my works actually turn out to be better when I don’t over think it. The words don’t have to be full sentences in poems; they just flow right out onto the paper and voila! You’ve got yourself a masterpiece.
Yeah, nice try with that, you wannabe novel-writers. Not going to work. It doesn’t matter how good of an author you think you are, but it’s impossible to write a novel without planning it.
Planning is the most dreading part. If you’re into films and videos, you might know that a producer or director has to go through multiple steps before they can actually start filming: write a treatment, draw a storyboard, write a script, buy the camera equipment (oh and don’t forget the lighting equipment), the actors, the props, etc.
So I’ve been writing this novel since January, and even though I finished the raw draft, I’m extremely exhausted. Yet, I feel like I need to go back and fix all the mistakes, edit every single detail of the 100,000 words that I wrote. And whenever I think that, I feel like I wasted a lot of my time writing a terrible raw draft. Pathetic, right?
No, it’s not pathetic, and this is why hands down to all publishing authors out there: I’m talking to the bad ones too. Take this advice seriously: it is not EASY to write 100,000 words or more and make the whole thing sound interesting enough for a publisher to print copies for the world. It is so different, and it drives you psychologically insane. Congratulations E.L. James: I’m glad you had the initiative to write three bestselling novels of porn. That took some skill.
The thing is an author can start with a brilliant idea, and that is evident when you read the synopses on the back of the book cover or read the first chapter. Notice though as the story goes on, the plot starts to wane out and become less interesting. That might just be me, but it can lose interest after a while. For example, take the book “Thirteen Reasons Why”. Hands down to Jay Asher for giving us a good story about the boy with the tape, because it was emotionally impacting at the end. In between, it was like watching someone kill themselves slowly: a little dreary and a little boring and a little painful. That’s not plot development: that’s emotional impact.
That’s the worst part, though: not only do you have to come up with a decent story, but you also have to have both a good plot development and emotional balance. A good novel teaches a lesson without the reader realizing it. So, hands down to those authors who wrote terrible books and got them published, but the authors who have written the most literary masterpieces ever seen in the industry…you have my utter respect.
P.S. – I’m still working on this novel, no matter how hard it is to keep moving forward. I’m trying to pace myself, but it’s difficult. It’s like watching a 24 hour movie without any intermission or stopping and I really need to go do something else. But, that’s giving up, and I really want to keep it up. How do you keep your head in the game of book-writing?