I'm so excited to continue to share with you my adventures in writing my first novel, which I'm still working on!
How do you go about writing a novel? It's definitely something I'm still figuring out!
But I didn't have the faintest idea how to even start even though I've reviewed many, many books at this point, and I edited several full length novels for other authors. But I made a couple of decisions right away.
First, I decided to write what I knew. Part of the problem with my other unfinished stories was that I'd get bogged down in the inconsistencies and issues with the world building, become really frustrated, and stop. So I decided to write a novel set in present day about medical school, something which I'm very familiar.
Second, I decided that I would start making a habit of writing every day, rain or shine, busy or not busy. So I would wake up an hour earlier before work to write.
Third, I was going to send a chapter to my sister almost every day so that I'd have a goal every day. And someone to remind me that I was behind on my quota, so I would have someone built in to answer to.
And that was it. I basically had the inkling of a story in my head, a couple of characters in mind, and I wrote. And wrote. And wrote.
The first 10K I wrote were the hardest to get through. But once I hit that goal, it was like I hit my stride. It became easier to write more each day.
After two months, I had written 60,000 words, more words than I had ever written in my life. My sister, who had been reading along with me, told me she felt it was finished. I was stunned. How could it be done? I hadn't even gotten to the part of the story I REALLY wanted to tell.
I was just so disappointed. How could this have happened?
I decided to let it sit for a month. I felt so unsettled. I wrote a ton of words, but I felt like I hadn't really written a book.
After thinking about it for a while, I realized my problems. First, I didn't write with an outline. That's the problem with doing a really long freewrite. Second, I had no idea how time passed in novels. I started off thinking I could write through four years in one novel, which was absurd. I shaved it down to a year, and it quickly became four months, and in that abbreviated time, my plot no longer made sense.
Problems aside, I think writing that 60K was not wasted time at all. During that time, I finally figured out what I wanted the book to really be about.
Those of you who've written before, have you run into any of these problems? For those of you who haven't written, have you ever thought about what goes into writing even a first draft?
Thanks for tuning in! Next time, we'll talk about Nanowrimo!