Writing

I’m Not A Good Novel Writer

I don’t have the patience. I used to once upon a time. But now I can’t seem to write a novel from start to finish.

It’s OK. Maybe I’m not meant to be a novelist. I’m still a writer. For now, I’ll stick to shorter stories and projects.

I’d still like to push and challenge myself. I want to create, so I will.

I’m currently working on a bunch of different things. Hopefully, one pans out.

When I look back at old manuscripts, I realize I’ve come along way. But there’s still a lot further for me to go.

Writing a novel is hard. I have so much respect for those who do.

When I first started, I had no idea what I was getting into. But I’m glad I picked up a pen and filled page after page.

Time would fall away. I could’ve stayed in that moment forever. I didn’t care about money or fame. The voices in my head didn’t stop me from writing. Neither did all the voices of society.

Remember what it was like to write when you were a kid. Think about all the fun you had.

Doubt is crippling. It can stop you from chasing and living your dreams. Don’t let it. You’re better than you think.

What are you scared of? What do you have to lose? Think of everything you stand to gain.

Writing

Advice On Finishing A First Draft

Am I the best person to give advice on finishing a first draft? No. Will that stop me from preaching what I don’t practice? Nope.

Take a break.

For my first novel, I took a long hiatus but eventually got around to finishing it.

Just make sure you actually return to your unfinished manuscript at some point.

Edit or proofread.

Sometimes, I’d rather edit than write. My mood bosses me around.

Again, you can fall into the trap of only editing your half-finished manuscript rather than writing the ending to it. Hopefully, making edits will get so painful that you choose the lesser of two evils.

Talk to someone.

We all need a friend who will listen to our problems.

You don’t even have to talk about writing. Perhaps all you need is a little bit of encouragement.

I wish you the best of luck in finishing your first drafts. It’s not an easy feat, but the feeling is like none other.

If you have any advice, feel free to tell me. I need all the help I can get.

Writing

The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Novel

Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, here are some things to keep in mind as you write that novel.

This isn’t an ultimate guide by any means. Just some bad advice from an aspiring writer.

  • Take it word by word. Don’t worry about the 10,000th word or the 100,000th word. Think about the next one.
  • Edit later. Writing is hard enough as it is. Stop making the creative process harder for yourself. Besides, you can always fix your mistakes later.
  • Use good tools. If you prefer pen and paper, pick something that writes well. If you prefer typing, choose the word processor you like best. You don’t have to break the bank, but your tool needs to do its job.
  • Write the scene you want. Feel free to jump around from the beginning to the ending to the middle.
  • Enjoy yourself. Play your favourite songs. Have a drink nearby. Grab a snack or ten.
  • Live a little. Actually, live a lot. Go outside. Experience the world so you’re able to tell rich stories. You can’t shut yourself inside all day and night.
  • Have good posture. Your future self will thank you.
  • Keep your mind open. Don’t shoot down your ideas right away. Sometimes the craziest idea turns out better than you could ever imagine.
  • Challenge yourself. You’re capable of accomplishing far more than you give yourself credit for.
Writing

What It’s Like To Write A Novel

  • Getting hit by an idea, comparable to getting hit by lightning but 10 times better.
  • Trying to remember said idea because it’s going to make you rich and famous. Hello, New York Times bestseller and blockbuster movie deal with Hollywood.
  • Finding someplace to write down your story idea. A napkin works.
  • Beginning on a high note. Make sure you cherish the honeymoon phase. It doesn’t last long enough.
  • Reaching the halfway point and realizing you still have a long way to go. Don’t quit now. What a shame to let your hard work go to waste.
  • Coming to terms with the fact that your first draft sucks. Happens to the best of us.
  • Wanting to abandon your novel because another idea came along. Perhaps the grass is greener on the other side.
  • Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re almost done.
  • Writing the last sentence. The two best words you’ll ever type: THE END.
  • Wishing you could sleep for the next 10 years. You can’t. Sorry.
  • Dreading the thought of having to edit your manuscript at some point. You got this.
  • Patting yourself on the back. Go eat a cake or two. You deserve it.
Editing

How To Silence Your Inner Editor

There are times you need to write, which means you somehow have to silence your inner editor. Unfortunately, that’s a lot easier said than done.

Below is all my bad advice on how to silence him or her.

Tell your editor to shut up. Put your foot down.

Ask nicely. If being mean doesn’t work, try being polite?

Don’t do anything. Sometimes not forcing the issue is the best thing you can do.

Embrace the obnoxious editor. Befriend him or her.

Ignore. Hopefully they can take a hint. Or at least learn to.

Blast music. Turn the volume up. Careful you don’t shatter your ear drums in the process.

Listen. Maybe your head is trying to tell you something. After you hear yourself out, maybe your inner editor will finally stop bothering you. One can hope.

Lock them in a cage and throw the key away. Or just imagine doing so.

Practice. Just keep writing.

Never write another word in your life. Non-writers don’t have to deal with annoying inner editors, right? It doesn’t seem like such a bad life.

Writing

Reasons Why Writers Abandon Stories

I apologize to all the stories I’ve abandoned. Here’s why.

A new, shiny idea comes along. Then I proceed to follow the glittery trail of a new idea. It’s hard coming back to old stories, especially when I fall in love with another one. Or even when I fall out of love with old projects.

I don’t know what happens next. Thanks to my non-existent outlines. Worse, my characters are lost too. Maybe I’d also benefit from doing character sketches.

I just need a break. Stories can get too real, too fast. Some distance is called for. Certain stories exhaust me.

I get bored. I love the honeymoon phase when I start a novel and everything’s novel. Pun very much intended. But once the novelty wears off, I jump ship.

I’m overwhelmed. Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately, I endeavour to write great, epic works.

I prioritize something else. I love writing. But at times, other things take precedence. And even though it’s important to me, my well-being is too.

I move on. There’s nothing wrong with that. I learn all I can from one specific story and go forth into the world to do bigger, better things. Let go. Move on. I rather not stay in one spot forever.

Writing

My Novel Writing Process

I’ve written some novels in my lifetime. But whenever I undertake a new one, I’m not sure how I’ll make it to the end. This is a glimpse into my writing process.

Brainstorming

I’m a character-centric writer. Always have been, always will be. So I tend to come up with an interesting person and throw conflict at him or her as I go.

Outlining

Based on past experience, if I had to outline every novel for the rest of my life, I’d be on pace to never finish another one ever again. I sort of outline in my head. Depends on your definition of outlining though.

Writing

It isn’t too bad once I get past the beginning and middle.

Researching

I tend to research after I finish an initial draft where I brainstorm my own ideas first.

Waiting

I like to wait a long time in between writing the first draft and all that follows after.

Transcribing  

I handwrite most of my novels, so at some point, I have to type everything up onto the computer.

Critiquing

The one novel I sought feedback on was incomplete at the time, and it still is about six years after the fact. At least I like critiquing my own work. I’d much rather crush my own ego than have someone else do so.

Rewriting

I enjoy losing my sanity and seeing improvements at the same time.

Editing

Some stories don’t even get this far. What a shame.

Publishing

Obviously, I’m not at this stage yet. If my dreams come true, I don’t know how I’ll refrain myself from talking about my books.

Procrastinating

I procrastinate so much it’s a miracle I get anything done on time. Sadly, I put things off at all stages of the novel writing process. Nothing like consistency, am I right?

Reading

Even when I’m writing a novel and it’s a priority like during NaNoWriMo, I try to read as much as I can. Books inspire me. Other stories have inspired my own.

Celebrating

I celebrate the small victories as much or maybe even more than the big ones. I believe in rewarding myself. Otherwise, my motivation would be six feet under.

What’s your novel writing process like? I’d love to know.

Writing

My Plans For November And NaNoWriMo

I’ve been thinking more and more about what I’m going to do in November, specifically during National Novel Writing Month, short for NaNoWriMo.

For obvious reasons, NaNo is one of my favourite times of the year. But November 2017 promises to be a busy month.

As for what I’m going to work on, I want to write a novel. Or at least write a story of some sort. I wrote both prose and poetry in October. During November I plan to stick to the former.

Honestly, it’s been a while since I started a novel and stuck with it. So I hope I can change that this month.

I have some ideas I hope to explore further.

Fortunately, I have the second week off from school. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten into a good routine of writing on the commute. In fact, writing at home with so many distractions has presented a greater challenge.

Regardless, all I ask of myself is that I do my best.

Life happens. The unexpected occurs. But I’ll manage as best as I can.

That being said, I’ve enjoyed writing in the morning during my commutes sometimes more than late at night. So maybe it’s time I make some changes to my routine.

Earlier in the day my mind is clearer than it is at night. Then again, at night, I’m tired so I’m not as critical.

I don’t want to mess with my writing schedule too much. Still, I’m adjusting accordingly to whatever the world throws at me on any given day.

Changing is tough though. But the pay off tends to be worth the work.

There’s still plenty of time for me to figure things out. And I have a feeling I will.

Of course, I’m curious to know your plans or lack thereof for November, especially if you’re partaking in NaNoWriMo.