“By now you’re probably ready to give up. You’re past that first fine furious rapture when every character and idea is new and entertaining. You’re not yet at the momentous downhill slide to the end, when words and images tumble out of your head sometimes faster than you can get them down on paper. You’re in the middle, a little past the half-way point. The glamour has faded, the magic has gone (…). You don’t know why you started your novel, you no longer remember why you imagined that anyone would want to read it, and you’re pretty sure that even if you finish it it won’t have been worth the time or energy and every time you stop long enough to compare it to the thing that you had in your head when you began—a glittering, brilliant, wonderful novel, in which every word spits fire and burns, a book as good or better than the best book you ever read—it falls so painfully short that you’re pretty sure that it would be a mercy simply to delete the whole thing.
Welcome to the club.
That’s how novels get written.
You write. That’s the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
A dry-stone wall is a lovely thing when you see it bordering a field in the middle of nowhere but becomes more impressive when you realise that it was built without mortar, that the builder needed to choose each interlocking stone and fit it in. Writing is like building a wall. It’s a continual search for the word that will fit in the text, in your mind, on the page. Plot and character and metaphor and style, all these become secondary to the words. The wall-builder erects her wall one rock at a time until she reaches the far end of the field. If she doesn’t build it it won’t be there. So she looks down at her pile of rocks, picks the one that looks like it will best suit her purpose, and puts it in.
The search for the word gets no easier but nobody else is going to write your novel for you.
The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm—or even arguing with me—she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, “Oh, you’re at that part of the book, are you?”
I was shocked. “You mean I’ve done this before?”
“You don’t remember?”
“Oh yes,” she said. “You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients.”
I didn’t even get to feel unique in my despair.
So I put down the phone and drove down to the coffee house in which I was writing the book, filled my pen and carried on writing.
One word after another.
That’s the only way that novels get written and, short of elves coming in the night and turning your jumbled notes into Chapter Nine, it’s the only way to do it.
So keep on keeping on. Write another word and then another.
Pretty soon you’ll be on the downward slide, and it’s not impossible that soon you’ll be at the end. Good luck…”—
“Because we don’t plan like scriptwriters do.
We can’t rely on actors to take the liberty of bringing the charries to life and leaving it in their hands.
We are the actors, the director, the writers, the camera men, the sound guys and that guy that gets coffee.”—Me, talking to a friend on writing
why you always pwn my WW’s in quality and in word count? x_X
First off, yours is really good too SO DON’T EVEN. I actually was only doing wars of like 95/87/102 yesterday. XD I have NO CLUE why I had that strike of productivity. Maybe because…Nope, drawing a blank. NO IDEA. AGAIN? 8D I have 1,343 and must PUMP OUT THE REST.
Day 1 - Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before? If so, which years and what end result? If not (or even if so, for that matter), what’s your connection to writing? Why do you want to participate this year?
I ATTEMPTED last year. Then got grounded from the computer. Which squashed that. Yeah, yeah, I could have written it by hand. But I wrote a novel by hand before and, well, I’m not too big a fan of the typing-up process.
Day 2 - What’s the title of your story? Why did you choose the name you did?
It has a temporary name, “Little Cub.” It goes back into my pre-story a bit, but it’s what my MC’s father called her.
Day 3 - Pick one of your female characters. Introduce your readers to her, from her point of view and her words only.
Wait, what? I’m just going to show you the first few paragraphs of my story, which is from Ariava’s POV. Because I’m about to War.
The dark horsed reared, tossing it’s head irritably. It made no sound though. “Don’t be dramatic, Ozzy,” I hissed, crawling along the city wall. “We won’t get caught. And how much longer can we last without food?” Ozzy snorted. “I do have reasons, I’m not a moron all the time.” We’d reached the gate guarding the city walls, the barrier built simply for defense, not beauty. Unfortunately, it couldn’t keep out evil if in was already lurking in the city. As per the Harud order, the Callan gates we open at all times. The were a moronic people, inviting in danger. I pressed myself against the wall, digging my sandals into the sand, still hot from sunset. “Well, let’s hope this works. Go on Ozzy.” The horse gave one more shake of it’s mane, then trotted straight up to the wide gate. And sat down right in the middle of it. It was an odd sight, a horse sitting. The four guards posted at the gate apparently thought so too. They suddenly stopped their chatter and stared. I tried not to laugh. One finally moved forward, the others following suit. Once they were a good ways from the wall, I bolted to through the entrance, hiding behind some debris just inside the entrance. Had to make sure Ozzy made it out alright. Ozzy was staring — no glaring — at where I had stopped, probably far to close to the gates for him. Well, tough luck. He may have been my guardian but like hell he could tell me to leave him behind. The guards stopped a few feet away, quietly discussing what to do next. One decided to tentatively reach out his hand getting a good couple inches away before Ozzy snapped at the man, making him squeal like a pig. They all fumbled with their weapons, but Ozzy sprinted inside towards me, slowing to let me jump onto his back. We galloped full-speed into the capitol city of the Damyan people.
Day 4 - What genre is your novel? Why did you pick it?
Fantasy, because I’ve never done a straight-up fantasy before. My previous novel was a post-apocalyptic fantasy which touched on sci-fi and…yeah. :’D
Day 5 - Name two songs from your playlist that you feel are connected with your novel in some way, and explain how they are.
…Current playlist? Or actual novel playlist. I’m gonna go with my novel playlist.
Girls Like You - The Naked and Famous It kinda does a ridiculous job at portraying the early relationship of Ariava and Jier. That kind of kindred hated and yet…Deeper. And all that cheese.
Above and Below - The Bravery I could tell you the why of this one. BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU.