An aspiring novelist invites us into his world to gain some insight on his own writing expedition. This is his story.
Nine months ago I embarked on the most arduous endeavour of my life to date. No I did not have a baby, here I wrote a novel. Since then I have learned a great deal in terms of how to write and how not to write. The line between the two is often quite blurry as there are no hard and fast rules. I first acquired a mentor of sorts through the YouTube lectures of Brandon Sanderson (WriteAboutDragons). In the last nine months I have written 95000 words and completed two drafts. Currently there are a number of brave people risking their sanity to decipher the chicken scrawl that is my novel in an effort to make it better. In the mean time I’m embarking on the next great adventure, viagra the next novel, buy viagra but I figured I would share some of the knowledge I’ve gained from over the last nine months.
Write. Writing is probably the most important thing you can do as a writer. It is the reason you get up in the morning. You breathe language and sweat plot lines. You need to write every day (or as near as possible). You don’t need to write 5000 words in a day, it can be as little as 500. It will be draining but what you need to understand is that it is a marathon not a sprint. Some writers boast about writing a novel in three weeks, and some of them can. When I wrote my first draft I wrote between 500 and 1000 words a day for three weeks before taking a week off. I repeated this process from May until the end of September. The important thing to remember is that it is doable if you perceiver.
Draft. Drafting is also probably the most important thing I have learnt. Drafting is the intense and tedious process that refines the painfully written story you wrote in Secondary School into the picturesque novel publishers have wet dreams about. It is hard. As I’m sure many of you re-read your academic essays before submitting them, you will no doubt understand how gruelling the process can be. Those of you who have written theses’ will have an even greater understanding. There is a slightly comforting though however, in that the same boastful writers who claim to have written a novel in three weeks never mention that they spent the next six to nine months drafting. It is hard, but it is necessary.
Writing is a skill. It’s not about luck, it’s not about an idea, it is about honing your skills. Some people have a natural talent but even the rawest of talents’ needs tempering. From the first few notes of a song you can tell if a pianist is a novice, an intermediate, or a master. The same can be said for the first page of your writing. This is why it is so important to write regularly and draft as much as you can.
I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I would consider myself little more than a novice, but I continue to write and through it I continue to learn about the craft. These are just some observations I have collected on the most basic and important tenants of writing.
The Word-Smith’s Apprentice.