Dramaquill's All Things Writing

May 10, 2013

Writing a novel is like running a marathon.

Writing a novel can seem like a daunting task, especially to the first-time newbie.  A novel is long (according to Wikipedia, it’s 40,000 words or more)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count#In_fiction

A novel needs a plot that can sustain all those chapters and keep the reader interested until the very end.

http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/Plot.html

http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/plot-outline.html

A novel requires characters that people will care about enough to keep reading.

http://thewritepractice.com/resources/characterization/

http://voices.yahoo.com/unique-tips-creating-memorable-characters-your-315059.html?cat=3

But most of all, you have to sit on your butt and write…and write…and write.  And here’s where I think it’s similar to training for a marathon.

At first, it’s very likely you won’t be able to just sit and write and everything will fall neatly into place.  You’ll need to develop stamina to keep you there for the long run.  Just as an athlete has to work up to the distance of a marathon (http://running.about.com/od/marathontrainingfaqs/f/What-Is-The-Distance-Of-A-Marathon.htm)
a novel will consist of a large number of chapters.  To me, writing each one is somewhat similar to running each mile (or kilometre) of a marathon.  It may sound and look daunting when you think about it as a whole, but tackling it one unit at a time will get you to your ultimate finish line.

Runners train for marathons.

How can a writer train?

* choose your genre
* start with an idea for a story
* build on that idea
* develop your main character(s) and secondary characters
* Start writing the rough draft
* Don’t worry about editing until you reached the end of the story you wish to tell

But whatever you do, keep going!  Push through when it gets hard.  Seek support from fellow writers.  Read blogs and articles to motivate you on days when you want to quit.

Like any big goal, getting started is the hard part.  Break it up into small, attainable goals and you’ll have that novel written before you know it!

May 31, 2010

I miss my characters

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I’ve spent a long time with the characters from my first suspense novel and I’ve come to know them as well as the “real” people in my life.

Eleanor, my heroine, is also a writer of suspense and she is enjoying much success with her books.  I can fast forward a few years and pick up her life as if it were my own.

Michael, Eleanor’s husband, has been a tougher character to create.  I wanted him to be one of those men only a handful of lucky women manage to connect with, and yet still be a believable 21st century male.  Michael’s character took on the most revisions before he became the man he needed to be.

Mel, my villain, was fun to write, yet often very scary.  Sometimes I wondered how his creepy thoughts kept surfacing inside the mind of someone like myself, a stable, very normal individual.  But I also enjoyed being able to step into the psychotic nature of a person like Mel and try to figure out what made him do the things he did.

As I write the pages of my newest book, I find myself wondering what Eleanor, Michael and Mel would do in the situations of my new plot.  I wish I felt the same intimacy with my new characters, but I know it’s only a matter of time before they too become as real to me as my original trio.

Do you write characters that you miss once you’re done with them?

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