Monday, February 6, 2012

Writing... a novel?

A few people, namely students, have asked me: "How do you write a novel?" Well, it's not easy. First, you need to WANT to write a novel. This is the kind of story that has scope and far-reaching distance; if you want to tell a story, you should, especially if it's about something you love. My novel started as a short story in high school and evolved over time, but if I had started writing it at my age now, it would certainly have been a "novel in the works" rather than a short story. You also need to have a general outline of what you want the book to show: a character's journey, the story of a place, the emotions of someone whose insights need to be heard, etc. Have an idea. It'll grow over time, too. Nurture it. Feed it. Play with it. You may hate the first dozen things you write, but you're just clearing away the dead wood, so to speak. After a short time, what you start bringing forth has true meaning to you and, one hopes, to others. My advice? Write about what you love. What makes you smile, laugh, cry, or moves you in ways nothing else would. Just push the words out... the ideas will coalesce, the meaning will rise to the surface. Just allow yourself the luxury of writing something really crappy until the good stuff comes forth. :)
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