When I was in sixth grade I wrote a novel. And by novel, I mean a 100 page Word doc with size 16 font and horrid plot progression. But it had a beginning, middle and end. It was my pride and joy.
I know a lot of bloggers also are novel writers. I know a lot of them participate in NaNoWriMo. I am insanely jealous of that. These people not only have the time to write a novel but they actually have plot ideas? I am in awe.
I struggle with ideas. I always have. Aside from that one pathetic novel in grade six, almost all the stories and ‘novels’ I wrote growing up were either complete plagiarism or used really basic characters and arcs. I even struggle with blog post ideas and the fact that I’ve managed to keep up this blog for almost two years on my own is actually shocking. I don’t know how I do it.
Towards the end high school I did have a novel idea. I can’t remember how it came to me but all of the sudden I had characters and a plot and I would spend time thinking about it. To date, it’s my best idea and I do believe that it’s a decent one. I want to see it through. I got about 50k words in and then kind of stopped when I got writer’s block. Then I went University and always had the intention of going back to it when I had time.
The reason I’m telling you this and the joke of it all is that one of my majors is in writing and there’s this fourth year course that I’m interested in about literally making a book. Not to be dramatic, but that course is one of the reasons I’m even at the school I’m at. The head of the department talked it up when I toured the campus.
I’m in third year now and am slowly starting to plan for my final year. I’ve looked into the course some more and found out that the idea is to go into the class with a story already written and then throughout the semester edit and polish it and get it ready to be published at the end. I now understand why a lot of students apparently use compilations of the stories they’ve written in other writing courses throughout the years. The problem with that is that all the stories we write for these other courses are non-fiction about our real lives and again, not to be dramatic, but my life is very boring and I really dislike all my stories. So if I were to take this book course next year, I guess I need to start writing…or, continue writing, as my half novel is probably my best bet.
And that scares me.
I could be enrolled in this course as soon as September and I’m not near ready to let other people read this novel. I haven’t even read it in two years. I can only imagine the cringing I’ll do when I do go back to it. What if I hate everything? What if my characters are too one-dimensional? What if my writing is too weak? What if my plot twists are too boring? What if I use too many clichés? What if I can’t think of an ending?
Writing for a blog and writing for a novel are very different and since I’ve mostly only written for a blog as of late, I’m worried about the adjustment.
I love to write, and writing a book is one of the few things on my so called bucket list. I always kind of figured that one day I’d get my act together, finish and edit a novel and send it out to agents or publishers (though I don’t know the first thing on going about that and it seems like an even scarier task than doing the actual writing). Whether I take this course at school or not, I’m not going to stop dreaming about one day having my name on an actual printed book.
So, my blogging amigos and dedicated readers, do you have any advice or tips? How do you carve out time to write? How do you get back into the swing of writing? How do you make your story the best? How do you develop new ideas? How do you know when your writing is good enough?
Any resources or wise words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.