Keeping It Novel

For every one of the hundreds of thousands of writers out there, there are a hundred ways in which they are different from one another.

Some of us write by day, others by night; some using a computer at a pristine desk, others pen and paper while perched in a tree, and still others an antique typewriter, set up in a cosy corner of the attic. Many require utter silence, while for others the quiet is a deafening distraction, and it simply must be blaring rock and roll. Some writers drink tea, others coffee, and others follow Ernest Hemingway’s example: write drunk, edit sober. *

My point is that although there are countless ‘How To’s on writing out there; countless blogs and websites and books and pamphlets, it surely cannot be possible that any one of them can be a complete handbook for aspiring writers; we are all simply too different from one another. The most important thing any of us can do is attempt to find what works for us.

With that said, I here embark on a new series of blog posts entitled ‘Keeping it Novel’. In my previous post, ‘On Giving Advice’, I promised that I was going to share some of what I have learned and discovered on my journey towards completing my novel.

It is my hope that in sharing what I have learned, and am continuing to learn, from established authors, fellow bloggers, and the newly published, I can help at least one other person get started on their own novel journey*. Getting started is often the hardest part, and sometimes it can be that one blog post, inspiring quote, point of view or way of looking at a challenge which can spark off a whole new world of creative joy.

So, down to business. In these posts I will be covering everything I can think of to do with writing a novel, from plot and structure, grammar and construction, theme and character arcs, to world building and name giving. As I have stated before, I make no claims as to my expertise. I am an aspiring novelist, not a published one. But, to quote myself:

‘I am halfway through my novel. So, if I have made this progress, then surely there are people who are sitting now where I was then. Thus, perhaps there might be one person who could find what I have to say helpful.’

If you find me, one person, and I manage to help you get started on this wonderful voyage of discovery, you have made the whole thing worthwhile.

* Apparently, Hemingway didn’t actually write drunk. He sat down in the morning, filled his word quota, and then got drunk for the rest of the day. Worked for him, though, didn’t it? (According to Andrew Shaffer, ‘Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors‘)

* I’ll try not to overuse the ‘novel’ pun, I promise. It’s just amusing me today.


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