Last week, I skipped Reblog Wednesday to catch up on my Book Round-Up but this week I’m back with one writer’s perspective on getting that first novel off the ground.
Nat Russo on his blog “The Writer’s Journey” does an amazing job of breaking the process down and making it pretty accessible in his post “The Basics: So You Want To Write A Novel.”
He breaks down common desires that spawn great works of fiction but he is a little too lax on one thing: a first novel can take up to 3 years and usually takes at least 1. Mine has taken me a year already, my friend Sabrina is on year 2. That’s okay, that’s normal. You can’t expect to pump out a good first novel in a few months–it’s not doable.
He addresses World Creation which is vital to any speculative fiction. I too touched on this when a reblog in October: WorldBuilding: How to Create a City. I struggle with world building I think partially because of my background but also because I’m a character person. I work really hard on developing my world and I use advice from people like Russo to do so.
Next, he focuses on Plot and Structure. The plot, oh boy, another one of my struggles. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but in 2007, NOTHING happened in my NaNoWriMo novel. What can I say, I’m a child of Modernism. I struggle with plot but again Russo breaks it down really well and even gives some advice on literature to pick up to aid the process (okay, more books for me to buy).
He touches on Characterization which I’ve gone over a ton (link to all my posts on character… go!) so I won’t delve too deeply into here.
Then, Russo touches on writing which is, unfortunately, a daunting task for too many people but he breaks it down to make it seem, to me accessible, for others:
- Find a quiet place with no or few distractions. You need to be completely immersed, at least in the beginning. Many writers will tell you this will always be the case. It’s going to be hard enough as it is, at first, so take as many obstacles out of your way as you can. Obstacles are for your characters, not for you.
- Back up your work. I store most of my stuff in the cloud (as well as locally) so that it is always safe and available.
- You are your own boss…so act like you’re a boss. Make demands of yourself. Be disciplined. If you wait for the muse to arrive, I hope you’re not holding your breath while doing so. The muse only visits writers who are writing, not waiting to write.
Anyway, if you’re interested in getting into writing please check out Russo’s post and browse around both his and my blog. Oh and ask questions! I’m here to answer them.