11.25.2013

Writing a Novel


Writing a novel is really hard.  It's not that I thought it would be easy.  It's just that when you hear about every celebrity and their mother coming out with a book it makes it seem like something you just do but there is a lot more to it then that.  I don't have a ghost writer and it's fiction.  It's a total manifestation of my imagination.  I have to make every single thing that occurs in this book come alive.  Nothing happens unless I write it.  Every word, every action, every character.  Every detail.  You labor over it.  You get stumped and sometimes you can't even bear to look at what you've written anymore.  Sometimes you have to take a break and then look at it again with a fresh brain.  I knew it would take me a long time to do this.  Two years and counting so far.  I can only wonder if next year will be the year it's done.

I started writing in September of 2009 and got up to 6,800 words and 27 pages before quitting.  I got serious about it again and in January 2012 I had 10,131 words, 42 pages and a goal of writing 15 pages a month for the entire year.  I did that and by the end of that year I had 45,104 words, 188 pages. 

2013 year progress:
Jan:   52,267, page 218
Feb:  54,224, page 226
Mar:  58,540, page 245
Apr:   62,697, page 262
May:  65,790, page 276
Jun:   68,928, page 289
Jul:    76,750, page 322
Aug:  79,539, page 334
Sept:  81,623, page 343
Oct: 0
Nov: 86,430, page 364

There are times when I read back and am thrilled with what I've done and other times where I feel like it has to be the worst thing ever written.  Aside from Fifty Shades of Grey.  That book was so terrible that it actually made me believe that I could do it.  But even when I worry that it's horrible I keep going even as I wonder what the point of the whole thing is.  You put all of this time, energy and effort into this and for what?  It could be a piece of crap when all is said and done.  It might not be but that's the thing.  You really never know, especially if you are like me and won't let anyone read it.

I started writing with a basic idea and no outline. I wrote and wrote and wrote just hoping that I could get to 60,000 words which is considered novel length.  I got there and that felt like a huge accomplishment but I still had so far to go with my story.   I got to a point where I couldn't write anymore because I had no idea where it was going so I had to take a break in October.  I was already at 80,000 words so I felt okay about not focusing on word count anymore.  It's actually getting kind of long and I need to start wrapping things up.  I set time aside to just jot things down and think about what I wanted to happen.  I thought about my main character and what kind of story I wanted to tell.  I ended up with a rough outline and then started writing again.  It really helps to know the ending before I get there.  Now I have some direction and I've been going back and editing certain things based on that.  I think I might even have a title in mind now.

The only thing that saves me from quitting sometimes is that I know that no matter what, I just want to see this thing through.  If my only goal were getting published and making money then I'd really feel like throwing in the towel on those days where I read it and feel like it's no good, but I don't care if no one ever reads it.  I mean, I want it to be good of course but I really just want to finish it.  I have no problem with spending hours and hour slaving over this thing even though I have no idea what will become of it because first and foremost I'm doing it for me.  I just want to write and finish a novel.  That is my only goal in mind at this point.  When you are truly doing something for yourself you really can't lose.  If anything did come of it that would just be a bonus.

The only thing harder then writing a novel is blogging daily.  I failed miserably at that but I'm glad that I even sort of attempted it because now I know for certain what I already thought to be true.  It's not for me! I just can't do it.  I don't think it's necessary to be in your face every day, plus I just don't have that many ideas!  I don't like publishing posts that I feel are kinda whatever slash crappy.  I just don't feel good about doing that and that would happen a lot if I were trying to post every day.  I'd rather do you a favor and spare you such drivel and myself a favor by not burning myself out on blogging. 

I've been a little shy about it but I've decided that I will publish an excerpt from my novel.  I just have to decide which part.


23 comments :

Jordan @ All The Small Things said...

I am so excited about reading the section you publish!! Seriously! I think it will be amazing. :)
And props to you for going through with this goal, and working on it every month, and never letting the hugeness of the task stop you for pursuing it. That is awesome, and worthy of recognition all on its own! :)

Kristin Aldridge said...

I can't wait to read your excerpt!

Lauren said...

You'll definitely have to let me know if you publish your novel! Can't wait to read your excerpt :) And have you heard of ommwriter? It's for writers and they have a free version. I think it's a really neat idea, but personally found it distracting. I think a lot of people like it, though.

Karla said...

Oh YAY! I can't wait to read!!! You know... it's easier for me to blog everyday than to sit down and work on my own novel. I am so so envious of all your progress! You've come a long way! How awesome!! =)

Faith said...

You truly amaze and inspire me! I wrote a novel years ago and actually completed it but that was that. I never did anything with it and I never let anyone read it. I guess I just wanted to do it so I know what you mean. But I have a feeling that your book is extraordinary!! I'm looking forward to reading your excerpt!

Disa Chantel said...

WOW, I'm so inspired! I've wanted to start writing a novel for quite a while now, but I don't know where to begin. How did you start? Did you just sit down one day and start typing?

Rachel Murphree said...

Dude, you have all of my respect and admiration; writing a novel is no joke. I've always thought about it, but then chicken out. I look forward to reading it!

Kate Mitchell said...

Good luck! I know that it's hard - it is SO hard. Also, this reminded me that I need to send you Aureole. It'll happen, I swear!!

TayKat said...

It's great that you've gotten as far as you have! After reading this I really want to read your book now. I tried writing a book a few years back and got stuck on the first page so serious kudos to you!

Law_Fal said...

Congrats on making so much progress!

Whitney @ EHFAR said...

I think that's awesome! Congrats already! Can't wait to read an excerpt :-)

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

This is SO exciting! So inspiring! You go girl! And I agree that 50 shades was so poorly written that it was painful to read. And look how successful that turned out! I say just get it done and at least try to get it out there. Like you said, any success would just be a bonus. Can't wait to read some!!!

Christina said...

Cece, please finish your novel! I think that every writer has these same fears. I JUST had a "this is the worst thing ever" moment last night, but by this morning, I was feeling a ton better, and I've knocked out 7 pages today! You should finish, and you should publish (you can self-publish on kindle, I just did it last week, it's super easy!), even if it's just to say that you did it. You saw it through until the end, and I'm pretty sure that if you've stuck with it for 80k+ words, it's probably awesome! Maybe consider joining a writing group, the one i joined helped me tremendously through proofreading and critique. Or even just get a friend you can trust to give some constructive criticism for you! But see it through to the end!

Dale Janee said...

Wow, this is so impressive and I love that you put the progress down too because it shows how you're working on it all year and into 2014. I think this is very exciting and you're so right that it's not fair celebs don't even write those books and I know what you mean about 50 Shades of Grey. I liked it, but it was a really bad book in terms of writing. I'm definitely following you now and can't wait to see when you post about publishing it. :)

xoDale
www.savvyspice.com

Ashley R said...

I am excited to read you excerpt! You have definitely made progress!

Teal Vogue said...

I cannot wait to read your book! You're amazing!

fancythatfancythis.com said...

Writing a book is SO HARD. I tried it. I took time off of work with every intention of becoming the next big author. That plan failed miserably for me! So I really admire how far you've come.

Looking forward to reading an excerpt. And in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!

Whitney Cypert said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE publish an excerpt! I have been wondering what your novel is about/what genre since you said you were writing one! That is really awesome that you are already up to 80,000 words. I can't imagine writing that much. I'm glad that you are doing it for you and that you aren't worried about it being popular. But, when it is popular one day I'm going to say, "Hey! I know her!" : )

Fran said...

Congrats on your progress! Can't wait to read the excerpt!

Catherine Gacad said...

wow, i am so proud of you and can't wait to read an excerpt! don't be shy, just bring it!

TOI said...

I think you are amazing. I want to share an excerpt from my but I don't know which either. It's true that writing a novel is the most hard job in the world. the successful writers can agree on that. But once you get the first story out of the way, the next seem to come quicker the only problem is when to know when the first one is at the a finish line.

I'm thinking about starting an online writers' group for 2014 if you are interested we can chat.

Melzie at Ribbons and Rotor Blades said...

I'm excited to read what you decide to share with us!,

Janna Renee said...

I seriously can't wait to read the excerpt! I can't believe how far you have gotten, and I'm so jealous!!

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