Monday, December 14, 2009

The Art of Learning To Write a Novel

Belinda here and yes novel writing is an art. It has to be with so much sweat and tears being poured into a piece of work. Writing a novel is a form of creation. And recreation.
Yes, recreation.
How about this?
I wrote a novel. Yes, I did. A 243 page novel. Beginning, middle, end, characters, plot....well, yes, there was a plot. I promise.,
And alas, something happened during the revision. I found I needed a revised plot.
So, it was back to the drawing board. Back to the beginning. I wrote the book in 3 1/2 months. I've been revising for 3 months and I'm about to start over. Revising, that is.
But, through all this I've learned something very important. I've learned that we learn so much as we go, I know this is going to be a better book than it was. You notice I'm not saying it's going to be a great book, or even a good book, but it will be better than it was when I typed "The End" on Sept. 6th 2009.
I've been able to delve deeper into the characters because I know how they get to the end. I've had to cut, cut, cut. I've cut my favorite parts of this book. They didn't work. I cringed cutting those scenes. I have them all saved in a file, but I know I won't use them. That's okay. They were learning tools. The scenes also revealed who my characters were and I can't write those aspects into the new scenes. The ones that will propell the plot forward and add depth to my characters.
My plot has some what I would call "drastic" changes, but the basis of the book is still the same.
So, will all this said, what about you? What is your process of writing verses revision? Which do you like better and why?
Thanks for sharing!!

(Image courtesy of Google Images)


  1. I'm still figuring out my revision process so I'll have to get back to you on that question. I've just started that process of working and re-working my story, and it is work. Revisions truly are re-visioning your story. But, like you Lindi, I know my story will be better for it.

    Kudos to you for sticking with it and not giving up on your characters and story. There are many who give up during the revision process.

  2. I think I revise differently every time! I guess each story needs something different.

    Good luck on yours! I think you're headed in a good direction and will be happy with it.

  3. Dianna---we'll have to set up a revision help-email for us to generate enthusiasm and ideas. I'm so glad you finished the book!!

  4. Missy,
    you have a point. Every story needs something different. I joked and said when I finished this book I had a 243 page outline.

  5. Hey Lindi, I'm off until Jan 4 after this Thursday. Feel free to harrass me via phone or email all you want. Maybe we can spur each other on when frustration sets in.

    I love the outline theory. LOL! It's so true!

  6. Dianna---I know you'll enjoy the time off and make use of it. yes, we can spur each other on. Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks!!

  7. Great post, Lindi.

    I think I like writing the story organically, as thoughts come and just getting it down on the paper. I know revision is necessary and that can be fun, brainstorming new ways to get from point a to point b, but there's a lot of fun in dreaming up the characters and putting them in new situations.

  8. Christy,
    Or there is a lot of fun in totally changing a character (not a lead one) when you realize it will enhance the story. How are you coming along? Are you going to be on mine and Dianna's loop of "let's get this story out!!!"

  9. Well, I definitely like writing better, though I haven't quite figured out my process yet. Sometimes, I revise as I go. Others, I throw caution to the wind (aka kicking my internal editor to the curb) and write without worry, knowing I can come back and fix it later. But no matter which way I choose to go, it's all a means to an end. Right?

  10. Mindy,
    Absolutely it's a mean to an end. I think we all change it up a bit as we go. As long as we keep learning we are on the right track.