I’ve officially begun the journey of writing a novel. I hope to, on occasion, give little status reports on where things stand with the novel as I write it. Writing a novel is a lot of fun, if exhausting and a lot of work.
My novel is moving along quite nicely. I’ve written about 3,000 words alone today and continue to feel inspired. The story addresses some pretty fundamental issues. If was Philip K. Dick I would just take speed and finish a first draft within three days. But, alas, I’m not a speed freak, so it’s going to take considerably longer.
I might finish a private first draft in, say, six months if I really push at it and am faithful.
I feel like I’m in a relationship. I feel like I’m dating a really fun, really attractive woman. She’s age appropriate, is cool and carries me home after I get wasted.
Anyway, writing a novel is quite solitary.
This book could easily be turned into a movie, though. It’s really interesting.
I don’t have a muse, so I bounce around a lot creatively, but I may have finally stumbled across a novel concept I can believe in. I’ve been looking for a big creative project for years now and I think this one I’m working on may be it.
At least, I’ve managed to flesh out this concept much farther than most of my past efforts. But we’ll see. I’m still a little nervous it’ll all collapse in on itself like so many have in the past, but I’m pressing forward anyway.
I am very please with what I’ve managed to accomplish so far, at least.
But we’ll see. Generally, no one listens to me or cares what I have to say, so I’m going to have to do this all by myself, for myself.
As I sit down for a day’s writing, I find myself reflecting on difficult it is to write, period. Generally, at least for me, people tell me I suck and I should just go get a job at a bank. I think what I’m going to do is simply stop being so forthcoming when it comes to showing people the process of whatever it is I’m working on.
People want something from me that I just can’t give them. They want me to fit inside “the box” of the conventional. They hate the very idea that I would write anything at all because my grammar is bad or whatever. They come at me from the point of view of a professional writer when I’m just a struggling novice who enjoys writing and telling stories, regardless of how good the end produce might be.
But I think simply not being so open with what I’m writing will fix the issue. That and buckling down and doing the hard work of actually required to produce a novel someone in the end will want to read. Now that I have the basic plot down, the difficult part begins.
It’s surprising how absolute some people are about how they think I shouldn’t write, period. But I’ve never done what I’m supposed to do and so why should I start now. But the issue is I have to actually do the work. I have to start to do the hard work of development. There’s a lot of stuff you have to do in the background of writing a novel to produce something that is actually anywhere near what you might want to read. I’ve talked about writing enough. Time to act.
The thing about writing a novel as opposed to a screenplay is you’re alone. With a screenplay, you have a large vibrant and supportive community of like-minded people looking to score with a story they’ve come up with, but with novels it’s just you. I love telling stories and I have what seems like an endless supply of pretty good movie concepts rolling around in my head. One thing I’ve learned the hard way is you have to have “paper” for anyone to take you seriously. You can’t just pontificate about some great idea to any and everyone who will listen. You have to actually put in the hard work of producing something someone can read.
One of the things I know I’m good at is taking pictures. That’s self-evident. I love photography because I can point to a shot I took and you instantly know if it’s any good or not. You don’t have to spend a few hours reading something I spent months, if not years, working on. You just glance at it and know if it’s good or not.
It’s just unfortunate that pretty much I’m 20 years behind the curve on realizing I want to be a photographer. Writing a novel, meanwhile, if you do a cost benefit analysis is something a middle-aged man can actually believe he might be able to successfully produce.
I still want to become a professional photographer, but I am going to start working on the novel again in earnest. Nothing, but nothing, is going on right now in my life. Things are at a complete standstill. So writing a novel gives me a distraction from what a disaster my personal life is right now.
The issue with the novel concept is as I currently conceive of it is it allows me to tell the story of ROKon Magazine in a layered manner that you won’t know that I’m doing it unless you know the story of the magazine as well as I do. The novel originally was going to be a homage to The Big Chill, but after developing it some, I realized it was pretty good, but it was a screenplay, not a novel.
So I went back to square one.
After I get some idle rambling out of my system, I’m going to finally sit down and work on character studies and try to flesh out the plot some. Right now I have a pretty good logline and that’s it. Now I have to figure out what, exactly, I want to say. That will probably suck up an entire day, if not more.
I’ve waited long enough. Nothing is going to happen to change my life for the better. Nothing of note is going to happen any time soon and the only option I have in the near term is to go back to working on my novel. I have a solid concept for the novel, it’s just a matter of putting the work into it.
So that’s what I’m going to do today. I’m going to put some thought into characters and plot and begin, yet again, to work towards actually writing a novel. This isn’t to say I’m not going to get distracted now and then, that’s just my nature. But I’ve finally decided to get back into the writing a novel mindset.
Writing a novel is a lot of work. An enormous amount of work. And I’m going to have to do some serious pondering. I have the general concept down pat, but the specifics of a novel that I hope will be around 100,000 words is an enormous task for a first time writer. I have an enormous ego, so I am shooting the moon as they say.
But that’s today’s task. Today’s task is to start to take working on the novel seriously again. I have absolutely nothing else going on in my life and I love to write, so why not?