Sunday, June 20, 2010

Writing your first novel

When I wrote my first novel, No Wings Attached, I hadn't got any idea of writing at all. The only thing I knew, was, I wanted to write what I would buy and also keeps me turning the pages. I started out with a complete different story, sent it to my friend, who is a copywriter, to see what she thinks. And, boy, did she rip it apart. (Thank you, Pidi, for all the time and effort you put into that book. I love you.)

I know I said it's better to not ask a friend, but if the friend has valuable knowledge of how to write, then you'd better give it to her, or him. So, after I got her comments and suggestions back, I sat down and had a thought.
Don't ask me how I ended up with this novel, the paranormal theme which almost borders at fantasy. I don't even read fantasy, I must say. But I did and the result is a book I'm reasonable proud of: a typical romance, packed with humour. Basically a romantic comedy, sprinkled with paranormal elements.

The whole process of writing and going though the rough plot-holes took me 2.5 months. During the evening, I wrote about 2000 words, and in the day, I edited. Then I researched quite a bit as well. When I thought my book is pretty and ready for submissions, I had to learn the hard way that this wasn't the case. Nowhere near it, to be honest.

Smart as I am, I targeted the big publishers first, and Harper Collins was one of my choice. That's when I learned of authonomy. I uploaded my manuscript there and got a lot of good comments, saying that this is real movie-material. Which, I believe so myself, it is.

A few were very helpful and pointed out my mistakes. This platform is fantastic to grow from. I studied threads about writing, punctuation, dialogue attributes, dos and don'ts, and went to reseach a lot, asking my best friend, google.

I also met a person I'd call my mentor. A master of editing, and with every new knowledge I gained, I went over my manuscript for another edit. There was a time I couldn't see it anymore, for I made all the mistakes a novice would make. During my editing-process, I lost about 40k.

Nowadays, I write with more precision, using the skills I gained to start out as perfect as possible. That takes longer, I write about 500 words on a good day, but when the book is finished, I only have to go through it one more time to polish it.

In addition to that, I try to be as flexible in genres as I can. Whereas humour is the one that seems to suit me best, my current book is literary fiction and I love this challenge.

Got told I'm doing a good job there, too, which encourages me to go ahead. The writing-business means learning on a daily basis, and that means you train you brain. A very good side effect if you ask me.

No comments:

Post a Comment