Writing a Novel is…

Harder than it looks!

After 10+ years of writing copy and content for products and courses created by clients, I finally decided I had an inspiring idea for a book I’d put my own (pen) name on. I’ve been a fiction reader forever and have certainly come across a few books I knew I could improve upon. Though many more amaze me with their creativity, the characters, the plot twists, the ingenious ways they to transport their readers into worlds past, future, and those hidden among us now.

But, ideas are worthless. The value comes from the creative effort, the production of something. And so, I started on a journey to find out how that’s done. As a lifelong student, my first act is to find a class, a teacher, and some fellow students. Turns out there are plenty of people, even some successful authors, willing to offer instruction on all aspects of writing. And most have written a book or two on the subject.

So far, one of my favorites is:

Almost as soon as I got started, I found myself bogged down in spreadsheets with outlines and word count targets. Zig this way, zag that way, pulled in a myriad of directions, many of which were dead-ends (at least for me). There’s software that makes writing long-form fiction more manageable but it requires learning a new tech system (off to read the instruction manuals I go).

And then, as I’m kind-of making some progress, pleased with how a few of my pages read, the publishing business must be dealt with (assuming I want to actually let strangers read my work). This isn’t anything new, it’s the reason I first decided to write for hire, ghostwriting for others who then printed and mailed my words to their prospects and clients. Long before Amazon broke the book publishing business wide open for authors, the gatekeepers strictly guarded the product that appeared on the shelves of bookstores and libraries. A new author had to find an agent to help them find an editor at a publisher who wanted their kind of book. Now we get to be publishers too!

But first, writing a good, salable book. That’s task #1.