A long, long time ago, I wrote my very first novel. Okay, so it wasn’t that long ago, but it has been almost 3 years since then.
o.O waht it can’t have been that long. My novel was called Raven, finished at about 35,000 words…and I was absolutely convinced it was awesome.
Guess what? It really wasn’t that awesome.
But the great thing is, I thought it was. I loved writing that novel more than I think I’ve loved writing any other novel since. And I was absolutely exhilarated once I wrote that last word on April 29th–I’m pretty sure I told everyone five thousand times in the next week that I’d finished a novel.
Now, reading over it, it makes me laugh. A lot. Mainly because it’s really stupid and cheesy, but I thought it was wonderful, and that’s just funny. Here, I’ll show you a random excerpt, and you try to believe me thinking that this is some of the best writing ever written.
Kergan and the monster come to stand next to me. I become aware that the beast is right next to me. I look over at him, and he seems to grin, and I think I see the fangs wiggle just a bit. I turn away, trying not to notice the flippers that are waving right next to me.
I take a deep breath, then immediately wish I hadn’t. The creature, Balkarr, has an overpowering stench, and I resist the urge to pinch my nose shut. Now I really wish I hadn’t eaten so much. I position my nose as far away as I possibly can, and hope that I won’t be able to smell Balkarr too much.
Yep, there’s pages and pages and pages of this stuff. (Also, a lot of my “jokes” seem to deal with smelly things. I’m not sure why.)
Anyway, the point is that even though the writing itself, as well as a lot of the scenes and ideas, were not very good at all, I loved it, and I enjoyed the writing process immensely.
As you may have heard me mention before, about a year ago, I went to a writing conference, where lots and lots of different authors talked to us. So I ended up hearing the “writing life stories” from many authors, and they all seemed to have something in common.
Almost every author, when they talked about their writing career, they talked about a portion where they fell away from writing for a while, because they stopped enjoying it. Sometimes locked into a series and contracts from publishers, and sometimes just unable to find enjoyment in what they were doing.
So they stopped writing for a little while. And then, what did almost every one of them say?
They said they decided to write a novel for themselves. One writer wrote a mystery when she’d never written that genre. Others just got a new idea and went with it. They thought that this novel, since it wasn’t what they normally wrote, wouldn’t be any good.
But they were good. They were better, in fact, than what they’d written before. Those novels were the ones snatched up by agents and published.
Those were the novels that were loved by readers, because they were loved by their authors first.
Enjoyment and love of writing, I think, is key in writing a good novel. Of course, writing is hard. I know, personally, that sometimes it’s hard to get started writing, especially if a scene isn’t working out, or your characters are being annoying.
*glares at Cren*
But at the end of the day, when we’ve finished our writing, we should have found enjoyment in it. Because if we don’t, why are we even doing it? There’s no point in writing if you don’t love it, but when you do…there’s every reason to continue on, even when times get hard.