On Writing a Novel: Creative Writing in a Nutshell

For those of you who want to write a novel, but wonder about your ability to write, then here’s my advice to you: just keep writing.

    The thing is, in your first novel, your writing will grow exponentially, except, of course, if you’re a monkey on a keyboard. The thing is, as a beginner, your writing will suck at the beginning. Just forget it, keep writing, and it will grow. I’ve been given several complements over this course I’m taking from my instructor and from my brother that tell me that I’ve really grown during this process.

    I know I’ve said before that Anne Lamott gives your permission to tromp around on your first draft because no one will see it, and you still have this permission. However, don’t completely leave out the option of sharing your writing. If you’ve got someone trust reading it, and will laugh with you with your little silly things in there, then that’s all good. I can’t see my own writing growth very well. I can see a little, but being the pessimist I am sometimes, I can downplay my own achievements. Having someone else who can pin point some of your growths can be a great bringer-upper.

    However, creative writing is so much more than that. However, as an amateur, I don’t feel I can accurately portray it yet.

    That’s why I will give you this wonderful, informative, all around helpful post that delightfully delves into the Creative Writing spectrum: http://davehood59.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/the-writing-life-the-art-and-craft-of-creative-writing/

    Of course, I can give you a few things into the art of Creative Writing in a novel, if you’re a noob like me anyway:

  1. Try to spell things correctly and use good grammar.

    Unfortunately, if your writing bleeds terrible grammar/spelling, your editors are going to pin-point on those, because they stick out like purple monkeys. If you want deeper advice from your editors, and if you want to avoid writing the next My Immortal, I suggest you try to fix it as much as possible. If you’re super young, you might not be able to help it, and it’s okay. There are places like paperrater.com or your English teacher who can help you. It’s just, when it comes to readers like me, bad grammar and bad spelling make me cringe.

  2. If you know you lack in one area, then embellish on your good areas.

    J.K Rowling in Harry Potter is a wonderful example of this. What she lacks in poetic language and breath-taking description, she covers wonderfully with her world of ideas and creative names. Her plot also shines magnificently. Sure, she will never wow older readers with her descriptions of the moon refracting off broken glass, but she will keep you reading with her original ideas in a recognizable world.

    3. Set a normal time and amount of words per day.

Organization isn’t my thing either, but I’m nearly 20,000 words into my novel because I’ve gone to my computer every night before going to sleep and writing about 1000 words. Sure, I’m a bit behind schedule, but I’m still writing. It can get challenging to drag the ball and chain of ‘you’re not good enough’, especially when you don’t some sort of schedule to stuff yourself into.

~~

    On another note, I’m leaving this deserted island tomorrow, and driving home, so I’ll have my internet back completely by Sunday. Hoorah!

    See you next week!

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4 thoughts on “On Writing a Novel: Creative Writing in a Nutshell

  1. Very good advice indeed. I’d argue that #3 is particularly important: getting a schedule going enables writers to keep their wordcounts up even on days when they’re feeling uninspired. Not to mention that short writing breaks tend to become long writing breaks very rapidly…

    Thanks for posting :)

    • You’re welcome, and I absolutely agree. The funny thing about the time I chose to write is it’s right before I go to bed, meaning I sometimes go to bed VERY late. However, as I was consistent in doing this, I have really written more words in a row than I ever have before. I never hated doing it, but I never would have found the motivation to do so otherwise.

      And yes… short writing breaks for me can end up spanning for weeks… That’s why I need a schedule.

  2. Hmm, cool tips. The best thing I’ve ever heard about writing is this though, that all you have to achieve is “a change in perspective” for your reader. Your character needs to go on a life changing journey, big or small. :-)

    • That is also true. I wish I could have gone into that topic, seeing how important that having a character go through something that will impact their malleable heart is. Having said that, I don’t think a book would be very fun to write if there were no journey for the character. So thank you for mentioning this, I can’t believe it hadn’t crossed my mind when I wrote this, as important as this advice is.

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