Monday, February 06, 2006

Novel Writing Made Easy

Do you ever look in your stats to see what kind of search phrases bring people to your blog? Well, the above title is one such phrase that brought someone here (and now probably more than one).

Novel Writing Made Easy? Yeah, right. Like a get rich quick scheme. Make $3000 a week just from working at home two hours a day. Sure. I believe that.

People always look for the quick route and usually there isn't one (unless of course you're born into it, just ask Paris Hilton). Novel writing isn't any different. It takes years for writers to develop their writing skills and master the art.

So I did a quick search myself about the above phrase and found either CDs, books or software for sale, all claiming to make your novel writing easy. Oh, and some sites were just ad pages with no real information.

Let's just look at some of the components a (decent) novel might have:
- plot
- characters
- narrative or POV(s)
- grammatically correct (or purposefully incorrect) writing
- beginning, middle and end
- dialogue
- descriptions
... and on and on

So my advice to those just embarking on this fantastic adventure called novel writing is to start. Start writing it.

With the writing come the experience and through it authors find out and learn about the different components required, they learn what works for them (and no software or bestseller author can tell you what works for you) and they learn about their strengths and weaknesses.

Usually first novels aren't successful because of all the reasons above. But hard work and a learning curve rewards the persistent writers.

I guess this is somehow related to my previous post about the publishing industry. No short cuts, no excuses. Work!

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12 comments:

Deborah said...

My personal favorite is writeabooknow-dot-com, who claims that you can churn out a novel in a mere 14 days and lasso an agent in 36 hours. His program was endorsed my heavy hitting authors, yet I find it odd that he doesn't have a gazillion books on Amazon. Hmm. Scratching my head over that one. ;)

FredCQ said...

Yeah, people are always looking for the easy way. Write a novel in 14 days. Lose 14 pounds in 14 days, etc.

As someone that has been writing seriously for 5 years and not so seriously for the last 20 years, I can attest that writing is not something that is easy. Writing a novel is a multi-stage process, with each part being a job in itself. Heck, I can't even edit my novel in 14 days!

Jennifer said...

That's the best advice. Start writing and keep writing. The more you write the better you get - ofcourse you need to have a basic understanding of how a story works...but :)

I get some weird searches to. I still find the most amusing one to be someone searching for fertility and bio-hazard :)

Melly said...

That's just it, Deborah.
Isn't it funny?

Fred, you got a point there!
Yes, editing would take longer than that.

Bio-hazard???? Bio-hazard?
Is there something you want to tell us Jennifer? ;)

Benjamin Solah said...

I agree, writing isn't easy, and I hate those self-help books. They're such a rort.

As for weird searches, I find people coming to my site by typing in 'Benjamin Solah' extremely weird.

Pat Kirby said...

I don't blog for hits. I blog as a writing exercise. But I do like to peek at the keywords that bring folks to my blog. Never fails to amuse.

Today's highlights
*ability to tie a cherry stem with the tongue and sexual prowess- (Eh? Can't remember blogging about this. 'Tho the J-Man is handy with a cherry stem.)

*dragon merciful death- (dragon euthanasia in our "culture of life"? For shame.)

*little girl gets dicked by dad stories- (Oh, goodie. The kiddy porn crowd.)

Deborah said...

It's hilarious, Melly. That course, incidentally, costs over $200. Shameful!

Melly said...

Benjamin, you wild one!
C'mon, you gotta give us something better than that :)
And rort??? That's gotta something from your part of the world :)

Pat, now why don't these search phrases surprise me? Not even the kiddy porn... :)
(Well, you do write satirically about stuff, only the search engine doesn't know satire from real).

Deborah, I totally think we should start a course, have a few contests with exuberant entry fees and... what else?
The sad thing is that people go for it.

Cavan said...

The far and away leader on my google searches over the last month has been "Bad Sex".

So...uhh...I guess I'm the authority on that.

Melly said...

That's hilarious Cavan.
Can we ask you questions? You can be Dr. Ruth for bad sex... :)

Benjamin Solah said...

No, I couldn't find anything interesting, just people looking for writing and political stuff.

'Rort' is slang for scam.

melly said...

I figured as much. Great word.