The number one question I always get after stating that I am a writer is, “are you writing a book?” There are usually follow up questions like:
- “What’s your book about?”
- “Can I be in your book?”
- “When is your book coming out?”
To be honest, I can ramble on about these questions for hours because they are asked often. My responses to these questions are usually general because 1) I’m bored by hearing them and 2) my book will be written at my own pace. My responses aren’t meant to be offensive. I merely think that people assume the writing process is easy. My favorite example of this is telling people I want to write a book and they say “do it”. *Insert five hundred exclamation points and a smiley face here. Also insert a Shia Labeouf gif of him saying do it.*
The process of writing a novel is a difficult one. Combine school, work, and life, with the fickleness of a muse and suddenly that dream of writing a book is no longer simple. It involves a lot of time management and dragging your muse by its foot out from under the couch while it screams as if it’s being stabbed.
For me, I’ve been mulling over the idea for my novel for a few years. I originally planned it to be a trilogy and am now settling on a duology. I cut out the first book entirely because it would be too clunky of an introduction to the characters I have as well as I didn’t know how to carry the main idea from start to finish. Beginning the story from the middle and dealing with the consequences of a major event for my protagonist is what I finally settled on as the best option. How I discovered this was by trying to write a few of the early chapters. I got stuck– like ten car pileup stuck. After talking with a writing buddy of mine and creating an outline, I scrapped everything I had.
Now, I’m back to square one. I’ve scribbled a few important lines/snippets the story needs in my writing journal as well as some character breakdowns and plot twists I want to include. I feel as if my novel is being built like a tower of blocks, piece by piece. It may be longer than ideal, but I think the overall product will turn out better with how much effort and imagination I’m putting into it.
It’s weird to have characters that stick with a writer and fight for attention. It’s also weird when you don’t use them for a while and they become mad at you. That is what happened with my protagonist Aleks. I wrote him a lot as a teenager and when I took a break, he vanished for a bit, but came back in full force. He is the muse I connect with the strongest, the one I find most of myself in. I know I need to tell his story one way or another.
My only hope is those who read my book (fingers crossed I actually publish a book) will understand why Aleks is such a powerful character both in what he must deal with and also how he’s flawed. He may not be the most rational, but that is part of his growth.
Feel free to tell me about how you write your novel or your main muse in the comments below.