8 Reasons to Write a Novel (That Probably Won’t Get Published)
Consciously or not, our characters take on a part of ourselves. They might take on our quirks or our bad habits, they might take our sense of humor or our fears. Our characters take adventures we wish we could experience and they face adversity with the strength we wish we could muster. Sometimes. Other times, our characters express the worst of us. They bully the nerdy kids we once were and they accompany us as we wallow in our own misery. The revelation could be life-changing but more likely realizing your character has adapted part of yourself will make you smile as you sit alone with your computer one day. Becoming aware of that part of yourself will open up that character—and probably yourself—to a new understanding.
2. Practice creativity
Creativity is a muscle that needs to be toned. Using your creativity to string together unique sentence structures and weave multiple plot lines into one story will help you devise creative solutions to life’s more pertinent problems. Understanding your character’s deepest ambitions, fears and truths will help you relate to your friends, family, coworkers and hopefully even strangers on the street a little more.
3. To become a better writer
Becoming a great writer takes practice. Building a plot line from scratch and following it through to the end is a huge accomplishment because it’s not easy. I’ve heard too many stories of writers who have quit halfway through writing a novel; pushing through and writing a hundred little scenes that come together as one story will teach you things nothing else can. Writing a novel will force you to create a complete world and unlike short stories, you will need more than a few characters to populate it. Things get complicated. Unraveling and then controlling those complications is a necessity to writing a great novel and practice is the only thing that will get you there. You will make connections you didn’t see before and you may just find some magic that you never knew was there.
4. Create a character that surpasses round
The most brilliant writers can create round characters in a single sentence and have you sharing their tears by the end of a short story. Unfortunately, most of us are not quite that good. Sticking with your main characters through the length of a novel will force you to fully develop them. They will follow you around throughout your day and hopefully by the end of the novel they will be the ones showing you where the story needs to go next. Learning to understand a character to that depth will help you develop more round characters in the future.
5. Patience, hard work and dedication
That’s what they always tell us it takes to make it in the world. What better way to prove you can do those things then by sitting down night after night, putting words on the page without any immediate reward?
How often do you have the power to create an entire world to your exact liking? If you wish our world had magic or mummies or dragons, nothing is stopping you from making that true. If you want to know what kind of world it would be without electricity or without fear, write it. If you’ve always wondered what it would like to be an astronaut or a detective or a shark’s best friend, write it and have fun with it! Create anyone you’d like and have them do whatever you wish you could do. There are no limits.
7. To call yourself a writer
Sound shallow? William Faulkner once said, “Don’t be a writer, be writing.” Once writing becomes part of your everyday routine, you won’t feel the need to tell everyone you meet, you will simply be.
8. There is always hope
You may not believe it will get published but you have to start somewhere. Even if every publisher and agent turns you down, they will at least have heard of your name.
“To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”
-Anatole France, French novelist
Check out my previous list: 10 Qualities of Good Writers According to Ernest Hemingway
Posted on April 22, 2014, in A Writer's Life, Literature and tagged books, characterization, life, novel, perseverance, published, write, writer, writer's block, writing, writing a novel. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.