Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Writing A Novel - Ugly Truths

the letter u
Writing a novel can be liberating, for some it is a dream fulfilled. Writing a novel can even help boost one's confidence, but lurking behind all the wonderful things one can say about writing a novel, there exist some ugly truths about the act that simply should not be ignored. In my estimation, these are the ugly truths about writing a novel: 

UGLY TRUTH #1 This sh!t ain't easy.

If you can't get past this first ugly truth, no one will judge you, but, please, don't try to act as if it isn't true! If you walk into the world of writing a novel anticipating some sort of leisurely activity at the helm of your keyboard, I believe you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I am not trying to say that you won't have fun or love what you are doing while writing a novel, I am simply stating that you will be working.

UGLY TRUTH #2 You need more than a month.

Everyone knows that I am a great lover of the NaNoWriMo challenges that gather we writers around the Internet to inspire one another as we go forth and "complete" our novels in the space of one month, but let's be honest, it's not happening. Yes, you can easily finish a first draft in one month, I'll even go so far as to say those who are real pros might be able to complete their second draft, but the whole thing? No way. To fully finish a novel, you need to have others look at, tell you what they think and adjust as necessary. For the sake of their sanity, the process must take more than a month! Which leads me to...

UGLY TRUTH #3 You can not do it alone.

Introverted Writers
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 The art of writing is attractive to introverts. Why? Because they think that they won't have to bother, or bother with, anyone in the process. This is a misconception. While you may be able to scratch out your first draft behind the closed door of your solitary office on the third floor of an empty house (except for all of your furry friends, of course), to write a novel from beginning to end you are going to need others. This month I've discussed some of these others: your alpha and beta readers and those who will help you with promotion, but there are also those professionals you should turn your novel over to when you are done editing like a professional editor and, if you are so inclined, an agent.

I am absolutely sure there are more ugly truths about writing a novel. Some that come to mind are:
  • You will hear voices.
  • Long time friends may think you've lost your mind.
  • No one will believe you are serious.
However, for now I must face the ugly truth that the more time I spend blogging and online, the less time I devote to my novel! So, I apologize, dear readers, I must go to work!
Thanks for reading!
Which ugly truth did I leave out?
Do you dispute any of the ugly truths I have included?


  1. Hello, Nicole! Wishing you all the best with your writing!! Let's turn these ugly truths into pretty truths: Thank goodness writing isn't life-or-death and we don't have to get it right the first time; thank goodness we have other writers to lean on; thank goodness we get to use our imaginations and have some fun!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines