I hoped to have Chapter Three done in two weeks, but the last couple weekends have kept me busy. It’s taken a little over three weeks to finish and it’s my largest chapter yet! It’s about 6,800 words, before editing. I’ve learned a lot since my last post and I’d love to share.
First, to reiterate, this is my very first attempt at writing a novel. Other than a handful of poems and journal entries, the only other writing I’ve done was academic. Some may say I’m not qualified to write a novel because I don’t have experience or a graduate degree, but the beauty of writing is anyone can do it! Whether it’s good or not, in my opinion, depends on natural talent, a willingness to self-teach, and an ambitious attitude. There are several accomplished authors that either didn’t finish school or didn’t study English in college.
Anyway, with that in mind, it goes without saying that I’ve had to do a lot of self-teaching. I’m like a baby bird jumping from its nest to see if it can fly. I started with an idea, then have spent the last couple months fleshing it out into a story. With the help of the internet, I’ve discovered that writers seem to be categorized in two ways: the Panster and the Planner (a.k.a. Pantser and Plotter). I started as a Panster, which means I just wrote to see where the story pans out. Now that I’m three chapters in, I think I’m going switch to being a planner, which is pretty self-explanatory.
I’ve found that being a Panster, while offering free-flowing ideas, leaves me without direction. I ended up staring at the screen thinking, what happens now? I know how I want the story to start and end, but I wasn’t sure what should happen in between. I plan on doing some brainstorming and creating a loose outline moving forward.
Other than that, I noticed that my story tended to be very linear: A to B, then B to C. It lacked depth. In reading other novels, I picked up on the different literary devices that help enhance a story. I absolutely love a good analogy, so I’m going to make a point to pepper them in. I also love foreshadowing, so I’m going to plant little hints, then have them bloom later on.
To summarize, writing is hard! I found a quote online that read, ‘Easy reading is hard writing.’ and I have to agree!
Famous Authors Who Didn’t Graduate College – https://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2013/11/10-famous-authors-who-never-graduated-from-college.html
Panster vs. Planner (Pantser or Plotter) – https://www.autocrit.com/editing/library/plotter-or-pantser-the-best-of-both-worlds/
Literary Devices – http://literary-devices.com/