LEARNING TO WRITE: MY FIRST NOVEL: PART I

Beyond The Blogs

I had been blogging for a year and decided to write my first book. It is a fiction novel and represents a completely different genre in writing for me. Since all my blogs engage the reader with non-fiction material, this exploit is way beyond the landscape that I am familiar with.

I started my story about eight years ago and abandoned the effort because I thought it was a waste of my time. Back them, I wondered who would want to read a novel written by me and buy my book. So the preliminary draft sat deserted in an archived file on my computer and forgotten for all those years gone by.

What changed since then is that I finally worked up the nerve to start a website and share my life experiences with anyone who wanted something different to read. Since thousands of you have already responded and told me you liked my stories, I have gained new confidence in my writing capabilities. Hence, I pulled the forlorn novel out of electronic storage bin and decided to dust it off for another look.

Something I Have Learned

Writing a novel, or any book for that matter, is a challenging quest that requires passion and dedication to get it done. You have to create real characters and make then come alive within the depths of your mind. You feel what they feel and make them thrust your story forward as it emulates events that seem like they actually happened. If you don’t accomplish that feat, you will fail.

I decided to intertwine three love stories within the cobweb of life and death struggles that tie everything together within the pages of one book. The whole thing came alive as I went forward without an outline or definitive plan of action.

To get to the point, I learned and created as I wrote. Writing a blog is one thing. Creating a full blown novel is another. You must adhere to its own set of rules as you move forward. Yes, rules for both styles do overlap, but the novel’s are much more demanding. Developing a plot out of thin air is a daunting task and you need all the help you can get.

When You Get The First Draft Done

I finished my first draft which included some 60,000 words, 270 pages, and 31 chapters. After making the decision to wash it through a program called Grammarly, I used the free version and got little from it because it didn’t provide what I needed. The premium version is about $30. per month, so I nixed that idea altogether.

ProWritingAid came to my attention as the next option. The free version allows the use of its grammar checker, spelling, style of writing, repeated words checker, cliche checker, and overall report. Since I was limited to 500 words at a time, I just did a single page and ran all the features through the strainer before moving on to the next one.

The website itself also gave me free writing tips and eBook downloads that helped me focus on the correct procedures to follow. Using all the features available will saved me unbelievable amounts of time with that first work, and subsequent efforts thereafter.

Critical Errors I Got The Most Help With

Punctuation was my first hurdle. I wanted to know the correct placement of quotation marks in relation to periods, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, and asterisks. Periods and commas are pretty straight forward, as they almost always fall inside the quotation marks. On the other hand, the positioning of question and exclamation marks have confusing opinions dictating their placement. Some rules say inside and others out. I have chosen to go inside as referenced by some of the novels I have read.

Adverbs are the bane of all writers, or so I have heard. The general accepted rule is to avoid them whenever possible. Words like really, very, than, and was, all play havoc with the reader and cause him or her to plow laboriously (adverb) towards the point the writer is making. It is easy for the reader to lose track of the storyline if the sentences are long and drawn out. I have learned to make most of my points as quickly as possible and move on.

Clichés are another evil that confront me. I loaded my novel with them and eventually went back and made a lot of them them disappear. They do not enhance a creative writing style and I will learn to live without overusing them. I could create my own, I suppose, which would help my sentences have a unique feel about them and ProWritingAid helps me do that.

Conclusion

There is much more involved with the whole process than what I have brought to light here. This is just the start of my journey. I finished my 3rd edit not too long ago and jumped right into my fourth. I feel that the manuscript has reached the 80% percent completion level and I am readying my output for beta testing soon.

My designated reviewers will read it and pick out grammar errors, boring passages, and conflicts. I plan to engage other beta readers to do the same. I want to get as much done right the first time out and not go back with repetitive edits.

I am so into this novel that I get emotional when I read certain parts of it. Sounds silly for a hard core person like myself, but that’s the way I am. I have come this far and don’t want to rush it into print with faulty mistakes that can be fixed now. It will be worth all the effort when it is done.

Next: Finding A Title

 

I am requesting that my readers click on the links provided and download a sample read of each book and give a review on Amazon. You will have free access to the first four chapters of each book. My hope is that you will like the story lines enough to obtain either an eBook version or a paperback copy that you can put on your bookshelf as a masterpiece when you are done. FATE STALKS A HERO I: RESURGENCE, FATE STALKS A HERO II:THE FIJI FULCRUM, and THE SAGA OF HERACLES PENOIT. I will be giving excerpts on these works in upcoming blogs to familiarize you the reader with exciting details about the contents of each one. Thank you!
 

51 comments

  • Very quickly this web page will be famous among all blog users, due
    to it’s pleasant articles or reviews

  • Amazing blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring
    writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you advise starting with
    a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused ..
    Any ideas? Appreciate it!

  • Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before
    but after going through a few of the articles I realized
    it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely pleased I came across it and
    I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  • Very rapidly this website will be famous among all blog
    users, due to it’s pleasant articles

  • Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
    facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

  • great points altogether, you simply won a new reader.
    What could you recommend about your post that you made a few
    days in the past? Any positive?

  • Good article! We will be linking to this great post on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

  • Right here is the right site for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic.
    You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would
    want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that’s been written about for ages.
    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  • Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Appreciate it

  • Hello my loved one! I want to say that this post is awesome,
    nice written and come with almost all vital infos. I’d
    like to look more posts like this .

  • Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
    very well written article. I will make sure to
    bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  • Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you
    wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit,
    but other than that, this is excellent blog. A great read.
    I will certainly be back.

  • Greetings! I’ve been following your weblog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

  • We stumbled over here different page and thought I should check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to going over your web page for a second time.

  • Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with
    us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be
    tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and
    fantastic design and style.

  • Superb, what a weblog it is! This webpage gives useful information to us, keep it up.

  • I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this
    sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website.
    Reading this information So i am satisfied to express that I’ve
    a very good uncanny feeling I came upon exactly
    what I needed. I so much certainly will make sure
    to do not omit this website and give it a glance regularly.

  • I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come more formerly
    again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  • Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.
    You have some really good posts and I think I would be
    a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some
    content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please blast me an email if interested. Cheers!

  • Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?|

  • g

    Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content!

  • g

    Generally I don’t learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to
    try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me.
    Thanks, very great article.

  • g

    hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely
    picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this site, as I experienced to reload the
    site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your
    placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.

    Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  • Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the website is extremely good.

  • I just want to mention I am all new to blogging and truly savored you’re blog. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You surely come with impressive articles and reviews. Appreciate it for sharing your website page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *