Novels. To some people, writing one comes easy as breathing. They'll write and write and before long,ding, ding! Novel complete! To others, it's a challenge beyond thinking about, let alone putting into practice. And yet more people think it would be easy to write a novel and get it published and become successful straight away. It's laughable how many people have that opinion.
Some of my friends ask me how I can write so many novels at once, how I don't just give up and get rid because I either run out of ideas or get bored. I could lie and say it's easy as pie, but I don't like lying. To tell the truth, it's a lot of work. For those who think it would be easy, but make excuses or don't try it for themselves, they need a wake up call. Writing a novel is a huge commitment and takes a lot of effort, concentration and time.
Oh yes, time. It took me about six months to write Viera, my first novel, and get it up on Booksie. That's not including the time I left it alone for a while and focused on other things, or the time it's taking to get it edited and fixed up now. Because let's face it, your first novel is never your best novel, especially when you're posting chapters freshly written,one at a time, with little editing if any at all. Juggling as many as I'm writing now takes even more time. In fact right now, I'm writing about five or six including the ones I have not posted up yet. It's work, work, work and it's tiring. You disappear into Word or OpenOffice docuents for hours, of not days at a time, fingers constantly tapping at the keys, eyes always checking for spelling or grammar errors. There's just never enough time.
Then there's trying to get opinions from unwilling readers, posting comment after comment asking for them to read your work (I'm not among those that do this, I must add). They read it, and say 'great this', 'amazing that', but never think to criticise anything. Most readers never point out mistakes or plot holes, making it difficult to spot ityourself, because let's face it, nobody is going to read through their own novel every five minutesto make sure it all works. We rely on readers to spot things for us because we don'thave the time!
People who comment asking you to hurryup with the next chapter is rather tedious too, as ifthey seem to think you're holding it back to spite them, or to be annoying. It's like they're imagining us sitting at the computer laughing like one of those villains on the movies saying "I'll hold it back one more day so RANDOMUSERNAME will have to wait! MWAHAHAHAHA!" Most never thinkthat maybe the author of the novel is trying their best, but might have writer's block, or are focusing on somethingelse, or perhaps just takinga break, because after writing say, three chapters without a pause and getting them up, more than likely you're going to want to take a few days off so your eyes and hands can recover from staring at a lighted screen and tapping at a keyboard for hours on end. The amount of times I've written all night andnot thought to check the time- onlyto have to drag myself to school the next day, I'm surprised I haven't keeled over and passed out yet!
When you finally finish writing, you've then got a choice. Edit it over and publish it for real, or leave it alone and hope people enjoy an unedited version. Novelscan range from being brilliant anddefinitely-publisher-worthy to being terrible and a waste of hard-drive space. It depends on the amount of work that has been put into it, the level of commitment to the story and the quality of spelling and grammar.
So readers, give us novelists a break, we're doing our best! Juggling writing and living isn't exactly the easiest thin in teh world, and sometimes it's like you've forgotten there is another human being thinking up every word of that story you're so impatient to finish reading. Try writing one yourself and then come back and tell us it's plain sailing, because if you want it to be good, you need to put a lot of energy into it!
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