Guest Post: Writing a Novel: The Best and the Worst of It
After years of writing novels, going from one story to another absent a break in between, one would imagine that I find the entire process a piece of cake. I wouldn't say that though.
Whether writers like to admit it or not, when they're writing something that they have some intention to publish, or show any single person, they have this inkling feeling of needing to self-censor. However freeing we may find writing, and however much we may feel that something needs to be done to convey the story, sometimes a writer hears a quiet, frustrating whisper of 'you can't write that!' or 'you can't release it with that there!'. It's a feeling most good writers learn to overlook, refusing to sacrifice a story for the sake of closed-minded society or blush upon cheek when those they know well read it. Even if a writer does manage to ignore that little whisper, the worst part of writing a novel is ever having to hear it at all.
Novels may be filled with plenty of emotional, feisty, action-packed, romantic scenes, amongst many others, but plenty up until that point needs extensive amounts of research. For a person who has a constant thirst for knowledge and perhaps a brain capable of absorbing such information it may not be a problem but when a writer begins to collect all the research required they end up becoming teachers, psychiatrists, doctors, mechanics and more, all to create events that are plausible or to ascertain that characters behave as they should. Of course, this is something that is hardly considered the worst aspect of writing. Truthfully, it's one of those things that will serve a writer plenty if they're capable of doing it right.
Naturally, the best parts of writing a novel outweigh the bad by a long shot but I suppose they all come down to the same thing.
Passing on a much-needed message.
One cannot deny how therapeutic and freeing writing can be, even when faced with the most stressful part of a book. Those stressful moments often aren't without reason; there is great pressure to perceive something that is difficult or controversial in a manner that is understandable. I can only truly speak for myself but I'm sure that most writers make attempts at tackling subjects that need to be brought to attention somehow and so, when they succeed in doing it in a manner that is relatable, that's something to be thrilled about.
I suppose this makes everything I'd consider the 'worst' part of writing a novel the other side of the coin. If a writer can look passed that little voice and can research well for accuracy, and embrace that research, the result is a novel that one can be truly proud of because it becomes the powerful result of overcome challenges. Challenges that, frankly, we would be willing to endure in order to pass on a message that is dear to our hearts.