I was sitting in front of a good friend the other day listening to him tell me about his future novel and that writing a novel is one of his ultimate goals. I really wanted to encourage him to keep going and I was trying to figure out a way to do just that. Listening to him tell his tale with certainty, intensity, and conviction was a performance. I think watching writers be excited and vulnerable simultaneously about an idea, is the ultimate experience and reward especially when the writer lets you share their creative experience using their ideas. (Not to be mistaken with stealing them that’s just wrong.)
Story to me, feels like the true timeless art. There is no art that is judged harder than the art of writing. Music is easy to influence feelings and can be written in as little as 15 minutes. A painting can even influence feelings by a single glance. But a novel? Thousands of words. Try, tens of thousands of words. Thousands of possible mistakes and once published it can be rewritten. The mistakes remain forever on someone’s bookshelf. The question “is it good enough?”
It is these very things that scare first-time writers, but there’s hope. And this hope remains because it has never been about money for true writers. It’s a life, an experience, a legacy. So let’s address some of the most common questions first-time writers need to ask. Starting with the hardest question first.
1. Is my story deep and thought-out enough for the audience to feel for the characters?
2. Does the audience care about the plot? Is it relatable?
3. Are the characters twisted enough that they’re intriguing? What happens to the mentor?
4. What is the redeeming factor towards the end that bring the story full circle? The surprise?
5. Did the through-line of the story become resolved without deviation?
It is these very questions that stop many writers in their scribbles. So, the question remains, how can a young writer make their story better? How can you avoid the mistakes other young writers make?
Now, I personally have not finished a novel yet but that doesn’t mean that I can’t still give good advice from my current journey. The path is difficult, the journey long, and the world is not going give you much encouragement. Something I can promise, however, is that the world may fall in love with your writing. You just don’t know until you finish.
[wpaudio url="http://peteknowlton.com/wp-content/uploads/03%20The%20Approaching%20Night.m4a" text="Philip Wesley - The Approaching Night - Piano solo" dl="1"]
“I’m inspired to write again by knocking over the pedestal my mind had placed the craft upon to realize I can’t do any worse than nothing” – Pete Knowlton
I was sitting in my office, staring at the wall across the room looking at parts of my book that are tacked up on the wall collecting dust. I started to ponder all the hours my mind wouldn’t let me think of anything else and it hit me. I can’t do any worse than nothing. That’s right, nothing is the ultimate failure. That quote, has become my reason to continue to write regularly.
Any writer that is struggling to complete their work, please take that quote and post it somewhere.