Old Novels

I think everyone has a novel idea in them somewhere. Not that everyone writes a novel or has the desire to, but the ideas are in there.

Some of these people talk about the idea to others. Sometimes people even start writing.

Do you ever wonder what happens to these ideas?

I think some of them get talked out. Eventually there is no way the paper version could even measure up to the image, or pieces get lost in the telling.

Some of them languish after a start and never get finished.

I’ve learned writing a novel is hard work. It doesn’t happen in a day or a week or usually not even a month. Those of us who finish NaNoWriMo are exhausted, with 50,000 words (more or less) to our names, and realize it needs a total overhaul before it’s really worth anything.

But most first drafts are like that.

I have two languishing from my past. One stretches back to high school, and I have notes and sketches about it somewhere. I’m not sure I ever really knew where the project was going. I’m not sure I could figure it out now. But maybe I’ll save some of those characters to make into something in the future.

The other one is much more recent- only four years past. I didn’t do enough world building at the beginning, and I’m almost to where I can make another go at it. My ideas have changed as the world has evolved. For the better, I think.

Either way, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today if I hadn’t had those ideas. I definitely wouldn’t be a writer today if I only talked about them and didn’t put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard as the case goes now.

I read advice that says to write your ideas instead of talking about them, and for the most part I follow that advice. For one thing, it helps me hone that 100 word pitch for when I’m ready to shop it out.

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5 Comments

  1. Vivian Zabel said,

    12 February 2010 at 17:44

    Very good post, and very true.

    Vivian

  2. Dawn Embers said,

    13 February 2010 at 01:26

    This is a great topic. Many people do fall under the “talk but never write” category. And ideas are rather common. My mom has an idea for a novel but she doesn’t feel she could ever be able to write it. Instead she wants someone else to write the book.

    I like to talk about my ideas but also write them. I know some people believe that you shouldn’t talk about what your current project is and instead just write it, but that’s not for me. I find having the information available helps motivate me to keep writing.

  3. Jamie said,

    13 February 2010 at 08:05

    I think you nailed it. Now I am inspired to get some words on paper.

  4. ransomnoble said,

    13 February 2010 at 14:30

    I’m so glad to inspire you!

  5. Crystalee Calderwood said,

    13 February 2010 at 18:18

    Only 2 lurking from your past? Lucky you!

    Lately, all I can do is think about writing novels. I have at least three that I’ve started writing and never finished, and two that need revised, on top of the one that I’m currently working on! Guess I’ll be working for a really long time to get those ready.

    The funny thing with me is that I tend to let a novel go, but the idea haunts me until I revisit it. My last two novels (and two that I’m currently pecking at) started out with false starts two years ago or more, but after coming back to them, I’ve found fresh inspiration (and new beginnings), and with that the will to finish.


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