Who doesn’t like a nice, “How To” post, book, or blog?
Me. That’s who.
No matter if it’s How to Make a Cake or How to Make a Fool Proof Thingamajig, I always tend to miss a step or two. I am not a detailed person by any means, though I do try with everything that is in me to follow directions before failing. I am being a bit dramatic, for some things work out wonderfully. However, when I hear about the next surefire way to write a novel, I hang my head at the many that will attempt said method and fail.
There are thousands of ways to write a novel. There are thousands of helpful writing tools. Many writers promote a certain type of writing or editing style and swear that it worked for them so it must work for you. So you, writer, like I, mimic these methods and reap none of the results. Sort of like trying to cram a square peg in a round hole, if you will.
The only sure way to write a novel is to write it, that is all. How do I know this? Because that is what the Greats say.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. – W. Somerset Maugham
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. – Ernest Hemingway
These are only two quotes, however I have shared them with a few writers recently who found them helpful.
So if you are in the middle of using some other writers’ notes or methods and are getting nowhere, just stop. Stop spinning your wheels, consider it your first draft, and begin anew, taking from it the most valuable experience of all: the writing part.