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Eight Reasons Why You Should Write a Novel and a Secret to Writing a Good Character
The famous novelist was asked after she had written her fifth novel, when was she going to publish her books? She looked up from her writing and told a friend that she had never considered publishing them. So from one unpublished author of three novels to you, here are my eight reasons why you should write a novel.
Number 1. It’s a blast.
It’s a blast. Developing the plot and developing the subplots and all the characters is a chore. The great thing about writing your own novel is that it’s yours and nothing can be taken away from you. This time, when you read the progress of the characters on the keyboard as you type, you are the one who determines their fate.
Number 2 You can play God.
Have you ever felt like someone else is in control of your life and you seem to think you are a puppet in God’s hands? I have given up my fight many times and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and now we work together. But that’s beside the point.
Writing characters puts you in the role of creator, and as an author you have a huge amount of control over the outcome of your characters.
Number 3 Your characters are fun to meet.
You might think it’s weird that I’m saying this, but when you start writing, you may experience the same thing as me, as your characters come to life before your eyes and start talking and doing things you didn’t plan to write. This is when the character takes on a life of its own and from then on you either work together or have some fights.
Even villains can be fun to write no matter how evil they are. You’ll be surprised how close to your body evil lurks, and you’ll be shocked at how clouded your mind can become when an evil character surfaces.
Number 4 Writing gives you an adrenaline rush.
If you’re anything like me, spending a night only to find at the end of it 15 typed pages and a chapter in a novel has appeared out of nowhere is a huge rush. Sometime on the weekend, you can sit down and print out what you’ve written, read it, and then go back to the keyboard and write another chapter. The adrenaline rush of writing a novel can be addictive, and writing articles can be just as much fun.
I love the divine ability to create something out of nothing. It sits with a blank screen and fills the page with font. There’s nothing like creating and having others comment on what you’ve written.
Number 5 You can do things that you would never do personally.
I always wanted to write a play and direct a play, so I wrote a novel with a playwright as the main character and had him direct the plays and his wife as the lead actress who acted in his plays. This was my dream.
In another novel, I had a character jump off the Sydney Harbor Bridge to kill himself, and this was my place of choice for all those years when I was suicidal. When one of my characters did this, it put a smile on my face as I shared her joy.
You can take your characters to the nicest restaurants and give them fine wines and meals that cost hundreds of dollars. Your characters can live out your fantasies and give you all that joy back.
Number 6 You can revisit great things in your life.
Making love for the first time can be a very rare event for you. You can bring back a memory in a scene in your novel that only your partner would recognize. You always remember the awards ceremony when you won a race as a little kid, you can put one of your characters on stage and let the reader feel proud.
Your marriage was a day you never want to forget, you can take one of your characters and give them your memory, you like the way your partner held your hand and kissed you in public when you were a teenager, one of your characters can heal his lady like this.
As a writer, I draw from many things in my real life to put into the fictional lives of my characters.
Number 7 You can create fiction the way you would like to read it.
So many times book endings can disappoint you. Never again. When you write your novel, you can write an ending you like, and you can be sure that five out of five readers will agree with you.
The writing process is amazing and you will really enjoy it. You can read book after book on how to write, but the best advice I can give you is to go and write your book and then come back and read a book on how to write.
Just remember that all your characters have to be human so you’ll have to draw on people you know or do research and you’ll have to have topics you know to write about, but then it’s your hands that they will hit the keyboard. and bring the characters to life.
Number 8 You will have a conversation starter.
One thing that comes up in casual conversation is when I tell someone I’ve written three novels and two screenplays. It must be only one of about five hundred people or maybe more who have written a novel. In all the time I’ve been a writer, and the writer you will be, I’ve only met one other person who wrote a novel.
It is rare!
When you write and finish your first novel, you become rare, different, and interesting. Of course, these are already your characteristics, but now your children and the people you love will have a piece of you on paper when you pass it on.
So go ahead and write that novel.
The secret to writing a good character
You can read a lot about how to write a good character. The biggest tip I ever heard, the secret I found was that you should give your character a past. When you choose a 19-year-old girl with dark hair as your main character, spend about a week trying to figure out the key things that happened in her life that made her who she is now.
At age 6, a boy she liked kissed her best friend
At the age of 8, her father died. At 10, a shorter man became her father
At 12, her favorite dog died and her mother said there were no more pets
At 13, her best friend got a horse, but she wasn’t allowed to have a horse and had to sit and watch her friend ride hers all day.
This took me a few minutes to write, but we already have a young girl who is used to having the people she loves, the boy she loved, her father and her dog taken away from her. And he doesn’t seem to be getting what he wants. The new dog, horse and stepfather is not as good as her father. The time you spend with all of your characters, giving them backstories before the story, is invaluable to good character writing, and you shouldn’t have to wade through ten books on how to write good novels to uncover this secret. Take the time to do this and your characters will be well rounded.
May God bless you.
So go and write!
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