During this week's spring break, I'm writing furiously. This post is an earlier--and popular--one that many new readers may have missed.
Thousands upon thousands of people begin novels. Only a tiny fraction of those actually finish, and from these, publishers choose the ones we see in bookstores. Why do so few complete their novels? Because it's hard work. Really, really hard work.
I know. I'm trying to finish my second novel, and it's just as difficult as the first. I'm over the excitement of a new idea. I've lived with my characters so long that I'm no longer infatuated with them. And frankly, reading the same story over and over gets old. As a writer, I begin to wonder if anyone out there would even like this story.
Fortunately for me (and you, too), I discovered author Timothy Hallinan's website last week. I couldn't wait to write this post. I even sent his link via Facebook to my writing friends so they wouldn't have to wait until this post came out.
Why? Because Timothy Hallinan is another one of those authors who gives back. He has posted a free course called Finish Your Novel, which is not only entertaining and practical, but humorous, too.
Hallinan's belief is that finishing a book is what made him a writer, not just working on something. Once he figured out how to successfully finish novel after novel, he came up with 30 steps, separated into five categories. Each of the short sections takes only a few minutes to read. You might even want to bookmark his page so you'll remember to read once step each day of the month.
Most of us have at least one manuscript that we've begun and then set aside for one reason or another. Listen to Hallinan's take on this:
"The sad fact is that much of the time, the book they abandon is better than the one they set out to write. It's like a prospector who goes out looking for iron pyrites, finds gold, and throws it away."
Hallinan also blogs about writing at The Blog Cabin. On Wednesdays he has an interesting series where he interviews published authors about whether they write with an outline or not, in Plotting vs. Pantsing.
So, I've begun working through Hallinan's course. It's not hard. It's like getting a little pep talk every morning before I start typing. And who couldn't use one of those?
Where are you in finishing your novel?