Are You Meant to be a Novelist?

I’m a writer. Why? Cuz I said so.

 In my journeys across the internet, I find many people who are writers, more than I ever expected to exist. I think that’s wonderful on multiple levels. On one hand, it gives me people to talk to about something I really love. The only thing I like more than talking about writing is the actual act of writing. However, in my encounters, I sometimes worry that some are bashing their heads against a brick wall in an attempt to become a novelist because they feel that’s what they’re supposed to do. Is every writer meant to be a novelist though?

Why Be a Novelist?

There are many reasons the novel is the most attractive form for many writers.

1. It allows the writer to write a story with a significant cast of characters.
2. It’s more commercially viable than other forms.
3. It gives them the chance to write a series following the same group of characters.

Being a novelist isn’t as simple as it sounds though. If it’s difficult for you to manage a story of significant length, then maybe you’d be better off trying short stories or even novellas. If you ultimately want to become a novelist, you can keep writing “practice novels.” Just experiment with different styles and subject matter until something clicks. If you feel like you’re still getting stuck time and time again, perhaps novel writing isn’t in the cards for the moment. Try writing short stories, flash fiction, poems, or even blog entries. You may find your aptitude for writing lies elsewhere.

If the lure of being a novelist is still tugging at you, then I have a couple of recommendations that have worked for me.

Get Excited

1. Make sure you’re excited about the subject matter you’re writing about. If you don’t like sprawling epic fantasies, don’t write them. If you do like sprawling epics, but they keep falling apart, maybe try something a bit less ambitious. Try a fantasy story that has a small cast of characters and a simple plot. If you can execute that, you can try your hand at something more advanced and involved later on.

Have a Side Fling
 
2. Try having one side project at all times. This allows you to get hit by Creative ADD now and again on your novel and still have something to keep you writing. If you can maintain focus on one novel, you can rotate side projects in and out at your leisure. For example, right now I’m working on a #Splatter-Elf story at the moment (What is Splatter-Elf you say? You can see my other blog here: What is Splatter-Elf? ) When I finish it, I’ll rotate something else in and I’ll keep working on my main project.

Change Your Writing Stilo 

3. If all your novels you’re pantsing are falling flat, try outlining. If all your outlined novels are too restricting, try pantsing. Or, hell, try a combo!

If you truly think you’re meant to be a novelist, don’t give up every time you hit that brick wall. Stick with one project to completion and you’ll be satisfied and happy you’ve done so. However, if you keep getting more and more depressed you can’t finish anything, maybe it’s time to try writing something else. Something short, sweet, and simple.

It just might work!

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