I Am Working on a Novel

I think you’re really going to like my novel. It’s like Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games, but with a dash of Twilight mixed in. There’s a touch of sci-fi, and plenty of romance. It will be marketed at teenagers, but adults will enjoy it too. It has something for everyone.

The main character is a troubled teen who wants to fight the injustices of a corrupt world. She’s (yes, the main character is a girl!) spurred to action when the government does something bad to her parents. But she’s torn—and here’s where it gets really interesting—she’s torn between two boys on either side of the conflict. I think people will really be able to identify with her.

And you’re going to love to hate my bad guy. He’s a real badass. He knows martial arts and uses old, esoteric weapons. He wears a trench coat and sunglasses and never shows emotion. He kills anyone who gets in his way! But just when you decide he’s a monster, you learn his tragic back-story. You’re going to be torn up inside, let me tell you.

I’ve got it all planned out. I’ve thought of all the character arcs and plot twists. It’s a classic coming of age story and a hero’s journey rolled together, but with modern sensibilities. Hero’s journey is a term us writers use. You probably aren’t familiar with it, but it’s very important.

And I’ve thought of all the symbolism, of course. My novel is going to address the issues that people really worry about these days. It’s a metaphor for class conflict, and healthcare, and also mankind’s destructive nature. Topics that really make people think. That’s why I hesitate to shackle my novel’s description within a single genre. My novel is literary.

I’ve even written a dictionary of futuristic slang, and designed sigils and uniforms for the various factions. I’ve planned out every little detail of my world. I don’t want to say you’ve never seen anything like it, but only because you haven’t seen it yet. It’s a futuristic dystopia, but it’s based on contemporary society. It’s like… what if our world became a dystopia? Or what if it already is, and we haven’t even noticed? I’m not afraid to get political. I want to take my readers out of their middle class comfort zones and challenge their conformist views of the world. You’re going to hear the word “provocative” a lot when people are talking about my novel.

I’ve put a lot of work into my novel, but there are still a few things to be done. I mean, it’s all there in my head, so now I just have to write the words. I’m guessing it will be around 200 pages, maybe 220 if I write an epilogue that sets up the rest of the trilogy. I can’t fit my world into just one novel. It’s too rich for that.

I don’t know when I’ll finish. Deadlines mean nothing to a writer. Since you’re not a writer, you don’t understand. Let me explain writing to you. You can’t just sit down and do it. Your muse must be with you. I can only write at night, when I can be alone with a glass of red wine and my thoughts. I must be in my study, where soft classical music must be playing in the background. Only then can I write, can I pour my heart and soul out onto the page—with short breaks to check Facebook and watch funny YouTube videos, of course. A writer has to recharge his batteries!

If I could write like that every single night, I’d be done in no time. But modern society isn’t kind to us writers, us creators (ironically, that’s something my novel touches on!). Sometimes my muse leaves me after a tough day at the office. And then there are the nights when I’m tired, or when I have my friends over to play video games, or when Survivor is on. Not to mention dates, parties, floor hockey and coin club. There are the weekends, of course, but I need those days to recharge for the week ahead. I don’t have the luxury of being able to write all day like J.K. Rowling. It’s a wonder life lets me write at all. But I’ll get this book written somehow, because that’s what writers do.

In the meantime, I’m making progress on other fronts. I’ve decided which agent I’m going to submit my manuscript to, and I’ve picked a couple of backups just in case. I’ve narrowed my nom de plume down to three options. I had a portrait taken and my friend promised to draw the cover art, so that’s the book jacket taken care of. Today I’m hoping to decide on a font, and whether I want to use Arabic or Roman numerals for the chapter numbers. I’ve been back and forth on this, but this really feels like the day I come to a conclusion. I’ll tweet the results.

So you see? Even with all the pressures of life I’m still able to work on my novel. I think it will make for a really inspirational story when it gets published. Maybe I’ll write a novel about it.

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