Writing Fiction is Hard

One night last week, I got the crazy idea in my head that I wanted to write a book. Now, this was not the first time I’ve considered this, but it was the first time I’d thought about actually sitting down to write a goddamn book. You see, the concept of having written some great story that reflected all my ideas in life that gets published sounds like an amazing idea! But writing 100,000 words that interweaves plot, character, setting, and a theme? Never mind doing it well? It just seemed impossible. I have an even deeper admiration for authors than I had previously.

So, I went about making a plan. If I am going to write a book, I’m going to write a goddamn book. I’m not going to half-ass it, it’s not going to be shitty. I’m going to do it right. 

I’m going to start with a less lofty goal of writing some short stories in order to hone my craft. The way I see it is, with any form of art, you have to have some skill before you can begin to truly express yourself in your art. I don’t know if it’s true, but I feel like it’s what I need to do. Then, once I have written and have been enjoying writing for a good while, I can make the decision to make the leap into novel kingdom. I need to make a sure this commitment lasts.

But it turns out that writing fiction is MUCH harder than I expected! Once I had a story idea, I sat down with a notebook, and immediately wrote myself into a corner. So I tried again- and immediately wrote myself into another corner. Then I got frustrated and ended up convincing myself to hate my story idea!

My biggest mistake was not planning ahead of time. I know this is a highly debated topic in the writing community- To map or not to map? That is the question- but for me, planning is definitely the way to go. See, I only had a very vague idea of my characters and no plot at all. I had set myself up for failure and frustration by trying to jump in right away.

Luckily, my journey doesn’t end here. I have pondered my story for about a week, and I think I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do with it, and I am ready to start my first draft!

I guess that’s what I should be doing in the first place- actually writing instead of writing about writing. See? Right there- I wrote myself into another depressing corner. This is an important subject to write about, and I bet a lot of my writer friends out there can relate. So no, this isn’t a stupid post, but yes, I will write today. So there, anxiety.

Ah, another blog post sidetracked by my trusty friend anxiety. To summarize and conclude: writing fiction is hard, props to all the writers out there, and the secret to writing is to plan and then to just fucking write!

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9 thoughts on “Writing Fiction is Hard

  1. Writing anything – short stories, articles, novels – will always have their lessons. Seven years on from first beginning to write, and I’ve still got a lot to learn. I write short stories at the moment, and like you, I hope that it will have honed my craft more for when I attempt a novel, than if I had dived straight in.

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    1. I agree- we can never reach perfection in writing, only learn new lessons. And I think writing and sharing our short stories will definitely help us both, should we choose to write a novel in the future. Still, seven years is an impressive commitment I hope to reach one day!

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  2. Good luck with your book! I’m so happy for you that you made the step. I really want to write a book soon, but I can’t seem to stop changing the plot, haha. Great post! ♥

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  3. Hey there. Everyone has their own method of writing, and all that matters is what works well for the individual writer. Best wishes to you and your fiction writing journey. 🙂

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  4. Your realisation is the first, beautiful step. Congratulations! The others, as you sense, maybe more difficult. But it needn’t be. Like everything else we do, baby steps and manageable chunks, and lots of practicing helps. Don’t think of it as 100,000 words. Think of it as lots of 1,000 word sessions in which you are free to have fun. Because you will redraft later, and nothing stays the same. You seem to have a the right (write) attitude — that is to write. We all learn in different ways, we all have preferred method. You will find yours by writing. Read lots and write lots. And Good luck!

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