Well, the people have spoken and ‘the writing process of my first novel’ won. Now, I feel at this stage I really should point out that I have not finished writing my first novel. (Perhaps I should have mentioned that earlier.) I’m not even close. In fact, I’m only just starting out, in a way. So this could quickly transform into something akin to liveblogging. But we’ll see how we go (and if at any point you’ve had enough, please just say.)
So. The novel.
I call it my first novel because I think of it as the first novel I will finish. I have started others. In fact, between the ages of 10 and 14 I began many novels. I just never got very far. I’ve also attempted NaNoWriMo a few times before, but again, never got very far. But if I haven’t finished this one yet, how do I know I will? Why is it I’m calling this attempt ‘my first novel’ when I never even considered labelling the others in this way? What makes this one special?
The honest answer is: I don’t know. It just is. It’s special.
It’s a bit like marriage, I suppose. Now I don’t believe in marriage, I think it’s a terrible idea. After all, how do you know that that one person is so special? What makes them different to all the others?
Can anyone answer that question?
The difference is, of course, that I won’t be living with my novel for the rest of my life. Well, I will, but there’ll be other novels. It’s more like having a baby – it’s creating. Giving life.
When I first had the idea, I did not know that it would become ‘my first novel’. I hoped it would, although I also had another idea for a novel knocking about at around the same time. In fact, if I ever get around to writing that, I think it’s more likely to become my first published novel. Sometimes I think what I’m referring to as ‘my first novel’ will, in fact, be one I won’t publish until much later in my career. Perhaps even towards the end. It’s not really the kind of thing you can debut with, to be honest. In saying that, you never know what’s going to happen. Maybe I will debut with it. Maybe I’ll never publish it at all. Who knows?
Either way, I’m writing it first, so that’s how I’ll think of it – as my first.
Sure, I’ve played around with other novels before, but this is serious. This time I’m committed.
This one’s special – and her name is Sylvia.
Next week: The Idea