author, creative writing, writers, writing

6 Misconceptions about writing a novel

Novel writing is one of those things a lot of people have thought about. They say everybody has a book inside them, so why not you? But before you begin, there are some misconceptions surrounding writing a book, that I’d like to dispel. Have a peek.

You have to make a plan
There are benefits to planning your plot. I myself like to have a loose outline before I get started. But if you aren’t sure where you want to go, it can leave you stuck and give you an excuse not to write. Sometime, you just have to dive right in and start writing. Your characters will show you the way.

You have to be inspired to write
It’s easy to feel you have to be full of inspiration to write. But if you wait for inspiration, it’ll never come. Writing inspires writing. Get a sentence down and see where it takes you. Once you start, it can be hard to stop!

You can’t write if you have writer’s block
As I teen, I used ‘writer’s block’ as an excuse not to write for ages. Truth is, writer’s block won’t just go away. You have to fight it off. There are a number of ways you can do so, including reading and using writing prompts.

It only takes one draft
One draft is enough? Sadly, no. The first draft is fantastic for so many reasons. It’s your rawest thoughts, the earliest stages of your story coming to life. But it is also, likely, a bit basic. It is further drafts where you fix plot holes and mistakes, where you add depth and detail. You will likely find yourself writing your story a number of times before you’re happy with it.

Getting published is easy
I told somebody at work that I’d written a book. She asked where she could buy it, and I had to explain I was still looking for an agent. She’d thought, once your book was done, you just take it to a publisher and ask them to get it out there. I wish it was that easy! But getting published is the hard part. There’s so many steps to take. That said, it is POSSIBLE, and that’s all that matters. Don’t give up just because it’s not easy.

Writing a novel is too hard
Writing a novel isn’t easy, but please don’t think you need to have studied writing to write a book. Just write it. Anything can be fixed; gramma errors, spelling mistakes, weak plot points…you just need to have the story down. So if you want to write a book, but you think it’s too hard to do, dispel that thought! You can do absolutely do it!

What writing misconceptions have you come across? Share them in the comments below.

Until then,
Keep writing,

Find me on Twitter and Instagram

19 thoughts on “6 Misconceptions about writing a novel”

  1. Great list, Meelie! I’ve come across every single one of these misconceptions over the years. One I had recently was that someone thought I must be rich if I’m a writer πŸ˜‚. I don’t think non-writers understand that you don’t go into writing for money, because very few actually make a living from it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. My characters continue to surprise me. Some by their words and actions, but sometimes they insist on a bigger role than I planned. This has happened in my current wip when one of my characters wants to put things from his own perspective, so I’m having to write 2 more chapters for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree!

    I think non-writers emphasize how much writing is a creative act so can be less aware of like technical/strategic components, and that’s where some of this comes from (though not the first point).

    I remember I was reading a book about writing and someone asked how it could be explained if it was a creative, spontaneous thing. I said something about how having an idea might be spontaneous but then you have a lot of deliberate decisions to make – what person you’ll write in, how you’ll build up the idea, structure. Things you wouldn’t think about if you thought it was pure inspiration.

    Non-writers ask where ideas come from. I don’t get it – that’s always been the easy bit. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really enjoyed reading this 😊 I absolutely agree that writing inspires writing and that you can’t wait for inspiration to fall in your lap. You start writing and then it finds you!

    And I can just imagine how hard it must be to get published after the blood, sweat and tears of writing the thing. But once you’ve done that, you simply can’t give up, you’ve come too far! Persistence pays.

    Thanks for these great tips πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get questions about my book, too. “Well, you wrote it,” they say. Well, there is so much more that needs to be done after the initial draft. And getting published isn’t easy. I have to admit that it kind of took the wind out of my sails, realizing that just putting words on a page isn’t enough.

    I like what you said about the writer’s block. You DO have to fight it. If you just let it be, you will get rusty.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for the reminders. I have direct published novel and working on the second one. I have revised this one quite a bit but this is the last time. I have the next project (already written years ago) ready to go. Yet, even with the history and experience of getting things written and completed, the next day when one sits down to write, it doesn’t seem to help too much. Writing is a daily, even hourly, process of intention, commitment and focus. Not easy, as you say, but if there is a will, you will find your way. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.