The New Novel

There’s nothing quite like the queasy exhilaration of starting a new novel. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have, but it’s scary as hell because you know the story is too big for you; you’re unequal to the task.

You start anyway – exploring the characters, discovering who they are, what has happened to them and what makes them real. But you aren’t smart enough, aren’t good enough, to pull it off. You’ll never do justice to the subtleties of these people you already love even before you completely know them. You feel a desire to transport into their world – and not come back. To live their stories without the pain and hard work of tacking them to the page.

At this point the person you live with finds you spacey, irritable, euphoric. Unless that person has been through this with you before, he thinks you’re nuts. He’s right. You can’t wait to get to the computer, but then you want to bolt from the chair because there’s this feeling in your stomach like writhing worms. Like going over the top on the biggest roller coaster in the universe and you can’t see the bottom of the track. This is why you do it. You love it, hate it, fear it, need it.

God, I love being a writer.

7 Responses to “The New Novel”

  1. Sherri says:

    That’s a perfect description. I can’t wait to get to the computer, but I’m frequently uncomfortable while I’m there. I guess it’s stage fright. :)

  2. I think some of it is that old fear that never goes away. Can I really do this again? Will it still work this time or will I never write another as good as the others? Then again, maybe it’s just me.

  3. You said: it’s scary as hell because you know the story is too big for you; you’re unequal to the task.

    I always thought I was the only one with that thought! Thanks for the comfort of knowing I am not alone. And to be in YOUR company is especially good.

  4. Well said, Marcia. I, too, thought I was the only one who faced those scary feelings of self doubt. But, isn’t it exhilarating when you reach the the final page?

  5. Liz Cook says:

    My husband just read this over my shoulder and said, “OH my gosh…that sounds just like you!” I am constantly drawn back to the computer..over and over and over again. It is like some obsession..or possibly a “possession.” It almost scares me…but oh, how I love it!

  6. Carole Bee says:

    I love that you love being a writer too…I red Trudy’s Promise and loved it..I just finished the wind comes sweeping..wonderful..can’t wait to read the rest…

  7. Sherry says:

    You expressed worries in the blog that you might be unable to do justice to the subleties of those you were writing aobut. You most certainly did justice to the individuals in Trudy’s Promise. You made each one come alive and enabled the reader to ‘live’ their experiences right along with them!!!

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