Skip to main content

The Novelist's Journey--Is It Worth It????


The other day my mother-in-law informed me that she wanted to write a novel.  Her enthusiasm and passion about the project caused me to think back on my own experience as a writer.  To say the least, my journey has certainly been filled with lots of ups and downs.

Heck, how I got through the first year still boggles me. I dove into my project head first and completed the entire draft within ten months. Then, without editing the piece, I proudly posted the story on an online critique site, half expecting the reviewers to gush over it.  Needless to say,  I was sorely disappointed by the feedback I received.  I learned there were enough point of view shifts to inflict whiplash on a reader.  My plot had more holes than a warehouse filled with Swiss cheese, and the characters were one-dimensional.

Essentially, my grasp of the basic fundamentals of fiction writing was nonexistent. After licking my wounds for about three months, I realized I missed the craft. The experience of creating a whole new universe filled with eclectic characters and intriguing places (at least in my eyes), somehow completed me.   I also accepted the reality that my novel may never be published. If I took on the project again it had to be for personal enrichment.

As a competitive person, I refused to put myself in the position of producing another poorly written draft. My ego could only take so many beatings.  I purchased several "How to" books,read them from front to back, took a couple of online workshops and practiced, practiced, practiced.  When I felt confident in my abilities (after about 6 months of trial and error), I began the second draft. A year later, I submitted the finished product to the same online critique site where I'd posted the original. The feedback I received was light years from the previous reviews. I am now finishing the third draft and IMHO it is much better than the second.

In retrospect, I could have avoided a lot of heartache if I had taken a few workshops and bought the "how to" books first.  In fact, I'd probably be halfway through my second novel by now.  However, I would have also missed the experience that turned me into a more resilient, strong and tenacious writer. The humbling journey helped me to realize my passion for the craft.  For this reason alone, I wouldn't change a thing.  

Posting my experience here also got me to wondering about other writers. I'd be interested to know how you became secure enough to write your novel.  What was your journey like? Do you feel it was worth it, would you do it again or would you change some things? Until next time, happy writing.      





Popular posts from this blog

Opinions Pleaaaaaase!!!!!

Hello All,

I recently began a new WIP.  Although I'm happy with my outline, I've struggled with the beginning. This said, I wrote two opening paragraphs. Both lead to the same place, but they take a very different paths to get there. I just can't decide which one I like better.  If you have a minute or two, I'd  appreciate it if you'd give your opinion. Which paragraph would keep you reading?  Also, please be mindful that these are very raw first drafts.  I'd be happy to return the favor anytime.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Opening #1A cold chill broke across my arms when he entered the room. It happened every time I saw him. By now you'd think I'd be used to him Yet, here I sat, dreading his very presence. You see, to everyone else he was a man of flesh and blood. A man who devoted his life to treating the sick.  To me, he was Doom—bringing false hope to the incurable—deliverer of tragedy, ready to do his worst.  My dad and I had been confronted…

Feeling Vulnerable

It's time for another installment of the ISWG, hosted byAlex J. Cavanaugh. To learn more about this wonderful group, click on the preceding link.


I've posted my novel PAWN OF THE GODS on Kindle Scout, a publishing program ran by Amazon. It allows unpublished authors to post their work for thirty days. During that time, readers log on, read the excerpt (or not) and if they like what they see, they nominate the author for publication. At the end of the campaign, the nominations are tallied and the board votes on which books to publish. 

PAWN OF THE GODS has been up for a little over a week.  It was on the Hot and Trending list for nineteen hours, and more than one thousand seven-hundred visitors have viewed my excerpt.  All good stuff right? If that's true, why the hell am I so insecure? I suppose it's because I'm putting myself out there. It's tough to do, especially with such stiff competition. 

This said, if any of you are interested, I posted my link below.  If …

Andrea Franco-Cook's New Release PAWN OF THE GODS

Hello all,
I just wanted to announce the launch of my debut novel PAWN OF THE GODS. It's published for free on Amazon Kindle until May 22.  After that, it will go on sale for $3.99. PAWN OF THE GODS




Book Summary
According to Mayan prophecy the gods of the underworld will declare war on man. Their undoing however, lies hidden deep in the Yucatan in 1572, when a winged entrusted a celestial weapon to a Spanish Conquistador for safe keeping.
Five hundred years later, the winged god reveals himself to Soledad Mendoza, detailing how she is tied to the conquistador, and the impending war. But the young English professor is unsure of herself. Out of shape and a lonely widow at thirty, her predilection for scotch makes her more suited to join a twelve-step program, than become a hero.
Unfortunately, Soledad is forced into action when she learns her family friend, Senator Earl Edmondson has ties to the conquistador and the weapon, ties that could either harm or help her.
A pawn caught in a dan…