Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The birth of a novel

I had sudden insight today. I was thinking about my novel, "A Place Called Earth," and I realized that I was feeling almost reluctant to be seeing it near its finish. I noticed that I often feel the same way when I think about how much my kids have grown. There are so many simularities in the process. From conception to birth, to watching the story grow into its own entity, to leaving the nest. It moves far too quickly for my liking.

The conception part of novel writing is a very dedicated process in and of itself. I can put myself through hell trying to come up with an idea that I like and how to make it interesting. When the idea comes, I find myself almost glowing with the excitement of it. Then the writing starts. Its very much like a pregnancy. I find myself marveling in the way the story changes on a daily basis. How the idea of seeing it through consumes my mind until I can get it all out of me. I get to create new places or make old ones interesting. I get to name characters and watch them grow and learn. I get to watch them get into trouble and guide them through situations.

I feel so proud when that novel is finished. Then I get to go through and clean it up. Mature it. It feels like a learning experience for both me and the story. Like having a child. Find out what works, what doesn't. Come up with a new method. After its all sparkly and perfect its time to set it free. First you do the trial seperation. Just to see if you can handle it. You let it wander out of sight to a couple friends you trust. You feel great when it behaves.

This is so hard. I'm so sad to see it leave my hands. I still need to do a query letter and find an agent, but I just feel sad about it. I don't want the process to be over. It all went too fast! Why can't I just lock it up in a closet for a few more years? I can't because I know that it deserves a chance to stand on its own two (metaphorical) feet. I can only do so much for it, and the rest it has to do on its own. I can't be scared for this anymore. It will fly or it will fail. Either way, we'll learn something. So, here's to the leap.


  1. Interesting. I felt a little like that at the beginning of the month, just finishing a first draft.

    I'm so not used to endings, but have many beginnings written, so it felt weird and a little sad to be writing the ending of the novel. And so fast. I wrote most of the novel during March, and while it was a whirlwind of fun that didn't seem like enough time.

    Sure, now I can go back and make it even better but still hard to believe the first draft is over.

  2. I LOVE this analogy, Hojo! It fits definitely. ;) And I'm glad you're going to query, instead of self-publishing. :)

  3. Thanks for talking me into it Ashy! :)


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