What’s the Best Way to Write a Novel?

 April 5, 2017

A while back, Peter DeHahn posted in his blog about his experience with NaNoWriMo and the advantages of writing a book in one month.

I agree with what he wrote. I wrote the first three books of my Dancing Through Life series in three consecutive years for NaNoWriMo. It was great fun, focusing on this one major project and putting everything else aside. As DeHahn mentions, there was no need to go back and reread before moving forward and less likelihood of forgetting what you had previously written as well as the direction you were heading. It was fun to let the muse take you where it took you without worrying. I enjoyed the process, but then this past November, it fell apart for me. I simply wasn’t ready to write a novel that month.

I’ve written other novels over the course of the years, fitting in time for writing in between a busy ministry schedule and family life. I wrote when the spirit moved me and worried later about cleaning up discrepancies. I have novels that started in my twenties and were only brought to life thirty years later. I have one such novel still in the works. It’s just not its time.

My current mantra is “no novel is to be born before its time.” Much like a fine wine, some novels require age.

What I haven’t done is agonize over a blank sheet of paper or computer screen, trying to force myself to write when there is nothing worth writing down inside my head. Yes, some days I need prompting to get motivated and start writing, but other times, no amount of prompting will elicit my creativity so I let it go. Some writers are much more disciplined than I am, making a regular date with their muse and writing a set amount of words each day. That’s not me.

So, given all of this, what is the best way to write a novel? Any which way you can.

Whatever works for you. Whether that be in a few weeks or a month of non-stop writing, or a daily grind of a set amount of words, or over a lifetime. Whatever it takes as long as you get that novel written.

What works for you???? I’d love to hear from you.


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