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Congratulations! You want to write a novel. According to Google, so does everybody else, or at least several hundred of million. Sadly, most people won’t, or at least they won’t write something that they finish. If you tell a perfect stranger you’re working on a novel, doesn’t it always seem like the stranger is too? Or well, he/she would be if there was enough time/money/insert-your-excuse-here.

  This is how you write a novel

The simplest solution to completing that dream novel and jumping out of the unpublished masses is this: ass in chair, hands on keyboard. Everyone who writes does this in some form or fashion. The specifics are as varied as fingerprints. Some people plot and plot for years, others are “panters.” Some write everything down in a storm and go through dozens of edits before it shines. Some write each word with the care of cradling a newborn, producing a product that takes merely a polishing or two to sparkle.

I am not a genius on writing. I’m not even a natural. In fact, I used to abhor writing. I had to write summaries in seventh grade for reading class. I hated writing so much I didn’t do them (and I was the kind of kid who always did her homework), until my mom found out and I had to spend hours after school making up the summaries. However, I’ve always loved telling stories, and somehow, writing has turned into the best way I can share these stories with other people.

There are other people who come to writing as expert wordsmiths. Others want to make a statement that will change the world. And there are thousands of other reasons.

What I’m trying to say, the long way around, is that if you want to write a novel, then do it. It doesn’t matter the reason or if you’re good at it or not. No one writes a great first novel. Most have moments of greatness, glimpses. Even the story with no punctuation may have a turn of phrase in it somewhere that makes your breath catch. Find what you’re good at in writing, what drives you, and hold on it. The other stuff, learn how to write it. Surround yourself with other writers who are strong in different areas. And read. Read. Read. Read any and everything.

Maybe everyone wants to write a novel. Maybe most people won’t. But the amazing truth is, everyone can.

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