Writing a novel is a marathon event

I am in the last stages of finishing my work in progress, a novel for children set in Nepal. This 40,000 word novel, and the accompanying 10,000 word exegesis essay, is the final stage of my Master of Arts in Creative Writing.

I’ve been working on the novel for over 18 months and finally it is getting near to ready to submit to examiners in the coming weeks. Then I plan to start it on its journey around the various publishing houses, so fun continues. This novel writing game is not a sprint, and more of a marathon. In fact, sometimes it feels like having to run a marathon every day.

Despite the weariness, I am pleased with the final product and I’ve learned so much along the way. With the help of my critiquing group, friends who are critical readers, and my supervising lecturers, my skills have been honed and my writing has improved way beyond what I had thought possible.

I have learned, above all, not to be precious about my words. I have learned to be ruthless and to cut anything that does not work, anything that is repetitious, redundancies, passive voice, switches in POV and many other stumbling blocks placed in the path of writers everywhere.

Must get back to the finishing touches.

Good writing.


2 Responses to “Writing a novel is a marathon event”

  1. Ken Rolph says:

    This is something I’m just facing up to. Writing a long work seems to be different in kind to writing a short work, not just in quantity. For example, you just can’t spread 2 or 3 pages on the desk and see how the whole thing works together. When writing about people or places some weeks apart you may get the details wrong if they are poorly conceived and inadequately documented. I seem to be generating a greater amount of supporting material that doesn’t end up in the final work. Normally I just open a file and type in notes, quotes and thoghts. I keep these at the bottom of the working file. As I produce the final version, the supporting material gets incorporated into the final product and deleted. You can’t do that with a novel. I’m having to learn a new way of working.

    Or perhaps I should just stick to short works.

    • Trevor says:

      You’ve touched on some very interesting points here, Ken. In a few words you’ve shown quite clearly that different genres require different approaches and many different considerations. Then layer upon that the fact that no two writers will approach the same task in the same way.

      Having read your “Dog Tales” I can say that I really enjoy your shorter works. Do you really want to stretch yourself with a longer work?