Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Completing a Novel

I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.   
Flannery O’Connor

This post is kinda related to the previous one. Has it happened to you? You have a great premise. Novel (Ha!). Unique. Unknown to the known world. Yeah, right.

How quickly can this great idea devolve into the mundane? Been done? Ordinary? Prosaic?

Pretty fast.

There’s something about sustaining a great idea across 75-90,000 words that is daunting. It makes 90% of us who start writing a book, quit. 90%. Don’t you think that’s high? Someone in some workshop tossed the number out. I have no idea how anyone could know that, much less check it out. Still. You know it’s a lot of folks.

Let’s say the number is less. I know that I personally have started about three dozen books. Seven are completed. So my personal percent is roughly 20% finished. That doesn’t mean, by the way, that I quit 80%. Some I have, but I just delayed the re-start for others.

I’ll get back to them.
After I finish the new one I just jotted down an idea for.

Here’s my new idea—I volunteer at our community library, so it occurred to me last Monday that I could have my heroine volunteer at a retirement community library. This curmudgeonly fellow starts coming in on her shift. She tries to help him find books, but he is difficult, bordering on rude. But they get together in the end after she shows him the power of unconditional love. Sweet mature lovers romance, yes?

Or maybe I should write the historical fiction that goes back to the first novel I attempted in high school. This story explores the relationship of Virginia Dare (first white child in the Colonies) and Pocohantas, supposed savior of Captain John Smith and wife of a Virginia planter. My story premise is that Virginia Dare survived and was reared by Indians, eventually being sold to Powhatan, father of Pocohantas. She lived with and took care of baby Pocohantas thus engendering her regard for the invading British. This can explain how Pocohantas knew the English language.

So, I may start one of them. Or not. Maybe they’ll join the others in the incubator I call “computer files.”

Oh, but I forgot to tell you! The very next novel I write, the one I have to complete in 30 days in November, is my NaNoWriMo novel. Hie yourself on over to Write on Sisters and vote for my November writing project by commenting on the post.

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