I gave it a bit of thought, but I reckoned it wouldn’t be too difficult.
I have been blogging now for fifteen months, and I have written 638 posts. This will be 639. I have never done a word count, but I reckon I have written somewhere in the region of 80,000 words. If anyone wants to count them, feel free. This would equate to the approximate size of a book, so in theory, I could print out the contents of the blog and there’s my book.
I asked the publishers exactly what they wanted. Did they want a compendium of posts or did they want a novel? I said I thought a novel was a bit ambitious for someone who had never written anything before. They agreed and suggested a compendium.
But then I looked back at what I had written. Some of the posts were topical. Some were rubbish. Some were libelous. Some relied on images or links. So I went through and weeded out the bad posts and I was left with about five that could be printed. Bugger!
So I was stuck with writing a novel after all.
I have read thousands of books in my lifetime. Some good, some bad. It looks so easy. You just sit down and write your story.
To write a novel, you have to have characters, locations, plots and storylines. These all have to be worked out in advance. You have to get to know your characters, and become friends or enemies with them. You have to become completely familiar with every aspect of your story. You can’t have a character going upstairs in his house, when you have already said that he lives in a caravan! That is the easy bit.
Then you have to tell your story, and this is the really difficult bit. You have to tell it in the required number of words. If you find you have finished your story after 5,000 words, you can’t go back and just pad it out with 75,000 words of garbage. Similarly, you can’t spin it out too much, otherwise you reach 80,000 words and realise you are still only on chapter five. So you have to have the whole thing plotted out in advance, and if you have never done that before, it is an extremely tricky exercise.
I have had some smooth times, when the words flow. I have had rough times, when I just stare at the keyboard and wonder what the f*ck I am doing. I have sought help, and received it in abundance. In fact I received more help that I ever expected. To that person, I am forever grateful [you know who you are!].
Last night, I read the first few chapters to Herself. As a critic, she is mealy mouthed, and will not tolerate fools gladly, which is what I wanted. She sat quietly while I read. She made one or two small suggestions. I found a few errors. At the end, she thought for a moment, and then said the immortal words – “I liked that”.
So I’m plodding on. It is a slow task, but at the end of each day, I am that bit nearer.
So, if any of you are ever approached to write a book….. It is extremely hard work. It is frustrating. It’s very time consuming. But it’s great craic!
[As a point of interest, the above is 585 words!!!]