How to Write a Novel, Probably…

Here is what I can tell you about writing a novel…I am semi-doing it.  I am trying to do it?  It is slowly happening?

Okay.  Let’s start this again.

I am writing a novel.  (Applaud now, please.)  It is not ready yet, so that’s cool.  I’m still writing a lot of short fiction and even a little poetry now and again.  However, I am taking this next step and wondering where it will lead. Let me clarify:  I don’t expect a plethora of publishers to step up with enormous checks and arms filled with roses.  I just want to get it published when I am done and then I want to see this thing on shelves in bookstores.

I don’t think this is impossible…I am trying not to find it improbable.

Sometimes you have to just roll the damn dice and do something.  I’m writing this and I am getting this bastard published, somehow.  That’s the whole thing with writing and publishing–you have to be a weird blend of certain and uncertain, humble and proud.

For now, the plot is a secret.  For now, it is just mine.  But, when the time comes, it becomes something else.  It becomes a thing shoved out the door and sold.  A product.

Although, I can tell you, it never really has felt like that with any story I have had published.  I read them in publications and it feels like an odd surprise to find some private endeavor has become public.  That said, what is revealed is usually entirely imaginary–with a few notably honest exceptions.  So there is it in a public forum:  some random thing that I felt compelled to share with the world.  Fiction has a way of saying bigger truths than my facts.  In a fiction there is a thousand bits of me, and yet no me there at all.  All of the characters are me, and none.  It never really works any other way.  You’ve got to walk into the funhouse and see yourself in all of the mirrors, every one of them a distortion.  Then, you write what you see.

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