Novel Musings — What I Want From a Novel

Here we are again.

It has been a while since I have graced you all with my presence. But I thought this was the perfect time to talk about what I want from a novel.

Have you ever asked yourself what it is that you want from a novel?

I have. You know what I answered with? A bloody 500 word essay on what I want. It began as what I want from a novel and gradually deteriorated into a stinking pile of what I want from life. Here’s a revised version—less of a stinking pile, well, less of a pile—of my answer.

When I think about what I want from a book, I think of one thing: emotion. I want to feel something. For shit’s sake, give me something to think about and make me care! I ultimately want a novel with meaning. True meaning. Something that grabs you by the heart muscle and tears it out. Kinda. No, okay maybe not tearing it out. But you get the picture: a novel that makes you feel.

Now, isn’t that all we ever strive for? To feel something? To feel anything at all? To reassure ourselves that we are indeed human, that we do indeed have the capacity for normal human emotion? Personally, I answer yes to all.

Yes, I am a guy. Yes, I bottle up emotion. But no, no, no we don’t have to hide our emotions. We, as humans, are allowed to feel something, we are allowed to admit that some scene—whether it be from a movie, book, television program or, hell, even if it was from viewing that dirty, twisted… Newspaper article—had an impact upon us, that it almost brought us to tears.

Who gives a shit if it did?

Actually, you should be happy that you were brought to tears, welcome to being human!

That’s not to say that to be human you must cry every night. Rather, try to embrace whatever feelings are evoked from the depths of your emotionally-fortified self.

This musing on life and emotion has led me to uncover the three main themes I want to weave into my first novel. Three themes that will hopefully make the reader feel something. These are: loss, love and inevitability.

Thoughts, comments, abuse or whatever else you want to lay on my doormat, are welcome in the comments below.


Novel Musings — The Sinking of the First-Draft Ship

Hello there,

Although I am currently lacking visitors to this blog, I am going to continue ranting and raving in the futile hope that one day some unfortunate straggler stumbles upon it.

I think I have fizzled out. I started writing a first draft for a novel a few months ago, at the time I was really excited for it. But, as I have progressed I have found that it’s not the story that I want, or need, to write. I may pick it back up in the future, but for now I am going to continue writing short stories to practice my craft and allow my mind to muse over possible ideas for the future.

I have been thinking about why it is that my current story failed. I think I have narrowed it down to two possible reasons:

1) I simply can’t sympathise with the protagonist. Her motivation is revenge for the deaths of her family members and this burning desire is what drives her. When I first set out on the quest to write, I thought that I could use this effectively. Turns out I can’t. I am not one to hold grudges, and as of this moment, I haven’t lost anyone truly close to me.

2) The story wasn’t planned, I had no direction. This resulted in me not knowing where to head, I had no chosen destination for the story. Hell, I didn’t even know who, or what, the antagonist was.

This failure, although a disappointment as I have written 8k words (May seem small to people who are somewhat experienced), has left me determined to discover a story I truly want to write. It has also taught me that mapping out a story is definitely worth-while.

There you go, just an update on where I am as an amateur writer. Hopefully, as this blog progresses, you will all see my writing progress, as well me head towards my ultimate goal: to finish a novel.

‘Go forth, post, into the maelstrom.’


Okay, as an aside. All of the pictures on this blog have been made in paint. So, I would like some feedback (If anyone reads this), what are your thoughts on my paint handiwork? Also, the picture above is a musing that I may turn into story format, either short or novel in length. Thoughts, ideas and criticism welcomed.